Dining at Mercado

By: KAREN MBUGUA

During my stay at the Outrigger Resort, one of the highlights was the food. For five days our palates were enticed with flavour from the Far East, Americas and Mediterranean cuisine.

Mercado restaurant, where we had most of our meals, is designed with a concept which encourages guests to interact with the chefs throughout the exhibition kitchens.

There are live cooking stations where apart from the staples like rice, naan, salads and so on, one can creatively design their own meal. This was especially fun during the days pasta was on offer and through breakfast.

Currently being managed by former Michelin-rated chef Geert-Jan Vaartjes, who counts the Dutch royalty as his customers, the restaurant offers a wide selection of foods from around the world.

There is a particular day the guests stayed longer than usual during lunchtime. Why? Asian chef Tavan Ninnh, his assistant Akshay Ramsawak and commis Jaysing Ritesh prepared the most amazing pork I have ever tasted. Soft succulent cubes of pork belly marinated in several sauces and deep fried till crispy, I’m not ashamed to admit I went back for thirds. As did many of the other guests. (Recipe has been shared below).

It simply melted in my mouth to the point the feeling is indescribable. I was in foodie heaven. I even skipped dessert. There was simply no more space.

One thing that stood out is that the meals are fancy but made in a very simple manner that releases the flavours in a not so overwhelming manner.

Despite the hotel being more than amazing, I would definitely go back if only for the food.