Just over a week ago Tehya and I had the opportunity to sample some of the offerings from Chef Harrison Hennick at the preview for the launch of his new restaurant, Nique. The event was held at the “CoMotion on King” a stunning co-working space on King Street in downtown Hamilton. It was explained that Nique won’t be officially opening until the Fall of 2016, so we’ll have to wait to see if the space will match the astounding offerings on the plates.
With a lovely gathering of friends and colleagues in the Press and Social Media circle, we tucked into a wonderful night of pleasurable food, intriguing drinks and conversations fitting for when foodies gather. I must mention that I quite enjoyed seeing the creativity of Chef Harrison on display as he only had a deep fryer and hot plate (conduction burner) to work with, since the kitchen at CoMotion On King does not have a functional stove nor oven (I’m still envious of the kitchen though.. the natural light from the huge windows is stunning)
With Sangreezy (Gin + Herring cherry + plum wine + lemon + honey-cinnamon and pomegranate soda) in hand Chef Harrison introduced us to his signature Cauliflower and Poblano Hummus, served with toasted pita and fried bread, reminiscent of the fried roti my mom would make for us as kids on the islands. Topped with spiced olives, heavenly olive oil and pomegranate seeds, this hummus was conceptualized back when we had that cauliflower shortage last year, said Chef Harrison.
Next up was Tostones (fried semi-ripe plantains, smashed and fried again for the perfect chip) served with a piling heap of guacamole. I’ll be honest and reveal that while dramatic, it wasn’t anything special for me (bear in mind that this is my realm). Tehya on the other hand had nothing but GOOD things to say about the guacamole, especially since she seemed to have scored all of the thinly sliced jalapenos and pickled red onions, which were used as a topping.
By this time we were deep into another rounds of drinks – Sainte Victorie (Gin + Lemon + Blueberry -thyme and Prosecco) Which had some elements of a good Long Island iced tea, but as if on steroids. VERY stimulating and something you’d wish you had as you unwind on a hot summers day.
After voraciously going after he Crispy Cambodian Calamari it was at that very moment when all eyes, along with every camera and cellphone in the house went into action as the Sushi Nachos made an appearance (watch the video below) Quite impressed by both the presentation and those delightful pieces of tuna between the crispy fried wantons were exquisite.
The standout drink of the night (btw Chef Harrison, sign your mixologist to an immediate contract, she’s SKILLED) for me was the Thai Cat! Absolutely the best drink I’ve quaffed is quite some time.
By the time the Beet Fritters came we were already prime examples of gluttony. BUT.. one can always make room for Beignets (deep-fried choux pastry) which were served with Devonshire cream and fruit preserve. One thing I must mention about the Beet Fritters though.. luv the texture and natural sweetness of them.
I believe Chef Harrison mentioned that certain elements of the sampling menu this night were influenced by his Jewish upbringing, however I must say that it more felt as if he took us on a trip around the world. A delicious trip!
Fall can’t come soon enough Scratch that, lets enjoy Spring and Summer with an eager anticipation of the Fall opening of Nique! If this was just a sample of things to come, Hamilton is in store for yet another outstanding dining experience.
Stay tuned to Twitter for updates on Nique (@) as I’m sure you won’t want to miss out on all the latest news!