Friends and family who have brunched/lunched/dined with me over the years will know just how much I LOVE halloumi cheese… its salted crispy cheesiness goes oh so well with breakfast, lunch, dinner options… and dessert? Apparently yes, as we recently found out during a dinner at Epocha, hosted by Panagrotikos Farmers Union of Cyprus and restauranteur Angie Giannakodakis, to celebrate the goodness that is halloumi cheese.
Our mediterranean spread kicked off with a roast pumpkin and grilled halloumi dish that really highlighted the sensational quality of the halloumi in its glorious raw form; its natural flavours further brought out to the forefront through the contrasting sweetness of the pumpkin and molasses. The dishes that followed presented more adventurous forms of the halloumi; shaved on top of a mound of tender steak tartare, as a mustard halloumi piperade to accompany a hearty Flinders Island lamb shoulder and finally, a halloumi mille feuille dessert. Verdict? The use of halloumi in each of these dishes was ingenious to say the least, pulling it off in even the mille feuille dessert and just went to showcase the skills of the team at Epocha… but given my immense appreciation for halloumi, it was without a doubt the first dish featuring halloumi its truest natural form that won me over most.
Roast pumpkin with farro, molasses, dill and grilled halloumi.
Served with 2017 Xinomavro/Malagouzia, Kelesidi Estate Evodeas, Yinnakohori.
Black Angus steak tartare - with bone marrow, halloumi and potato galette.
Served with 2013 Dafni, Lyrarakis Psarades Vinyard, Crete.
Flinders Island lamb shoulder - with red mojo sauce and mustard halloumi piperade.
Served with 2015 Xinomavaro, Thymiopoulos Estate Nature, Naoussa
2010 Refosco/Agiorgitiko, Chateau Julia, Drama.
Halloumi Mille Feuille - with gianduja, mandarin and bitter chocolate tuille.
Served with St Johns Commandaria, Cyprus.
Disclosure: I dined as a guest of Epocha Carlton. All opinions expressed in this post are based entirely on my experience and observations made during the time of my visit