Emin Pasha the hotel, may be better known than Emin Pasha the bearded fellow with the hat, and that is testament to its longevity and reputation. The orange and creme adobe facade of the boutique hotel in Nakasero is iconic but they are best known for a first-rate culinary experience fusing local and intercontinental elements. The boutique hotel brings us a classic spread of dishes for its #KlaRestaurantWeek run this year and we sampled a few of their dishes to give you an idea of what’s cooking.
Even if you did not know it was called this, you have probably seen it before.
The Salad Nicoise is a classic salad probably hailing from Nice (House of Plastics- rimshot) consisting of hard-boiled eggs, potatoes, french beans, fresh tuna, cherry tomatoes, black olives, anchovies and a variety of salad leaves (endives and so on). For dressing, a mixture of olive oil, red wine, vinegar, dijon mustard, salt and pepper are whipped into a light sauce whose slight acidity intensifies especially the flavours of the various vegetables. The fresh tuna is this salad’s main attraction, and as with the other protein elements (the eggs, especially), it is brought to the fore by the ever so salty anchovies.
T-Bone Steak with Bernaise Sauce:
If steaks were RnB groups, the T-Bone steak would be Beyonce.
The white T, surrounded by fleshy pinkness and a ring of white fat is so iconic because it is everything meat lovers love about meat: the bone, the tender meat that molds itself around the bone and the ring of fat seeming to hold everything together. This particular T-bone steak is grilled till it is slightly brown and slightly charred, while remaining succulent on the inside, a medium-rare shade of pink.
Chefs will usually begrudgingly oblige if one prefers one’s steak well done, but they will be quick to inform you that the meat’s flavour is best savoured with a little centre of underdone flesh. To accompany it is Bernaise Sauce, a combination of eggs, butter and vinegar whose creamy texture and slightly sour taste is almost cheesy and is a delightful addition to the smokey beef.
The Passion Fruit and Brandy Snap:
What happens when you double-boil passion fruit, creme, lemon, cornstarch and then chill the whole thing for a while? A dollop of creamy goodness which, thanks to the cornstarch, tastes a little bit like custard. It is served on a pancake that is baked rather than fried, which explains its more puffy appearance which dissipates when it cools. The sweet, creamy, buttery combination is garnished with a red wine reduction whose sourness and slight acidity spike up the dessert’s flavour.
Photography: Julius Caesar Kasujja