Like many Earls dishes this is a classic reinvented. The Prawn Dynamite Roll has been updated with the addition of mango, avacado, sriracha mayonnaise and a maple soy reduction. Almost every table we spotted had ordered a plate of these.
Chocolate Sticky Toffee Pudding - we've had a lot of sticky pudding lately (seems to be a fad) most of well, stodgy. This was a treat as it tasted more like a moist chocolate cake, light and fluffy.
From the minute we arrive the team at Earls Tin Palace are ready to greet us with smiles. Lauren Barr, Assistant Restaurant Leader and Chef Jason Gillies both introduce themselves and were eager to tell us about Earls. After some history of the company (did you know the first Earls opened in Edmonton), we have an aperitif of Rascal Down Under wine, made exclusively for Earls. "Chef's Table is a great way to learn about how we do things differently, its a nice night and a great time," says Barr. Adds chef Gillies, "It's a great way to give regulars more of a chance to see their food and newbies to discover us. It's also a way to touch the local community as people use them for charities or fundraising. We try to keep it along the line's of a fine dining chef's tasting."
From classics such as Hunan Kung Pao, to revisited dishes such as the prawn dynamite roll, to a dessert of chocolate sticky toffee pudding, the menu was enhanced with personal stories from chef Gillies about how, where and why the dish was made. Chef Gilles is a rarity among chefs - equally at ease with savoury and sweet. He was proud of the fact that Earls role in mentoring and fostering new talent. "I grew up at Earls. We have been on a journey of culinary knowledge and our menu reflects that. "
A standout for the night was the grapefruit margarita, brainchild of Mixologist Cameron Bogue, who was recently named Director of Mixology for Earls Kitchen + Bar. His philosophy about fresh juices made to order and homemade simple syrups have refreshed the cocktail offerings at the restaurant."I've never seen somebody speak so passionately about drinks. He's a breath of fresh air," says Gillies of Bogue. Using 100% agave tequila and made-to order juice the margartia was well balanced. Another great feature of the menu was the wine list with a selection of one price reds and whites listed from light to rich.
We love Chef's Tables - they are an interactive and incredibly personal dining experience. Earls' take on the concept is relaxing, jovial and just plain fun!
Catch more from the Chef's Table at Earls Kitchen and Bar in the Summer 2011 issue of City Style and Living Magazine.