A Culinary Super 'Nova'

Thursday, April 17, 2014    

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As one of the capital city's finer dining establishments, Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel takes no shortcuts to culinary excellence: it's either top-flight fare or a no-go.

Keeping apace with recent renovation upgrades of the hotel, which have seen room makeovers; the opening of the popular watering hole Regency Bar & Lounge; and a recently launched pâtisserie, there are now tweaks to the menu of The Regency, Terra Nova's A-class dining room that has been a deserving recipient of Jamaica Observer Food Awards on repeat occasions in the prestigious ceremony's 15-year history.

The genteel and gracious Michelle Hussey, general manager of the Waterloo Road property, issued an invitation to the Food Awards judging panel, two Mondays ago, to sample the Regency restaurant's new French-inspired menu options.

The evening commenced with sparkling sangria cocktails in the Bar & Lounge with the judges ensconced in the gilded booths, trading bon mots as elegant waiters passed trays of delectable canapés.

The party of 12 was then ushered to their table for a divine six-course dinner, which drew culinary inspiration from the late celebrated French chef Auguste Escoffier, and had made its debut weeks earlier at a Chaîne des Rôtisseurs event the hotel played host to.

Introduced by the hotel's food and beverage consultant, interior designer and stylist Ardelle dalla Costa, the fare that graced the table was nothing short of exquisite cuisine.

Dinner opened with a beautifully styled plate of six hors d'oeuvres -- gribiche, pork rillette, boudin blanc, mousse de saumon froid en barquette and egg benedictine, which stimulated the palette with a pleasing mix of rich flavours.

Thsi was followed by oxtail consommé. The beloved traditional meat was presented as a soup stock and impressed for its sheer ingenuity, and paired with Harvey's Bristol Cream Sherry.

The well-received courses to follow included a fish course (fillet de sole daumont), meat (Duck confit à l'orange with Duchesse of sweet potato), salad (a picture-perfect and tasty Salad Irma) and the dessert capper (bombe ceylan). Each course was paired with vino selections from wine and spirits purveyor, Betco Premier Limited, who has partnered with Terra Nova to showcase their sips on the new menu.

Judgement was passed. Applause was instantaneous as the humble executive chef Kenard Swaby appeared to thank the table, and take a well-earned bow for his super-efficient team.

Thursday Life recommends the Regency's reinvented menu, and shares moments from our magnificent dining experience.

-- Omar Tomlinson

(Photos: Lionel Rookwood)

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