Life often serves up surprises and for us, the best surprises are food-related.
This time the surprise was lunch at The Chaconia Hotel’s 106 RESTAURANT where we experienced a lovely meal in a restaurant that wasn’t even on our radar.
Chef Michael Paul’s double-duty lunch and dinner menu is straightforward with the starters, salads and soups coming in threes and two sandwiches, The 106 Roasted Club and The 106 Burger. Five pasta dishes round out the menu along with the Chicken Involtini, Honey & Ginger Grilled Salmon, Black Angus Filet Mignon and Roasted Rack of Lamb.
But the real story here isn’t the menu, it’s the Chef Paul’s careful execution of tried and true dishes like the Chicken Satay, Timballo Di Mozzarella, Chicken Involtini and Seafood Gnocchi. THE 106 RESTAURANT has something special going on as we loved every appetizer, entree and dessert that we tasted that day. Link to our pictures including the menu.
The Chicken Satay started us out on a high note. No dry or chewy chicken here, moist and flavourful were the order of the day. The chef applies a light touch, turning out a delicate sauce with a hint of nuttiness, not taking the peanut sauce moniker too literally. Each element of this dish was special right down to the lightly pickled cucumbers, a welcome complement to the spicy chicken. We finished this Chicken Satay wishing it was an entree rather than appetizer.
The second appetizer, Timballo Di Mozzarella, was also a winner because tomatoes, pesto and mozzarella cheese were made for each other. The tomatoes acted as the vessel for a tantalizing mashup of housemade pesto and mozzarella cheese, and then the whole thing is oven roasted rendering the tomatoes juicy and even sweeter.
The chef worked a little chicken magic for the second time with his Chicken Involtini, a dish we’ve had at other restaurants and events with widely divergent outcomes. Dry, undercooked and flavourless, we’ve seen this dish confound many chefs. At its best, this Italian classic should be moist, tender and full of flavour.
And the Chicken Involtini at THE 106 RESTAURANT was at its best that day with a crispy prosciutto blanket hiding moist chicken inside and herbs. Behold the plate-licking Chicken Involtini served with a lovely mashed potatoes (not from a pack!) and roasted vegetables below:
We turned our attention next to the Seafood Gnocchi. Made in house and glistening in the creamy rose sauce, the gnocchi was as soft and pillowy as it should be. We lapped up these bite-sized dumplings in between bites of shrimp, mussels and scallops.
As expected, we closed our lunch with the sweet stuff, a Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta drizzled with honey and an order of Tiramisu. Pictures were quickly taken and then we attacked the panna cotta. It was divine with the vanilla beans adding a subtle textural contrast to the silky creaminess that is panna cotta.
Not wanting to make the tiramisu feel lonely, we quickly dispensed with it, but it was the Vanilla Bean Panna Cotta that stole the dessert portion of the show at The 106 Restaurant.
Cuisine – International
Hours – Lunch & Dinner 11:30am-10pm, Monday-Sunday
Features/Good to Know– Full service; Full bar; Sandwiches and salads are available between 2:30pm and 6pm.
Address/Phone – Chaconia Hotel (Maraval, Trinidad); (868) 628-0941