Monday, 18 May 2009

Return to the King Eddy

Back with the gang in London, we agreed to make a trip to nearby Ilderton to go back to the King Edward Pub. Last year we enjoyed the food, the service and the atmosphere. A few months later Rich, owner of the King Eddy with his wife Deborah, invited me back when their new chicken wing menu came out. How can you pass on that?

Rich came by our table to talk wings and the King Eddy. Leaving a career of engineering, Rich talked about moving to the small but growing town, city adjacent area with a historic building with an existing pub that they could turn over and make into the great pub that it is today.

Wings were the main discussion - with the focus being their new 40 sauce menu. He tested around 100 recipes for sauces, but felt too many would be sacrificing flavour and quality, so he only kept the best. I asked what the most popular order was, and he kind of scoffed. "Honey Garlic" he said. Having gone on the radio, a lot of people were excited by the large choice of wing flavours, but when it came to ordering, people went with "the old standbys".

"Be adventurous!" the chef said, and I agree. Liquid Gold, the honey-mustard sauce is another favourite, and Rich admits you never know what people are going to like: a bunch of bikers came in and instead of ordering a 'manly' hot sauce, went with the Parmesan wings. One guy was interested in the Canadien sauce (honey garlic with Montreal steak spice) but refused to get it because of the Montreal Canadien's hockey logo on the menu - he just couldn't 'support' another team, no matter how good it might be. I feel his frustration. You put your heart and soul, and people just can't break away to try new things. I asked him what his favourite sauce was, but he said all of them.

While we were waiting for our orders to come in, AJ was surfing the net using the King Eddy's Wifi to get some over-the-weekend work done. Brad and Rick both ordered beer, which is hand pulled, cask ale. Both of them enjoyed it and expressed their love of local breweries over the commercial stuff.

AJ ordered up the same as last time, the cannelloni. And she loved it just as much as last time. In fact, she ate slower than I have ever seen her, because she was savouring every bite. I teased her about not trying something new, but she related that as a 'vegetarian' when she finds a dish she loves, she doesn't stray far off.

Rick had a starter of the Santa Fe Chili. When asked how it tasted, all I got was "chili" but with black olives and a few other ingredients that set it apart.

For his main, he went with the Cottage Pie. Just the other day I had heard Cottage Pie reading a food blog when I looked at it and saw it as Sheppard's Pie. Confused, I researched and discovered that traditionally Sheppard's Pie is ground lamb, while Cottage Pie is with ground beef. So all these years I had Cottage Pie. Huh.

Brad was going to go with a lamb burger, but after finding out about feta in the burger (he does not enjoy feta), he went with wings. If I wasn't so interested in the wings, the feta lamb burger sounded pretty good to me! Brad went with the Bourbon Street wings.

Looking over all the flavours, I settled on two very different sauces: The Dragon, and Mesquite. When I started writing today, I looked back at what I thought I would want to try and it turned out I picked pretty much the same flavours!

BOURBON STREET: Described as "Cajun hints through smokey medium sauce kicked up with Jack's Old No.7" When Brad ordered these, our server Matt said he wanted to try them, but joked because of the alcohol content he couldn't while on duty.

I've come to detest alcohol based wing sauces, but I really liked this one. It was sweet and spicy with a twang. A 'bright' flavour if that makes any sense. Unfortunately, these wings destroyed Brad. The heat really got to him, and he died later that night.

THE DRAGON: "Fiery Szechwan style" was all I needed to hear. Sichuan province in China is famous for their spicy cuisine and I was in the mood for an Asian flavour.

I wasn't knocked over in heat, but these saucy wings had a nice flavour. The sauce was oily with chilies made for a unique flavour.

MESQUITE: "Smokey BBQ, slightly sweet". A good, high quality BBQ sauce.

This is the kind of BBQ sauce I really like on my wings. Its thick, smokey and just a little bit sweet. I think this was the table favourite. It was mine for sure.

It was great coming back to the King Eddy. We all agreed it was a good time and it was starting to feel like 'our place'. It was great that we could talk with Rich and Matt (and Deborah the last time) and have a sense of belonging. Good food, good times.


Teena in Toronto said...

Those wings look soooo good! I like lots of sauce.

david mcmahon said...

Almost as good as an Aussie BBQ!!

Anonymous said...

I can't take any more. I told JP I wasn't hungry and to fix himself something, but those look sooooooooooooooo good. Love to have he address for the next time I am in London.

Cheffie-Mom said...

Great post! I came over from David's authorblog. Congrats on the Post of the Day Award!