Last night I deviated from the typical “Jamaican Tuesday Night Stewed Peas” dinner and had a taste for something more oriental and made my way to the Zen Gardens at Hope Zoo for Chopstix. Choptix is the 3rd event of the Jamaica Food and Drink Festival that merges our Caribbean flavors with a bold Asian Oriental Flare.
When The Haute Lifestyle arrived at the venue, the first thing I noticed was the traditional Asian decor with hints of red throughout which featured paper lanterns, chopsticks and of course Dragons –it was as if just for a few moments I was transported to a quaint town in Japan’s or India’s beguiling ancient capital. Upon arrival, the venue was relatively empty and just starting to fill up which was perfect for scouting out the menu before deciding where to start.
The first stop was the Rainforest Seafood station which lured me in with a boatload (literally) of fresh Sashimi, but I insisted on starting with the miso soup and sampling the delicious Panko and 5 Spice Crusted Lobster chunks drizzled with a Hoisin Sauce prepared by Chef Evrol Ebanks.
|Hardo Bao filled with cabbage slaw and a choice of crispy chicken or crispy shrimp|
Next was the National Bakery station where Chef Christian Sweeney re-mixed the regular “Hard-Dough” Bread and served up a steamed Hardo Bao filled with cabbage slaw and a choice of crispy chicken or crispy shrimp (I chose Shrimp) and the flavors formed a melody in my mouth! Who knew a regular Hard-dough bread could taste so good and used to create something so fancy!
|Dragon Rolls from Sora Japanese|
I’ve always wanted to taste the Dragon Rolls from Sora Japanese Restaurant but didn’t fully muster up the courage, but last Wednesday was the perfect opportunity! The Double Dragon Roll is a twist on the Traditional Dragon Roll and Red Dragon Roll served with original Japanese Sushi Sauces was definitely my favorite of the night. All the flavors married well together and is well recommended for first time Sushi eaters. These bold flavors led me to the bar where limitless mixed drinks and cocktails were mines for the taking and I opted for a tropical-sweet mix to quell the spice from the dragon roll.
|The Dancing Dragons Team|
Just when I thought the night could not get better, sounds of drums filled the air which seemed to invite 2 red dancing dragons. This is known as the “Dragon Dance” often done in Chinese culture at festive celebrations.
The night ended with Desserts from Chocolate Dreams where Michelle Smith and her team offered a Japanese Cheesecake in Chocolate Cups, White Chocolate Bark with Pistachios, Walnuts and Almonds, Boozy Mini Chocolate Cupcakes.
Other noted Chefs of the night were: Allison Porter-Smalling, Lorraine Fung, Brian Lamon, Debe-Ann Lange-Chen, Nirvana Indian Fusion Cuisine, and Mystic Thai.
With one event down for (team Haute), we make our way Downtown on Thursday, October 25, 2018, at the Festive Market Place for the 4th event dubbed as Crisp. #followusdowntown #crisp