Brunch culture: A Rotana experience
- The meal stations were named Sweet Temptation which consisted of all desserts and ice cream – a fondue fountain included; Bheri Puri which was Indian cuisine; the Salad bar; Vegetarian Club; Risotto Station for Italian cuisine; Lamb stir fry station and Roasted lamb leg station because meat cannot have just one station; a Pizza Station.
There is a scripture in the bible that says “So I commend the enjoyment of life, because there is nothing better for a person under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad...”
I like to think that we Tanzanians took this literally. Two things Tanzanians absolutely love is good food and good company. The two are evidently two sides of the same coin.
I’d always see videos of girls dressed in cute, summery outfits and stepping out to brunch at some fine restaurant or even hosted by another, with all the culinary bells and whistles in place.
Until recently, I’d never attended one so elegantly set up until the Johari Rotana brunch experience hit my expectations and then some.
Over a nicely chilled glass of Freixenet Ice Rosé, I caught up with beauty queen and current Director of Marketing & Communications at Johari Rotana, Brigitte Alfred after she courteously extended an invite to brunch.
I figured my flowy floral dress was a tad overboard but as I stepped through the immaculately designed restaurant area, I had a little moment of reconsideration over my choice of outfit but felt right at home once I sat down.
It’s a lifestyle
“Brunch is a big deal in all our Rotana properties, we go big and bring out the best for our guests with high standards of service, food, drinks and the overall experience. We have always differentiated ourselves with the grandiosity of our brunch,” Bridget explained to me.
As I walked around the room, big and grand were just down the alleyway of how the entire brunch came together.
Brunching is a lifestyle – once you get a taste of it, there’ll be a certain nudge in you to repeat the experience. There is a fulfilment that comes with knowing your guests enjoyed every aspect of the brunch and your meals were equally appreciated.
Being a novice chef myself, I am familiar with the pressure that comes when creating a menu that will cater to all your guests. Depending on the duration of your event, the varieties of the main, side and even finger dishes in mind, you need to be considerate of those that may be vegetarian, kids, those who may be prone to certain allergens and so forth.
The dishes need to take into account prep time and the time they spend on the table, temperature, venue location and so much more. Phew! It’s a lot of work to feed people.
The Johari Rotana menu execution was flawlessly elegant and the creativity was jaw dropping. The varieties were so many that the African woman in me begun to worry about waste – blame cultural misguidance but it was amazing how the guests lapped up their choices heartily.
Executive Sous Chef at the hotel, Ramadhani Haruna was gracious enough to allow me insight into his kitchen and brunch preparations. The foodie in me is hopeful that he’ll allow me to cook with him one day.
“In my kitchen, I take adequate time to prepare scrumptious cuisines which will conquer the buds of my guest. I always make sure that I select the right ingredients and even go a step further to source out from different parts of the country and overseas,” said Chef Rama.
“The first factor that I consider is what my competitors are offering in terms of the setup of their brunches. Second to that is making varieties of cuisines which are able to stay long in the heating dish.”
“You’ve also seen food stations where the chefs were doing live meal preparations just to offer our guests an awesome experience. Last I have to make sure that the menu has options to cater people who are vegetarian and since Johari Rotana is a five star hotel, we have to prepare a multi-cuisine menu,” he explained.
The meal stations were named Sweet Temptation which consisted of all desserts and ice cream – a fondue fountain included; Bheri Puri which was Indian cuisine; the Salad bar; Vegetarian Club; Risotto Station for Italian cuisine; Lamb stir fry station and Roasted lamb leg station because meat cannot have just one station; a Pizza Station.
The Johari Rotana brunch was not just coming together for food, it was a complete experience of class, etiquette, world standard cuisine and under the relaxing sounds of Omary Saxophonist that accompanied you through your meal; it became a well-rounded experience for all your sensory organs. The bar has been set…