Alan Murungi is the head chef, master brewer and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Sierra Brasserie popularly known as Sierra Bar & Grill, located on the second floor of Yaya Centre in Upper Hill, Nairobi.
The cosy and utterly sophisticated restaurant which plays soft and soulful jazz music is considered one of the best family and date night spots in Nairobi.
Murungi once took a trip to Bangkok, Thailand. While enjoying a meal at a local sushi joint, the setting and experience got to him, setting him on a path to the hospitality industry.
For starters, he signed up for a Master Brewer’s programme at the University of California. One year later, he worked as the manager of a brewery at a local restaurant in San Francisco. He had planned to open his own restaurant before relocating back to Kenya.
Just like the French, Murungi insists that a good chef must be big on quality and attention to detail. He notes that France has to be his best food destination.
The head chef further adds that his dining experiences in South Africa, Hong Kong, and other three star Michelin establishments in France shaped his palate and Menu.
Sierra Bar & Grill has cloaked wood tables, black seats and brick wall inspired by designs Murungi saw during a trip to New York. The main dining room has warm amber lighting, wooden floors, mirrors and timeless art pieces.
According to Murungi whose menu focuses on the classics, there’s no such thing as the perfect burger, only an ideal one. He describes his burgers as little steaks on buns.
Murungi is also a farmer and thus, all the meat used at Sierra Bar & Grill for their burgers and steaks comes from his farm. They use cuts of pure angus, age the meat for 21 days and use a secret blend of ingredients, which took him a year to develop, in their mince meat patties.
The restaurant makes its own mayonnaise, tomato chutney and buns. It is also famed for its bacon and cheese burger.
Murungi boasts vast knowledge in wine and sources his drinks directly from vineyards in South Africa.
For date night, the experienced head chef recommends a medium rare rib eye steak dressed in their famous truffled mushroom sauce accompanied with a bottle of Titanic cabernet sauvignon.
During an interview with Business Daily, he revealed that his last meal would be sushituna and a cold refreshing glass of his very own brewed Sierra Blonde.