Everything heavenly at Sugar Mill
WESTERN BUREAU: Half Moon Sugar Mill's executive chef, Christopher Golding, awoke the senses with an offering of escoveitch salsa, pumpkin cream cheese and jerked eggplant sauces instead of butter, last Thursday night during the reopening of his fine-dining restaurant.
Primed to take foodies on a culinary journey during the Gleaner-sponsored Restaurant Week, come November 14 to 22, Golding gave RW Ambassador Douglas Gordon of OceanStyle fame and his wife, Arla, a sneak preview of what diners should expect during the week.
As if the delectable jerk chicken spring roll with pineapple papaya slaw and the smoked marlin and shrimp symphony were not enough to open the appetite, the award-winning chef unveiled a bite-size palate stimulator tagged Amuse Bouche, as a precursor to the flavourful sorrel purée, corn-fried melon, chive and Dijon mustard that played host to the seafood appetiser.
Of the two main appetisers, Gordon described how the sauce complemented the jerked chicken spring roll as a mix between tangy and sweet. "A perfect balance. In fact, although it has a lot of flavours, it's not too much and would be brilliant either with or without the sauce."
A robust conch and crayfish chowder soup with herb wafer and micro greens gets top points for reaching the spot of no return and was one of the most memorable dishes on this menu. Beautifully placed in the middle of the culinary excitement, it was Chef Golding's entrée selections that proved his prowess in the kitchen.
Obviously allowing his creative juices to roam freely, the Sugar Mill chef has selected to offer at least one very healthy entrée among the three from which to choose.
There is a black mint and ortanique poached chicken breast, which is "quite an interesting dish," said Gordon in-between tasting his wife's duo of pork, which is actually an allspice dusted pork medallion and jerk pork leg, served with plantain hash, garnished with pineapple rum and sorrel chutney.
Gordon complimented the chef on preparing a chicken breast that was succulent and flavourful, not dry, while Arla had a lot to say about the pork. "A good combination of the different types of pork. The sorrel chutney was excellent; so was the pineapple rum sauce. The chef seems to like to play with tangy and sweet."
A mouth-watering quinoa bacon-crusted snapper fillet, perched on an annatto curry broth, crabmeat, cow peas and cherry tomatoes, vegetables and sweet potato curls is the third option on this delightful Restaurant Week menu.
Sinfully decadent is the only way to describe the white chocolate and pumpkin bread pudding, garnished with pumpkin seed brittle, whipped honey mascarpone and caramel sauce.
Is there a dish you shouldn't have at Sugar Mill during Restaurant Week? Absolutely not. In fact, go as often as you can, not only for the food, but also for the ambience at this 50-year-old restaurant.