Video: New Year,new menu!

Thursday, December 27, 2018

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Very few ocassions are as rife with indecision, overpriced events and crowded rooms as New Year's. Just thinking about it makes some folk reach for valium. Life in Jamaica is tough enough, so figuring out where to dine on New Year's Eve shouldn't be. Here comes Fromage Bistro to the rescue.

Fromage, the award-winning Kingston resto located on Hillcrest Avenue, recently launched its new menu and, like the old one we're accustomed to, this one is filled with knockout dishes. The dishes reflect that feasting is a year-round activity at Fromage. Were you to go for New Year's Eve lunch or an early dinner, we suggest you have the bacon-wrapped prawns, Tuscan pasta, crab and shrimp fried rice, stout-glazed ribs, Beef & Reef, mac & cheese burger and the Coco Loco carrot cake sundae.

Bacon-wrapped prawns are great to share. Get a few orders! these bites are really good and who doesn't love bacon? Oh, does the bacon snap! And the generous slick of maple syrup complements the plump, juicy and flavourful shrimp.

The Tuscan pasta doesn't replace the experience of being on a yacht in the middle of the Ligurian Sea, but it comes close. The creamy tomato sauce is rich, deep and moreish, just bursting with umami. This is a dish that has been created from the building of flavours, and there are almost equal amounts of grilled chicken, shrimp and slices of Italian sausage as there is al dente penne. The mac & cheese burger won over hundreds of hearts at KGN Kitchen, and restaurant principals Lisa-Gay and Kirk Chin took this as a sign to add it to Fromage's menu. And boy, are we glad! This dish should be eaten under a napkin (à la ortolan) to hide from God because it's sinfully delicious. Creamy shell pasta enrobed in a gooey, cheesy and delicious housemade sauce is placed atop a well-seasoned hand-shaped burger patty. If that's not enough there's bacon. The whole thing is sandwiched between a fresh bakery poppy seed bun. Be sure to order the parmesan frites as the side!

Arguably one of the best dishes Thursday Food has had this year is the Thai-style crab and shrimp fried rice. When it arrives at the table the scent of sesame oil and scallions perfumes the air. The dish is perfect. Cut the sunny-side-up egg that tops the bowl of tasty seafood fried rice, mix it in and enjoy perfect bite after perfect bite. This dish satisfies a longing that, until that moment, you were unaware of possessing.

The stout-glazed ribs were as delicious and filling as they were messy. Not that we are complaining. It's the kind of dish that really allows the diner to have fun. Put your guards down, pick the rib up and allow the meat to fall off the bone right into your mouth. The stout reduction glaze has notes of toasted caramel and dark chocolate that cross over into savoury territory due to deft handling by the kitchen stewarded by head chef Craig Townsend.

Beef and Reef is Fromage's play on surf and turf, but wordplay is where the shenanigans stop. This is a serious dish. An eight-ounce piece of tenderloin is rubbed with Blue Mountain coffee, seared, placed atop a potato croquette, then topped with a pair of shrimp, dressed with béarnaise and drizzled with balsamic reduction. This dish is, as the kids say, baller!

For dessert, the Coco Loco carrot cake sundae is a great choice. Moist spiced carrot loaf is topped with vanilla ice cream and toasted coconut flakes. The whole thing is drizzled with dulce de leche and when all four elements are combined it's out of this world. Again, don't expect folks to share.

Fromage understands how to create dishes that its patrons will love. The Chins have a loyal following and with this new menu they have expanded their offerings and have given their customers more dishes to delight in. So, as the frisson of excitement of the coming New Year looms, Fromage will ensure that your last meal of 2018 will be unforgettable. Salut!

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