Heaven for knowledge-hungry beef lovers – Business Daily
The gang, a group of 10, had certainly been looking forward to this outing as part of our quest to familiarize ourselves with Nairobi’s food scene. Gigiri was the destination and The Local Grill the mission.
Once everyone was seated and whetted their appetites with a delicious Sauvignon Blanc, came the deliberation of the choice. As the name suggests, the five-year-old The Local Grill prides itself on its extensive knowledge of beef.
I consider beef to be the king of meats because I can eat it all year round without suffering from satiation, so when an establishment proclaims that “you don’t just put the steak on a plate; it’s about paying homage to cattle,” so my attention is piqued.
The restaurant is designed around a popular Johannesburg steakhouse, also known as The Local Grill.
While the Johannesburg restaurant’s decor speaks more to the man with its rough brick walls adorned with cattle-themed photographs and placemats etched with an educational diagram of beef cuts, the Kenyan Local Grill tempers the steer fervor with what owner Bhavna says is an intentional attempt to make it feminine and welcoming while using locally made furniture and furnishings.
As such, every element, from the bar stools sitting on wrought iron legs with antique charm, to the hand-scraped wooden floors and exterior walls clad in wood-grain finish, bears the hallmark of a craftsman.
Staff members are encouraged to take advantage of role rotation to improve their chances of promotion. Chef Meshack Oduor, for example, started out as a fries cook and Ruth Wangare, who started out as a kitchen clerk, is now in charge of purchasing.
What is particularly interesting about this column is that the Local Grill adheres to a strict ‘field to fork’ philosophy as well as a ‘nose to tail’ philosophy where they ensure that every slice of meat can be traced back to to the exact cow. he comes and nothing is lost.
To achieve this, they work with selected farmers. In what many restaurants eschew, The Local Grill opens its kitchen to diners where they impart knowledge on the various processes of aging and preparing meat.
Here, you have the opportunity to explore the different cuts and flavors achieved by different cooking methods, including broiling, slow cooking, or using smoke blocks and Himalayan salt.
Once you understand a little better what you’re devouring, you can choose to enjoy grain-fed or grass-fed beef, aged in place or dry-aged and spiced with a special marinade. And you can even choose their specific slice of rump, sirloin, tenderloin, T-bone, or rib eye, which is then cut to order.
Accompanying these steaks is a rich assortment of wines, including a special sommelier’s selection list for those craving a classic pairing. I also counted at least 30 varieties of gin for those who love juniper berries.
The shared starter of salad, beef carpaccio and grilled octopus was a delight, with the simmered beef ragù cheeks being the unexpected hit.
After tasting all the starter presentations, my palate leaned towards my quirky choice of wild mushroom risotto strewn with parmesan shavings. The beef ribs slow braised in red wine were faultless with the grilled sirloin covering the rump in my book.
While the house wine was tasteful, I thought the prices were high but I was happy that the sides, at no extra cost, ensured no stomach was left craving.
In a battle of the sexes, the ladies presented a chocolate fudge dessert while the men teamed up affogato ice cream. Each team claimed victory but my coffee heads were influenced by Italian picking.
Rumor has it that the restaurant will soon be delivering aged cuts as well.