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Variety is the spice of life at Watamu hotel

Turtlebay Bay Beach Club has three restaurants and a snack bar  offering different food experiences to guests, including spiced theme nights

Each time I travel, I notice that hotels have their own way of doing things and unique methods of preparing meals.  So when I toured the laid-back Watamu town recently, I was introduced to different food experiences. The Turtle Bay Beach Club has three restaurants and a snack bar, which are meant to offer varieties of cuisine to guests.

The main restaurant, where I had all my meals, had several types of foods depending on the theme night. At the entrance is a post urging guests to dress well while at the restaurant. Some of the rules of the house included; No wet Swimming Costumes All Day and No Bare Chest All Day.

The No Mobile Phone All Day rule was hard to obey since I love my gadget and I always get into fights at home not to use it while eating. So I took photos of meals and trolled Instagram and Facebook, check out what’s happening in the world. My phone is a great companion, especially while I am on solo travels.

That first night, the theme was African. All kinds of local dishes were displayed, including ugali, chapatti, various stews, beef and chicken. Their buffet, as head chef, Isaac Chirchir told me, is a 10-course meal affair.

I always spy on the buffet table before I serve myself and was impressed with the options. Chefs stood at every corner, urging me to try out one of the dishes.  I settled for roast spring chicken chausseur, rice and some chapattis. On Saturday nights, the restaurant offers roast goat meat, beef or pork. I liked their grilled pork saltimbocca with mustard sauce, which I ate with stir-fried assorted vegetables and matoke in tomato coriander.

I have tried out pork chops many times and love their deep and satisfying flavour that always leaves you begging for more. Their taste is like a choir of umami-clad angels singing on your tongue— but only when it’s done right. When overcooked, pork chops can be pretty bland and chewy!

Saltimbocc, so I discovered,  is an Italian word meaning  “jump in the mouth”.   Traditional ones were made from veal, but presently, the American version employs pork, which adds more flavour to the cuisine. Sometimes they also add massala spices. I love pork more than veal any day for just its flavour, with an elegant presence that makes you revisit the buffet table.

I did go for more servings and even ignored the other food I had pakuad.  Isaac said the menu is changed every month to break the monotony. “I research every day and also meet other chefs to learn how to improve the meals,” he said.

The restaurant serves lunch, breakfast and dinner, buffet style and has distinct smoking and non-smoking sections. Naturally, I kept off the vegetarian corner.

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