Rain brought me to the University of Technology last week, home of Lillian’s Restaurant, a participant in this year’s Restaurant Week celebrations. I hadn’t seen rain like that in weeks and of course your home girl was dress to the nine for a very dry and sunny day.
The funny thing about it was that the day started off hot and sunny. I even stopped to take a few pics and sat under a tree watching life go by. Never-the-less rain or shine was not going to stop me from keeping my lunch appointment, and I was so excited to try the new menu they created for Restaurant Week 2015.
So here’s some history on the prestigious Lillian’s Restaurant. Lillian’s is the official training restaurant for the School of Hospitality and Tourism Management and is located by the Sculpture Park of University of Technology Kingston Jamaica. It has an open rustic Caribbean feel with a view of the artistic works in the Park. Classified as a fine dining restaurant, it can seat up to 60 persons comfortably on the dining terrace with standing room for 140 persons.
On the day in question, I had three meals, one appetiser and two entrées from their new Menu, created by Head Chef Carl Thomas, for RW2015 slated to begin November 13-21, 2015. One of the major things that always appeals to me, as you all know by now I am all about “Buy Jamaica” is that each year Lillian’s has successfully been able to keep their ingredients in their dishes local.
So lets get down to business I am going use the very fun and quip rating from RW.
1 – Let’s try another place next time.
5 – Yeah, we could try this again.
10 – This needs to be my last meal on Earth.
Using these ratings, we’ll be judging on Presentation and Taste, so let us “Dig In”.
Salt Fish Tostones – Appetiser
Twice Fried Plantain Topped with Flaked Salted Fish Marinated with Onions and Pepper in Spicy Vinaigrette with a Honey Mayo, as so flamboyantly described on their website.
The onions in this were a little overbearing for me; it took away in the first bite the saltiness of the saltfish and the hint of sweetness the plantains gave. All the seasoning and spices together made an appetising impact though
I loved the presentation the garnishes gave it a rustic look along with the vibrant colours that complimented each other
Creamy Chicken Sauté – Entree 1
Breast of Chicken Stuffed with Seasoned Cream Cheese and Cranberries, Sautéed.
My favourite dish of all! This tender and oh so juicy chicken breast stuffed with cream cheese and cranberry. The cream cheese reduced the acidity of the cranberry and complimented each other making the chicken and mango glaze and all the season, a delicious explosion on your taste buds. The Stuffed Chicken breast served with mash plantains that brought a touch of sweetness and drew the whole dish together. I am still licking my plate, fingers and fork.
The plating was clean and appealing with the similar garnish from the previous dish.
Peppercorn Crusted Beef
Pepper Crusted Beef Medallion, Seared then Finished in the Oven. Drizzled with Jus Lié
I love a Beef Medallion, but I was not completely sold on this one it was topped with peppercorns. Peppercorns are a bit overbearing for me as it had a rough and crunchy feel. The Beef was a little underdone for me as well that I won’t blame on the chef at all as I did not indicate my preference. The dish was served with a Red Wine reduction sauce made from beef trimmings and fresh thyme, delightful! The meal was tasty but I was not at all too happy with the bite the peppercorns left, if you have a problem with chunky pieces of peppercorn in your mouth then you might have to choose another entree.
Again this meal along with all the entrees will be served with mashed ripe plantains with the option of rice of the day
I have rated all the presentations at nine because I truly loved them all. The two words that came to mind is rustic chic, like a modern day biker jacket over a lace dress.
My recommendation in totality is; if you are looking for a tasty, rustic and fine dining restaurant to go to for this #RW2015 that will not break your budget, then you will be in safe hands at Lillian’s Restaurant and Chef Carl Thomas. This location has a long-standing reputation for stellar customer service and now with a menu that is engineered with locally grown produce it is bound to be a treat!
I must warn though parking on a university campus is horrendous in the daytime, it is a University after all. In the evenings the car park will be more vacant as the days’ traffic head home. Lillian’s full menu can be fond here, and the #RW2015 complete restaurant listing can be found here. Don’t forget to try out their new Breakfast category dubbed Morning Bites.
Overall Lillian’s is must stop location on your restaurant weeks travels. Enjoy and Dig in!