By Eden Ramsay (@EdenRamsay)
After Elephant & Castle closed to the public for renovations in February, the downtown Winnipeg hot spot for drinks and English-style pub fare reopened a few weeks ago with a fresh new look and menu.
The restaurant and pub at 350 St. Mary Avenue has an updated interior look with dark wood, high-top tables and chairs. TVs are mounted on the walls for patrons to watch the latest sports game and there are also new, modern light fixtures to help set the mood.
My guests and I decided to sit on the outdoor patio to enjoy the beautiful warm weather we’ve been having lately. The patio is great for people watching, especially on this night, when Lady Gaga’s dressed-up, ‘Little Monsters’ left her concert at MTS Centre.
A perfect summer patio cocktail, Elephant & Castle’s Pimm’s Cup is definitely worth a try. This refreshing beverage contains England’s famous, gin-based liquor, Pimm’s No. 1 as well as muddled cucumbers, lemon juice, and soda. The result tastes like freshly-made lemon iced tea with a hint of cucumber to add depth to its flavours.
The Truffle Parm Potato Crisps is a nice, light appetizer to order and great for sharing. These potato crisps were large, non-greasy, and cooked to be crispy. The hint of truffle oil adds a delicious, savoury taste to them. This comes with a side of malt vinegar aioli, a well-paired, creamy, yet tangy, dipping sauce.
I enjoyed the Mini Stuffed Yorkies appetizer as well. These two bite-sized versions of a traditional Yorkshire pudding contain tender, juicy roast beef slices encased inside a light-tasting, puff pastry with flavourful, peppercorn gravy drizzled on top. Horseradish aioli accompanied these and were a great contrasting dip for those wanting to kick things up a notch in the flavour department.
For the main course, I ordered the Slum Dog, an East Indian take on a hot dog with a playful name reference to the British drama set in India, “Slumdog Millionaire.” This all-beef hot dog comes panko-crusted and wrapped in a garlic grilled naan bread with curried tomato sauce. Caramelized onions and chopped cilantro also cover the dog. Spiced yogurt adds a nice creamy contrast to the spices of the tomato curry sauce and goes well with the cilantro.
This was an interesting version of a hot dog I’ve never encountered before. I enjoyed it, a hot dog in naan bread is a great idea. The curry spices and spiced yogurt went surprisingly well with a hot dog. I also ordered a side of yam fries and chipotle aioli. The fries were well-made, with a crispy exterior and softness on the inside. The creamy chipotle dipping sauce were ideal to dip the sweet yam fries in.
With a new, modern look and an almost completely new menu, Elephant & Castle has a lot of new experiences to offer and is a great option for a patio downtown during the upcoming summer months.
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Eden Ramsay is a Creative Communications student at Red River College. She has a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Honours) from the University of Manitoba and majored in graphic design. She loves culture, design in its many forms, and exploring the world around her.