2012 Epcot Food & Wine Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies

One of Australia’s staples during Food & Wine is the Grilled Lamb Chop. It receives different preparations from year to year, and this year it is served with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies.

While the “potatoes crunchies” are supposedly home-made salt and vinegar chips, I really didn’t pick up on the flavor. They seemed like plain, crumbled chips to me.

The lamb was a bit overcooked, but the fat melted away and the meat was still tender. It’s definitely still one of Matt’s favorites of the festival. The Mint Pesto was relatively strong and there was a good amount of it on the lamb chop. I heard some guests saying that it was too much and overpowered the gaminess of the lamb.

Last year, the dish was served with Potato Goat Cheese Salad, and in 2010 it had a Roasted Potato Salad. In 2009 is was carb free, served with Red Wine Sauce and Murray River Sea Salt.

Grilled Lamb Chop with Potato Goat Cheese Salad and Shiraz Reduction

If you’re not a fan of lamb, give the Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze a try. Matt does not like shrimp, but he did try one of them last year and really liked it!

Shrimp on the Barbie with Pepper Berry Citrus Glaze

Which food item is your favorite from Australia? I’ve yet to order the Lamington – Do you think it’s worth a try?

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10 responses to “2012 Epcot Food & Wine Australia: Grilled Lamb Chop with Mint Pesto and Potato Crunchies

  1. We had the lamb chops twice on our recent trip. Both times they were very good. 2nd time they were out of the “crunchies” I thought they could have easily used any crumbled up potato chip and it would have tasted the same. I enjoyed the lamb again this year. I didn’t notice much of a mint taste to the pesto, which is good since I’m not a fan of mint and lamb. The 2nd chop I had was huge! Fully 2 to 3 times the size of our first ones. My daughter’s second one was the smaller size. I enjoyed using the potato chips to soak up the grease. I liked the goat cheese but my daughter (13) didn’t. Our lamb was medium rare both times.

  2. Agreed – the chips really didn’t seem like anything special. It’s always nice when you get a “bonus-sized” portion, isn’t it? :)

  3. I loved the lamb and had it four times I think (along with the shrimp taco, couldn’t pass either one up each time I went into the park). I didn’t love the pesto (was very cheesy tasting as opposed to minty which I prefer with lamb) but I did find it needed the “right amount”. (I tried it without the pesto and it wasn’t quite right. But two of the times I had it, the pesto just drowned the lamb so I was doing a lot of scraping.)

  4. Every time we walked by the Australia booth, the lamb smelled delicious. We only ordered it once, but it was difficult not to get it over and over again. We too got a fairly large portion, or rather, two small chops off the rack that were still stuck together. There was more than enough pesto, which was good for us because I happen to think that lamb and mint are an excellent combination. I could take or leave the “crunchies” as crisps are one of my least favorite ways to prepare a potato. They were not a detriment to the dish, though. It was nice for texture and a little salt if nothing else. As for the lamb not being gamey, I thought it was the only lamb dish at the Festival (of the whopping three available this year) that DID taste like lamb. Overall, it was a winner for me.

    I haven’t ordered the Lamington either. There are too many desserts at the festival to get to all of them, and that one doesn’t appeal to me.

  5. my wife & i liked the lamb chops—& neither of us really like lamb at all! maybe because our taste buds were a little numb?! we were there nov 1-4 & we are in major withdrawal mode this weekend! had the best time! your posts are helping a little…thx!

  6. Cherry – The pesto seemed to be a tricky item with the lamb in its preparation. Some guests had very minty, others more cheesy. It all comes down to the cast members serving it up too!

    Melissa – I preferred the potato preparations with the dish the past two years where it was an actual side. I agree, this one did have the most lamb flavor (and I should hope so being a chop!), but I didn’t find it overpoweringly gamey. Still, as you said, it was a winner! I’m interesting in trying the Lamington simply because I haven’t before… I guess I’ll have to wait and see if it strikes me as something I need to try!

    Steven – Glad to hear you and your wife enjoyed the chops, but I’m sorry you’re having withdrawals! :( I still have a few F&W posts on the horizon as the festival closes out, and then we’ll be back full swing with general reviews from property! I still have a bunch of stuff from the Dream I need to cover from late September! :) Thank you for reading and commenting!

  7. I agree it’s definitely a tricky thing. When I described it to my best friend’s hubby (he’s currently the sous chef at Shutters) and how they were “dressing” the chop he kinda shook his head and snorted a little. I suspect he would have whipped them into shape to do it “right” (he’s actually known to be one of the go to chefs to “clean up” a messed up restaurant). LOL.

  8. This was the clear winner for me this year at F&W. I’m not really a big fan of lamb, but I had 5 of these in 4 days when I was down for Wine & Dine Weekend. I love the cheesy pesto and the potato chips added a good texture. I hope they keep this for next year!

  9. Cherry – That’s awesome! From what I’ve heard, a similar things happened a year or two ago at Cinderella’s Royal Table!

    Sarah – I didn’t get the cheesiness of the pesto, though the potato chips did add some texture to the chop. While I preferred the potato salads of years past, the chips would not deter me in the future! :)

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