Roasted Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies - Australia - to the right of the Port of Entry.
Two years ago I was at the Food and Wine Festival by myself. I sauntered over to Australia and saw this wonderful lamb chop with a mint sauce. I ate one, called my wife to tell here I finally found the best food at the F&W and ordered it again on my second walk around World Showcase. It was so wonderfully succulent, juicy, sweet, savory, and throw in every other wonderful adjective.
This time around, I was very pleased when one reader said they wanted to know if it was any good. This was a throwaway. I was eating this anyway! I wish I had saved my money.
The chop was much smaller than the last two years. They have always been a single bite but this was more or less like half a bite at best. While it was tender, it lacked any presentation at all. That was the first thing I noticed. The lack of presentation.
The mint pesto was minimal. A hint at best. In fact, I hardly remember it at all. Too much non-cooked fat around the edges of the chop and what is refereed to as a Potato Crunchies is literally what you would find in the bottom of a chips bag. Broken potato chips with no flavor. This was a textural addition only as they added no other value to the flavor of the dish. An unnecessary crunch that neither hurt nor enhanced the dish. They were just there.
Overall, my disappointment in this dish can't be measured. Throwing it away after one bit felt far more like a waste of money than it did throwing away something I couldn't live without. In fact, next year, it likely won't be on my list at all. It shouldn't be on yours.
Grilled Sweet and Spicy Bush Berry Shrimp with pepper, onion, and snap peas in a coconut chili sauce.
Here is a two for one since I ordered the shrimp dish in Australia as well. The star of the dish is the shrimp. They were juicy and plump and seasoned well but nothing else stood out. Once the shrimp were gone, you were left with a bowl of crisp beans that were nearly undercooked and chopped vegetables. It wasn't overly spicy and I tasted no hint of coconut which would have brought a welcomed sweet addition to the dish which I think they wanted but failed to achiever.