Grilled Halloumi at Play, Food, & Wine (Version II)
A while ago, I posted a review of the excellent Grilled Halloumi at Play, Food & Wine, my favorite Wine Bar and Bistro in Ottawa’s Byward Market. On a subsequent visit, I was dining with a friend and I urged her to try it as I had really enjoyed it the first time. When it arrived, however, it was prepared quite differently and, luckily, I got to sample some. The result was nothing like the first, but every bit as good.
This time, instead of being served over celeriac with pomegranate and date puree, the grilled squares of cheese were placed on a bed of crisp, yet tender zucchini shreds with Kalamata olives and peanuts. It is a close call, but I think I would say that the plating job was as just as pretty as the original.
I am not sure, but I would hazard a guess that the shredded Zucchini was macerated with a little salt before being quickly fried, and I fancy a splash or two of Soy Sauce may have been added. However they did it, the flesh was nicely tender but still had a slightly crisp bite to it.
I though the Olives made for a very nice addition here. There was just a hint of tanginess to them that worked very well and the Peanuts provided a very pleasant textural counterpoint as well as a nice nutty background note.
As for the Halloumi, this was beautifully grilled. I have mentioned several times elsewhere that one of the pleasures of this cheese is that it does not melt and has a beautiful, almost ‘squeaky’ texture when you bit into it. The flavor is very delicate and grilling lends it a terrific smoky flavor that combines well with the lasty notes.
To be honest, I would be hard-pressed to say whether this version of Grilled Halloumi was better than the first, but I think it deserved a top-notch Rating of 5 out of 5.