Monday night was not only Halloween, it was also Oz Kafe‘s Industry Night.
It was witty and clever and fun. It was delicious and pretty. It was playful. It made all of us smile.
Oh yeah … and all that goodness and entertainment was brought to us by J & C from the Courtyard Restaurant.
J & C are: Curtis Luk, Justin Tse and Jag Dhillon; 3 guys that very obviously are not only talented, but have got great senses of humour.
I joined a pretty awesome group of people for this dinner … Charlotte (Whalesone), Anna (Mariposa), Kshonze (The Hintonburg Public House), Mark (Town), and Andrew (Lifford Wine Agency). We all looked at the menu and immediately started wondering … what the heck are we going to be eating??? I mean … we read kraft dinner, liver & onions, tuna casserole, BLT, pumpkin pie & cherry cobbler … was I really going to eat kraft dinner???
Monday’s meal was a dressed up version of all the classics … smart food made by very smart chefs. Kraft dinner came in the shape of fried mac & cheese, served with a slaw and a packet of ketchup (courtesy of our local Wendy’s). Cutting through the cube into the creamy macaroni noodles … contrasted to the crispy exterior … LOVED IT!Liver & onions – a liver terrine, served alongside a warm bacon jam (probably one of the best things I’ve ever tasted) and carmelized onions encrusted and deep-fried. It was fun to eat and so flavourful … I think this one was my favourite course … Tuna casserole – home-made cannelloni pasta, filled with a creamy tuna – corn filling and served with a broccoli purée and broccoli florets. Oh yeah … and the cannelloni was topped with crunchy panko crumbs (combined with spices) which created the perfect contrast to the soft noodle and filling.The BLT – I have to admit … my least favourite dish. Although it was one of Andrew’s favourites (he ate my left overs). Even though it wasn’t my favourite flavour profile, it was so cleverly plated … the lettuce was sautéed, topped with a fried tomato, which was then topped with a miso glazed pork belly. Accompanied by a peppercorn mayo (which Anna loved) … I thought it was esthetically beautiful. Pumpkin pie – a deconstructed pumpkin pie – the plate was beautiful. Streusel, cranberries infused in apple juice (delish!), caramel sauce generously drizzled over the plate and smashed whipped cream – the cream is whipped, placed in liquid nitrogen so that it firms up … the contrast of cold whipped cream that instantly melts in your mouth … sigh. To me … the smashed whipped cream was the genius on the plate. LOVED. FYI – Andrew loved this dish so much he ate 3 … yep. Charlotte and I couldn’t finish our plates – so he did the job for us.
The crew … Justin, Curtis and Jag.
I didn’t get a picture of the final course – the cherry cobbler macaron (it was served at the table and the lighting wasn’t great for pictures). It was very sweet … almost too intense. It reminded me of a cherry donut.
I hope these guys do this again. Only I hope that their next theme will be things asian people eat … I can only imagine how ingenious it would be. These guys are awesome and I think they did themselves very proud.