Save for the Seven Seas Restaurant over at the Sheraton Kampala Hotel, to the best of my knowledge, hardly any dining establishments offer the Surf and Turf menu here in Uganda. Which brings to mind the question of just what exactly is surf and turf? In realty this dining is simply a main course that combines seafood paired with red meat. The choice of seafood may be lobster, prawns or shrimp and these may be steamed, grilled or even breaded and then deep fried.
The origin of the surf and turf concept dates back to the 1960s when steak and seafood meals became the rage all across the United States of America. During those years I was in my teens and living in The Big Apple the popular sobriquet for New York City, and recall visiting Gallagher’s Steakhouse on 228 West 52nd Street, NY, famous for their prime steaks. Anyway, around that time, steak houses including the famous Gallagher’s, came up with the idea of lobster tails with beef, calling the combination surf ‘n turf, beef ‘n turf, beef ‘n reef, et al.
Over time, surf and turf became a dish that was more suited to a middle to upper class establishment such as The Four Seasons or Club 21 which ran tongue-in-cheek adverts intimating that their ‘Beef and Reef’ platter was ideal for ‘executives who are tired of making important decisions.’
The popularity of lobster tails paired with steak continued unabated until the late 90s with the S&T combo rapidly diminishing and today is neither a hot potato nor a restaurant sensation of yesteryear.
Last week, fellow trencherman and I had the pleasure of being invited to check out the Seven Seas Surf and Turf menu that to my way of thinking, is a gastronomical gem for those who are adventurous and willing to try the combination.
Wisely, they have a mere handful of items from which to choose allowing the chef maximum time to prepare the meal while at the same time ensuring that the food is always fresh.
I ordered the beef fillet and grilled prawns with mashed potatoes and béarnaise sauce. The steak was tender and juicy and truly gargantuan while the prawns were three in total and served with the mashed potatoes I was impressed. However, I would have preferred the béarnaise to be served on the side rather than with the mashed potatoes; other than that, it was a very worthwhile choice.
A fellow trencherman was thoroughly enthralled with the beef skewers, short ribs and chili prawns served with steamed vegetables, buttered potatoes and a mayo dip. Sous chef de cuisine William Kakama held forte in the kitchen that night and judging by his performance, he definitely has talent and a love for what he is doing.
The service at the Seven Seas Restaurant is never a disappointment and one is never left in doubt that they are truly a 5-star hotel in every sense of the word.
Place: Sheraton Kampala Hotel, Seven Seas Restaurant –Surf & Turf
Address: Ternan Avenue
The space: A great restaurant
The crowd: Mainly expats and hotel guests
The bar: A wide variety as would be expected from a first rate hotel
The damage: Prixe fixe shs120,000 per person inclusive of taxes and service charges including wine.
Sound level: Very good
Parking: Always available and secure.
Name of the event: Surf & Turf
Smoke free zone: Allowed outdoors
What we liked: The service. The staff are caring and professional
If you go: Daily
Rating: Not to be missed
Tortilla of shrimp and beef sirloin
With chimichurri salsa, aioli sauce and crispy onions
Beef skewers, short ribs and chili prawns
With vegetables, mashed potatoes and spicy mayo dip
Beef fillet & grilled prawns
With mashed potatoes and béarnaise sauce
Beef tournedos & grilled lobster
With buttered potatoes and herb butter
Quereu cabernet sauvignon –Chile
Hardy’s vr Shiraz Australia
Quereu Sauvignon blanc—Chile
Kiwi cuvee pinot grigie—France