MELBOURNE DERBY

A melting pot of good food and society's elite

Wama hotel treated Kenyans and expatriates to a taste of Australian culture in a sporting and gala dinner.

In Summary

• The event was the epitome of good food, with a four course fine dining dinner laid out and flocked with societies elites. From the Australian High Commissioner to Legislators, CEO's and Social media personalities to mention a few.  

•It was my first time trying Chardonnay and was I impressed. I had Pinot Noir which is a sparkling Australian champagne, it has a fizzy sweet taste with light undertones on the palate.

Aussie mini pavlova with berries dessert.
Aussie mini pavlova with berries dessert.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

I got treated to a taste of Australia at Wama Hotel during their Melbourne cup, Fashions in the Field event.

The Melbourne cup is a popular Australian sporting event that stops the nation. It is the biggest horse race in the country.

It was the epitome of good food, with a four course fine dining dinner laid out and flocked with societies elites. From the Australian High Commissioner to Legislators, CEO's and Social media personalities to mention a few. 

It was a high fashion event with a red carpet laid out in the neatly cut lawn of the hotels garden. And all those in attendance got the 'dress up ' memo and fully adhered to it.

From left, former miss Kenya USA, Angela Wambui, Women representative, Uasin Gishu county, Gladys Shollei and Food reporter Hannie Petra.
From left, former miss Kenya USA, Angela Wambui, Women representative, Uasin Gishu county, Gladys Shollei and Food reporter Hannie Petra.

I'd term it the social event of the year if there still wasn't a month left to judge events.

There were several vegan friendly and meat loaded canapes going round for the guests to enjoy as they socialized before the event began. 

There was smoked salmon crostini with creamed cheese, dill and capers, beef fillet skewers, chicken lollipops, mini vegan/gluten free spring rolls and mini vegan skewers.

The chicken lollipops were an absolute favourite, well barbecued and really soft to bite into.

There were raffle tickets for the horse race that goes for a stretch of 3200m, the funds raised were going to help Wama in training its staff with disabilities.

Laid out on our dinner tables were buckets of chilled Australian wines and champagne.

Bottles of red, white wine and champagne laid out on the table for the guests.
Bottles of red, white wine and champagne laid out on the table for the guests.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

It was my first time trying Chardonnay Pinot Noir and was I impressed. I had Madeline Alice which is a sparkling Australian champagne, it has a fizzy sweet taste with light undertones on the palate.

There was also Cabernet Sauvignon (red wine) It has a more angular taste and a thick feel on the palate.

As well as Shiraz( red wine) One can taste flavours of pepper, spice and sweet red fruit on the first sip. It has a strong feel on the front in the mouth and on the finish but with a slightly different mid-palate fee present.

We had a Waldorf salad as the first meal of a well laid out four course menu. The salad had walnuts, sliced apples, celery and grapes, dressed in mayonnaise and served on a bed of lettuce. The colour palette as well harmonized and all the ingredients used were fresh, sweet and crunchy.

First course of the dinner, Waldorf salad (fruit and nut salad)
First course of the dinner, Waldorf salad (fruit and nut salad)
Image: HANNIE PETRA

The second serving from the menu was a vegan butternut soup with scone. I really adore how thoughtful and inclusive Wama is, not just with their staff but with the meals as well. 

For the main meal, the guests had the pleasure of having to choose whether they'd have a fully vegetarian meal. For the meat lovers there was the option of beef or chicken.

The vegetarian option served was chickpea curry with saffron rice.

The other meals were beef fillet with rice, steamed vegetables with Bearnaise sauce. The beef fillet was the highlight of my main meal, it was loaded with flavours, tender and juicy and overall mouth watering.

The Bearnaise sauce has a piquant taste, from the white wine vinegar used and fresh herbs. It has a smooth and creamy texture that compliments the meal well.

The rice is subtle and acts as a bridge between the flavours of the meat and its sauce. The veggies are fresh and crunchy as per Wama standards.

Beef fillet with rice, steamed vegetables with Bearnaise sauce.
Beef fillet with rice, steamed vegetables with Bearnaise sauce.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

And chicken coq au vin in Australian red wine sauce with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables. The chicken was perfectly salted, spiced and really tender. The sauce complimented it well, it was thick with piquant yet sweet undertones.

The veggies were fresh and crunchy adding an authentic taste to the meal, the mash potatoes were buttery and soft. Making the whole dining experience wonderful. 

Chicken coq au vin in Australian red wine sauce with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
Chicken coq au vin in Australian red wine sauce with mashed potatoes and steamed vegetables.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

For dessert, we were presented with options.There was a chocolate walnut brownie which was vegetarian and gluten free. At this point I have to admit, either I don't know what gluten is or Wama chefs are just extraordinary because you couldn't tell the brownie was gluten free. 

It was moist and sweet with crunchy nuts on the inside that added more to the flavour and a little sharp taste from the cocoa sprinkled on top.

Vegetarian and gluten free chocolate walnut brownie dessert.
Vegetarian and gluten free chocolate walnut brownie dessert.
Image: HANNIE PETRA

And an Aussie mini pavlova with berries. A pavlova is a meringue-based dessert. It has a crisp crust and its soft, light on the inside.

It was topped with whipped cream and berries on the top on a bed of chocolate syrup and tasted dive.

Aussie mini pavlova with berries dessert.
Aussie mini pavlova with berries dessert.
Image: HANNIE PETRA