Wednesday, 26 February 2014

Battledish Kingston 2014

Battledish 2014

The Winter Marinated Sirloin at Windmills for Battledish 2014 - winner of 3 categories and international winner!
Having never been to a dishcrawl event or a culinary competition I was not really expecting to eat so well! At Battledish each participating restaurant prepared a dish to be judged - not by an elite panel of judges but by the public. In the allotted time the taste-testers make their way to each location at their leisure and taste each of the signature dishes and drinks. At the end of the allotted time everyone submits a vote and the winners progress to the International Battledish.

Jack Astor's: Our first stop was Jack Astor's for the Beauty and the Beast: beef and risotto topped with onion rings. This won most creative in my books because I can't say I've seen any chef come up with combining onion rings and risotto - a surprisingly tasty combination. The signature drink was a bacon caesar. Not being a huge fan of caesars I can't really weigh-in but I can say they did not skimp on the bacon which was encrusted with chocolate.

Jack Astor's signature dish The Beauty and the Beast

The Sunday Caesar at Jack Astor's

Milestone's: Our second stop was the highlight of the day at Milestone's. Chef Arden served us personally with piping hot Winter Marinated Sirloin, Mexican Hot Toddy and a Pomegranate Martini. The accents to the sirloin was what made this dish really shine - every ingredient was perfectly cooked and the flavours all complemented each other wonderfully. The crispy sweet potatoes, the butternut puree, and perfectly cooked green beens all came together to support the sirloin. 

Winter Marinated Sirloin at Milestone's

The Mexican Hot Toddy at Milestone's

Windmill's: Our next stop was Windmill's for a lychee martini and sauteed chorizo and mushroom escargot. I loved the lychee martini - it was light and refreshing. It's not too often that a fruity drink can be subtle and not overly sweet but this hit the nail on the head. 
The Soho Lychee Martini at Windmill's

Geneva Crepe Cafe: Our next stop was a dish I was looking forward to - the Bombay Crepe. This savoury crepe is on Geneva's regular menu and is a great mix of spicy and sweet flavours wrapped in a made-to-order crepe. At this point in the day I was really quite full and the crepe was not on the light side. The signature drink was the Bacon Chocoholic - a hot chocolate topped with bacon. The drink was a little on the sweet side for my taste but the rest of the taste-testers must have liked it as it won the drinks category! 
The winner of the best signature drink - the Bacon Chocoholic

The Bombay Crepe at Geneva Crepe Cafe

The Grizzly Grill: Our final stop was Maple Glazed Lamb Chops at the Grizz. The lamb was served with a medley of wild rice and butternut squash. I enjoyed the signature drink - the Tawny Apple  - it paired quite well with the lamb and was a great winter drink. 

The Tawny Apple at the Grizzly Grill

The Maple Glazed Lamb Chops at the Grizzly Grill

The Tawny Apple at the Grizzly Grill

Since I arrived a little late so I had to skip Sipp's but I spied other attendees with a full-sized piece of carrot cream cheese cake! A lot of people were so stuffed by the time they got to Sipp's they had to take their cake to go! I have to say next time I'll be arriving a lot earlier!

Overall the Battledish was a lot more fun, and filling, than I expected! Something about being able to be able to cast a vote gave a fresh aspect to the dining experience - it was fun playing culinary judge for the day! Next time I will definitely be showing up much earlier so I don't have to rush through the tastings - you can definitely stretch this into lunch and dinner as the portions were pretty generous. Next year I would love to see a vegetarian category as many of the dishes were very heavy on the meat.

Finally congratulations to Chef Arden at Milestone's for winning Most Modern Dish at the International Battledish 2014 - you deserve it!

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