Lifestyle

Chopstix... Oriental with a twist

Thursday, November 07, 2019

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It was 'mein' madness at Zen Lawns, Hope Gardens last Wednesday as Asian food lovers turned out for the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival's (JFDF's) Chopstix. The event, which presented a slew of oriental dishes “with a twist”, featured 10 chef stations had tasty treats for Chinese cuisine connoisseurs as well as Chopstix newbies who saw the event as the perfect baptism into the coveted club.

Sagicor Life came out swinging with Dim Sum Bar, an elevated booth that featured a buffet with helpful servers on the line. Lorraine Fung's Char Siu Pork, cut into long slivers, was sweet, sticky and savoury. The bar, positioned next to the entrance, enjoyed long lines all evening as word spread about the delicious offerings. The Rainforest Seafoods station featuring Eliseo Caligua also reigned supreme in the popularity race. The popular spot had their marketing manager, Bethany Young, serving up Rainbow Rolls from behind the counter.

Sora Japanese Restaurant had a Fyah Turner Shrimp Roll Sushi platter with Japanese spicy sauce that gave patrons an opportunity to show off their chopstick skills. And Mystic Thai chef Vikas Singh served Panang Lobster Curry with Jasmine Rice.

Coca-Cola featuring Simon Levy delighted patrons with a moreish Five Spiced Smoked and Coca-Cola-marinated pork belly served with Coca-Cola teriyaki sauce, Japanese sticky rice, sesame scallion sauce and smoked paprika. The combination was simply delish and paired well with the Cola Jito — mojito with a tap of Coca-Cola and Absolut.

There were three options to choose from at the Noodles n Naan featuring Debe Chen station. The Char Siu and spicy noodles kept flying off the counter. The Shrimp Doubles and Char Siu and sesame noodles with garlic string beans were popular among Chopstix loyalists, as well. Christina Simonitsch's Bnh Mi G proved to be 'the twist' that Thursday Food had been hearing about. The meal was like no other at Chopstix and was chicken banh mi with pickled carrots and cucumber, fresh herbs and roasted garlic aioli enveloped in a freshly baked bread. To top it off Simonitsch offered Kem C Ph Trung Vit Nam, a Vietnamese coffee ice cream.

Tamarind Restaurant's Garlic Butter Shrimp served on a cheese stuffed naan was divine and Marcia Charlebois' Weeping Tiger Beef with Seaweed Rice was a delicious treat. Chef Haleem Card's tamarind BBQ chicken thighs with coconut and lemongrass jasmine rice took the palate on a flavourful ride.

The Dawn Mitchell station boasted four desserts that had food lovers swooning over their options. The Khao Niaow Ma Mung (coconut rice pudding with mango); Che Thai (fruit salad with tapioca pearls and jackfruit), Jian Dui (fried sesame balls with red bean paste); and Dan Tat (Hong Kong Egg Tarts) were all crowd-pleasers.

Chopstix, Oriental with a Twist was melting pot of flavours from all corners of Asia that patrons truly enjoyed.


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