Still the one, mate!
Still the one, mate!

How Is Outpost Kitchen Without Chef Andre Sickinger?

In my review of Outpost Kitchen two months ago to this day, I said that "As with all seasonal cooks, [Chef Andre] Sickinger rotates out his menu routinely. The last few weeks saw a honey-glazed roast pork, a slow-braised lamb and a flawless pan-seared Alaskan sea bass; they might not ever come back."

Little did I know that last part would apply to the chef himself. Last week, Anne Marie broke the news that Sickinger, a.k.a. "The Surfers Chef", severed ties with Outpost Kitchen.

So I went back this past weekend to see if things have changed. I'm glad to report that despite his absence, the food is just as it was. I re-ordered the wild salmon salad that I thought was a revelation the first time around. I found it tasted almost nearly the same--the salmon steak is still fried to a crisp, still torn into chunks, still tossed into a lime-dressed pile of greenery with grated coconut, peanuts, bean sprouts, Thai basil and cilantro.

I also tried the Aussie scramble, which still came with a dewy spinach salad, shards of prosciutto, roasted tomato chunks and a plank of toasted bread. And it was as good as the first time I had it.

The only thing I noticed this time around was that the place doesn't actually have air-conditioning--I only realized this past weekend that it never did. But while this wasn't a problem two months ago, it became one last Saturday, a day that happened to set records as one of the hottest days of the summer. In fact, it was hotter inside the dining room--which is just a few feet away from the stoves--than it was outside. Now, what was that saying again, you know, about heat and kitchens?

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