06 May 2016

Is This Deadly?

We’ve reached our last food article for the Jungle Navigation Co. Ltd. Skipper Canteen, at least for the moment, so why not finish off our meal with some desserts? The menu offers up four desserts, including the Kungaloosh!, a great name that harkens back to the staple beverage of the Adventurers Club, but that shares nothing else in common with its namesake drink. Moving along, there are three other options to add to the party, Bertha’s “Bahn Bong Lan” Cake with Mango-Lime Sorbet, Sugar-crusted Congee Pudding, and the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream. There are also a couple of fun looking desserts for kids, but we stayed with the grown up menu, sadly, and opted for the congee pudding and coconut bar.

Both of these have names that could make them seem unapproachable to the average diner, and the descriptions don’t help a ton, but here’s what the menus have to say. Sugar-crusted Congee Pudding is a dish of caramelized custard with millet, almonds, apricots, dates, and honey-almond tuile. Meanwhile, the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream adds nothing else from the menu itself. Looks like we have our work cut out for us, so let’s grab a spoon and start reviewing!

The Sugar-crusted Congee Pudding is clearly designed to be a combination of rice pudding and crème brulee, but doesn’t do a great job of marketing itself. The pudding portion is highlighted by the apricot and dates, with just a hint of almond hanging out in the background, both in terms of flavor and crunch factor. The dish is topped with some pineapple and a crispy cookie-like topping, the tuile, that isn’t overly sweet, but that brings out the honey, almond, and black and white sesame flavors. Overall, the Sugar-crusted Congee Pudding is quite heavy and almost seems like more of a breakfast or brunch item, rather than a dessert. The missus loved it, but even she admitted it would be an acquired taste for most.

On the other hand, the Coconut Bar with Pineapple-Basil Compote and Vanilla Cream was an absolute hit for us. With its dollop of vanilla cream, thin chocolate spiral, and edible flower this was almost too pretty to eat, but that didn’t stop us! The bar is thin layers of delicate coconut cake and cream sitting atop a pool of pineapple-basil compote. See those little flecks scattered around the plate? Those are pieces of crystalized basil that absolutely heightened the tropical essences present in the pineapple and coconut. The white drops are sweetened meringue in a form that is similar to malted milk balls in texture. These served as excellent palate cleansers between bites, but it wasn’t like we were looking to get away from this dessert at all.

The desserts at the Skipper Canteen are not your typical cake and ice cream offerings that you’ve come to expect. Like the rest of the menu they inhabit the incredible flavor profiles found throughout the world, and may not be to everyone’s liking. Personally, even though we didn’t love the congee pudding, I’m glad there is a place for it to call home in Walt Disney World. There are offerings here, like the coconut bar, that I’m certain people fall in love with and come back for again and again. And, when in doubt, Kungaloosh!

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