Earlier this month, I hyped the goings-on down at the Vegas Test Kitchen; specifically, the special Honey Salt pop-up as part of the Guest Chef Series, featuring Kim Canteenwalla & Friends.  Then, I went and tried it.  Seeing as the results were even better than I expected, I feel it bears sharing with y’all, so you can sign-up for the last of these four weekly Wednesday night takeovers, going down on Wednesday, April 21.

As mentioned, Kim Canteenwalla & Friends—the Friends being longtime kitchen comrades Sven Mead, Todd Harrington, and Justin Nilson—are presenting two culinary concepts for your dining pleasure: Play Dough (think: pierogis, pastries, and pies) and Picks, Sticks & Fingers (think: global skewers and finger foods).  These are served based on your ordering whims and certainly provide a cavalcade of sweet and savory flavors that tickled my palate in the most wonderful ways.

Here’s what I enjoyed from each of the absurdly expansive menus:

Play Dough

  • Yukon Gold Potato Pierogi with caramelized onions and horseradish crème fraiche
  • Vegetable Samosa with coriander and mint chutney
  • Shepherd’s Pie with wagyu beef, mashed potato, and cheddar cheese gratinée
  • Bananas Foster Cream Pie with Valrhona chocolate and spiced rum

Picks, Sticks & Fingers

  • Elote-Mexican Street Corn on the Cob with cotija cheese, chili mayonnaise, cilantro, and lime
  • Vietnamese Sugar Cane Shrimp with ginger lemongrass, kafir lime leaves, bird chili
  • Todd’s Lobster Corn Dog with bang mustard
  • Pork Belly Bao Bun with soy glaze, scallions, and sesame seed
  • Lamb Kofta with pomegranate, cucumber yogurt, and sumac
  • Vegetable Biryani with basmati rice and almonds
  • Watermelon Margarita Popsicle

Inventive (and fun!) new takes on traditional dishes, almost every dish we tried sparked a new direction in our table’s conversation; outtakes of which included things like “The skewer on this shrimp is actually a piece of sugar cane?!?!” and “Holy Biryani!  You’ve gotta try a bite: I promise you’ve never tasted rice, like this!”

Some highlights included the Yukon Gold Potato Pierogis (just all-around deliciousness), the Vegetable Samosa (I’m no fan of the chickpea, but that mint chutney was insanely yummy), and the Pork Belly Bao Bun (it was like eating Peking Pig).  Also, the two desserts were a hit!  The Watermelon Margarita Popsicle was so tasty I’d already eaten half of it before I realized I’d forgotten to take a photo.  Meanwhile, the Bananas Foster Cream Pie was something I figured I’d try a bite of (as I usually find Banana Cream Pie too rich), but the cinnamon seemed to offset the sweetness by adding something savory, and the overall effect was just sublime.

Really, my only regret was that—facing a virtual onslaught of food—I opted against ordering the Quebecois Tourtière, the Maine Lobster Pot Pie, the Organic Chicken Pot Pie, or the Chicken Tikka Masala.  On the flip side, I know exactly what I’ll be ordering next Wednesday!! 

HONEY SALT presents Kim Canteenwalla & Friends Pop-Up
Vegas Test Kitchen | Guest Chef Series
Wednesday, April 21 | 4-9pm
Click HERE for tickets and info

Get into it!

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