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Bon Appetite

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Restaurants are retailers of prepared foods and an industry that has been fast growing in the past years but has behind the scene and not given much attention.

 As we are moving closer to the 2022 vision SCENE wanted to do an issue to observe if this growing industry is any closer to first world standards, it is for this reason that we decided to interview Head Chef of the beautiful new Open House Boutique Hotel.

Experience
 
The Open House Boutique hotel has a very talented Chef is what made him stand out from the many candidates who wanted to come and head the kitchen of this very prestigious hotel restaurant. 
The Head Chef Philip Hlophe said the directors picked him because of his experience in the field working in many luxury hotels around the country. “I have very good cooking skills and I take my work as a form of art which captivates many of the dinners that come to eat at the restaurant” he stated. Chef Philip has the privilege and opportunity to cook for a lot of well known dignitaries and honourable people and he has also had the chance to be one of the chefs that cook at the King’s garden party in previous years. He is educated in many international dishes that are sure to tingle your taste buds and that is what keeps their clientele at Open house Boutique coming back to the restaurant.
Restaurant
 
Regarding the restaurant, Open House Boutique is the newest, fanciest, flashiest restaurant in the city of Manzini.
 It provides the fullest expression of a five star restaurant from their romantic lighting, unique decoration, high quality furniture and polite staff. 
The restaurant offers an Ala Carte menu and they stay current with food trends by offering different cuisines from European, Asian and Mauritian but also offer local Swazi cuisine to cater for locals. “ the restaurant made to define the term fine dining so we make sure that our tables have crisp white table cloths and our waiters are dressed the part in tuxedos” he stated, SCENE was impressed by how the restaurant pays careful attention to finer details that is why we wanted to know how the restaurant manages to do this. “We realised as a team that customer loyalty is gained through good service and being attentive”. He further mentioned that they go by this by escorting patrons to their tables and holding the chair for woman, escorting patrons to the loo when one is needed and explaining the menu items without notes. 
The restaurant strives to leave a lasting impression on their customers, as they make sure to keep up with international standards. Chef Philip says what their customers love about the restaurant is its sweet intimate set up and privacy that they get when at the restaurant; also they try to meet all the needs of the client. He mentioned that when they have foreign guests they sometimes want specific dishes from their native country and they try by all means to satisfy that request. The restaurant ensures their customers enjoy new delicious flavours and creative cuisines of fine dining and create a home away from home atmosphere.
Dish of the Day
 
The chef and his kitchen crew then created dishes to show us exactly what they do in the kitchen and the whole process. 
They first made a starter called the garden salad, this is a crunchy and colourful salad with a mix of green lettuce leafs, peppers, onions and olives. It is the perfect starter to a great meal. The main course dish made was fish vindaye. This is a Mauritian / French dish and is one of Chef Philip’s signature dishes. The name itself will have your mouth watering. They fry king klip in a small amount of olive oil, their main focus is for the food to taste good but still be healthy, add strings of onions and half cooked potatoes are added with finely chopped peppers tossed into the pan. 
There’s whole grain mustard, english mustard and turmeric all stirred in along with oyster sauce beautifully added together. He then adds a garnish on it when put on plate and it is served with mash potatoes and seasonal veggies. SCENE had to agree that the dish was inviting and presented in a very artsy way and was palatable.  Not only does the Open House Boutique restaurant have one of the best chefs in the country but their food is appetizing and keeps up to standard with luxury restaurants within and outside of the country.
 
Team work
 
As the saying goes’’ team work makes the dream work’’. 
The whole kitchen works together perfectly as a team to bring about a fabulous meal as the end product. Being the head chef it is his responsibility to make sure that everything in the creation process of all the meals in the kitchen move along smoothly and that the end product is at par with international standards that the restaurant is trying to keep up with. As the head chef he deleagtes different jobs in the kitchen to make sure that the customers wait for their food is as short as possible. From SCENE’s observation he makes sure that the team is in high spirits and enthusiastic about cooking. So to create an outstanding end product of the dish the prepare being the head chef is not only about creating good food but also making sure that the whole kitchen crew stays motivated.
 
n 300 g king klip fish medium cubed
n 1 onion finely chopped
n 1 green pepper finely chopped
n 1 red pepper finely chopped
n 1 yellow pepper finely chopped
n 1 potato medium cubed
n 1 garlic clove crushed
n ½ spoon of English mustard
n 1  spoon whole grain mustard
n ½  spoon of turmeric 
n 100 ml vinegar
n 60ml oyster sauce
n Fish or olive oil
 
Method
1. Fry king klip for approximately 7 mins until cooked.
2. Meanwhile pre-heat oil in a large sauce pan on medium-high heat. Add onion stirring for 2 mins until brown.
3. Add cubed half cooked potatoes with finely cubed green, yellow & red peppers stir for 3 mins, add crushed garlic and stir for 2 mins until it simmers.
4. Add whole grain mustard, English mustard & turmeric stir until it blends in, add vinegar, oyster sauce then add the fish and gently mix ingredients. Add season to taste.
5. Adjust the heat low, leave it to simmer for 3-4 minutes.
6. Serve with mash potatoes & seasonal veggies.
 
 

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