The warm Wednesday evening in July was just the perfect time to truly indulge in some of the tasty dishes The Wheatbaker Hotel was about to add to its new menu at The Grill Room, the hotel’s a la carte restaurant. Soft music was playing in the background as I walked into the hotel lobby to join other VIP guests for an evening of exquisite food tasting.
The hotel’s sales and marketing manager, Adeniyi Ladipo, was on hand to welcome me. He signalled to a waiter to take my drink order to kick off the night while we await other guests. True to the hospitable nature of the hotel, the waiter served a cocktail of fruit drink accompanied by crunchy peanuts, plantain chips and olives. While nibbling on those, Niyi told us it was time to move into The Grill Room. There, champagne was served with canapés for cocktail.
The canapés were a selection of Mint and Pea Rissoto, Lamb Bobotie and Avocado Ritz on Bruchette prepared by the in-house chef Jannie Melis.
Before long, other VIP guests like comedian Okey Bakassi and On-Air Personality, Chukwuma Aligwekwe, also known as, Chico, of Classic FM and, our hosts for the evening, Simon Grindrod, general manager, The Wheatbaker Hotel, Adeniyi Ladipo, the sales and marketing manager and other media personalities, joined us. We all later took our seats at the well laid table as Grindrod welcomed us.
It is in the hotel’s tradition explained Grindrod to introduce new dishes to its menu every six months as part of its plans to treat customers to finest cuisines.
“It is with great pleasure I welcome you here tonight. The meals you will experience are made with locally sourced ingredients and they are curated by our chef. I hope you enjoy tasting them,” said Grindrod.
The dinner kicked off with Amuse-Bouche, steak wrapped in herbs with a dash of tasty sauce. Next on the menu was Prawn Tom Yum soup, a very spicy fragrant prawn soup that went down well with bread and a dollop of margarine. It was a good combo that set the tone for other cuisines to follow. Starter for the night was Smoked Salmon and Asparagus Delight. The salmon was a mousse paired with an asparagus terrine and caper remoulade. The plating for this dish was great and it looks really inviting. The asparagus was plated differently from the usual long leafy greens.
The main menu for the evening was Sticky Braised Pork Belly in an Asian Broth with noodles and pak choi. Almost everyone fell in love with this dish. The pork was well cooked as the fat melted in the mouth while the noodles were well saturated in the broth. One could taste every ingredient used in the dish.
The second main dish that evening was Slow Roasted Rack of Lamb, Sauté Spinach, Roast Potato and Herb Infused Sauce. The lamb tasted heavenly as the herbs used in its preparation were well marinated and I could taste them with each bite. The roast potatoes blended perfectly with the spinach. It is a tasty dish worth trying.
The dinner was wrapped up with two desserts a Pistachio Chocolate Brownie served with mixed berry compote and vanilla ice cream and Macaroon Delight a combination of peach jelly and berry coulis.
“At The Wheatbaker Hotel we pride ourselves in great customer experience. It is the experience that we sell to our customers. We always want them to come back here. As you could see in what you experienced here tonight. It is all about excellent service and customer experience,” said Niyi Ladipo, the sales and marketing manager.
In all, the seven dishes were really a delight and it won’t be a bad idea to try them out when next you are at The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi.