Food & Wine – Quick Bites #7

May 31, 2010

Time to pick back up with our perambulation around the World Showcase during the 2009 Epcot Food & Wine Festival… gotta get this puppy finished before this year’s event starts after all…


We left off down under in Australia, so we have to make our way all the way to Thailand…


In Bangkok (no silly comments – grow up, would you?) we have only a couple of choices, but both were pretty darn good, so we’ll have no complaints about the paucity of choices.


First up was a creamy Chicken and Coconut Soup with Mushrooms, Lemongrass & Ginger. The “creamy” comes from coconut milk, with great flavor in the broth added by the ginger and lemongrass. This is a fairly representative Thai soup, and was well done.

Chicken and Coconut Soup with Mushrooms, Lemongrass & Ginger and Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp

The other dish here was Green Papaya Salad with Shrimp. One large and freshly-grilled shrimp sits atop a julienned and dressed mixture of papaya, carrots and onion. The shrimp was perfectly cooked, and the crunchy salad was a nice contrast.

The only complaint I could possibly have was that there could have been a bit more spice (heat) for my tastes, but overall I think the food here was great. Okay, I will complain a little that we only had two dishes… but just a little…

And yes, there was Thai Singha Beer… life is good….

Now we make our way from Asia to the bottom of Africa, specifically Cape Town, South Africa.

We discussed this booth quite a bit in the post Mission Impossible??? (and yes, you can go back and read, or re-read that post, now can’t you?), so we’ll revisit here only briefly…

Again here we only had two menu choices, but like Thailand, they were both winners…

For a starter we have the unfortunately named Mealie Soup with Crabmeat and Chili Oil (mealie actually is a South American word for corn…). Thick and flavorful, this hot soup would have been much better if it hadn’t been something like 1,000 degrees out during most of Food & Wine…

Mealie Soup with Crabmeat and Chili Oil and Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree and Mango Barbeque Sauce

And also available was a hearty Seared Beef Tenderloin with Sweet Potato Puree and Mango Barbeque Sauce. Grilled in the booth, the beef was done nicely, and the sweet potato was something nicely different from the usual potato side. The sauce was a bit sweet for my taste, but not horribly so…

A nice selection of South African wines rounded out the offerings here.

Again, for a more detailed look at the Cape Town culinary creations, take a peek at Mission Impossible???

Next around the way, we cross the bridge from Africa to the subcontinent of India for a visit to New Delhi.

I’ll say up front that I’ve been disappointed in the past with the Indian offerings during Food & Wine. Indian cuisine is one of my favorites – perhaps my number one – so maybe I’ve had unrealistic hopes here before…

First on the menu was a Chilled Mango Lassi – a popular yogurt-based drink. Didn’t try this one, don’t know why as the cold beverage would likely have been refreshing on the hot days of October…

I did have the one savory item presented here, the Rice and Lentil Crepe with Potato and Onion Filling. The crepe is better known as Dosai, and is a thin, slightly crispy, pancake-like concoction (often served in restaurants pretty darn crispy, and rolled into a long cylinder). This was folded over the potato filling and on the side was a stewed veggie concoction (according to the recipe in the Festival cookbook it contained, among other things, tomato, onion, eggplant and potatoes). The stew was actually nicely spicy (of course, not quite hot enough for moi as usual) and flavorful – I was pleasantly surprised how much I wound up liking this dish!

Rice and Lentil Crepe with Potato and Onion Filling

The sweet item here was Gulab Juman with Rose Syrup and Pistachios – read that as fried dough in a sweet syrup – actually not bad, especially since India isn’t exactly world-renowned for it’s desserts…

And yes, there was Kingfisher…

I was much happier this year than in years past with the Indian booth, but I’m still mystified as to why we’re not served some sort of curry, or even a rice-based dish like a Biryani… curries should be really easy to prep and serve in this type of environment, and no, I wouldn’t expect a throat-searing Vindaloo, but a nice creamy Korma should prove popular… oh well, we can hope for even better this year, can’t we?

We’ll pause here for a bit on our tour, hit the loo so we can make room for a Tsing Tao… yes China is next…

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