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‘Supper Clubs’ Category

  1. Wild Serai’s Malay St. Food

    April 12, 2012 by Dini

    Malaysian Brunch Feast

    9th April 2012

    My Easter Monday’s, are usually a lazy day, for recovering from Easter eggs’ excess and watching a James Bond or Ben Hur repeat on the telly. This year, I found myself making a trek to New Malden, in high winds and rain, all in the name of street food.  I knew Yolanda (our Wild Serai supperclub host) would pull out the stops, as she’d co-hosted a previous supperclub, with Goz (Plus-Six-Five), also a diner at the brunch.

    Wild Serai Table
    Wild Serai Table

    The table was set simply, with batik floral printed cloths and fresh flowers. Giant Keropok (shrimp crackers) were piled high on our tables, which I found irrestitable, a bit of a school girl error, to start filling up on such trifles, when so much was to follow…

    Shrimp crackers

    Shrimp crackers

    Sharif (Yolanda’s boyfriend) earnt his brownie points that day, as he barbecued our meat in the adverse weather conditions, for the starters. The chicken and beef skewers were tender and so much better having been charcoal barbecued, as opposed to just being griddled. The satay sauce was delicious, a crunchy consistency, balanced with freshness from red onion and cucumber chunks.

    Meat skewers

    Meat skewers

    Satay Sauce

    Satay Sauce

     

    The Mee Goreng Mamak, was executed really well. The noodles were plump and were coated well, in the spicy sauce, without any greasy residue. There was a lovely balance of seafood, with juicy tiger prawns, sliced fish balls and cake and decorated with fried onions.

    Mee Goreng Mamak

    Mee Goreng Mamak

    Next up was the Penang Rojak. I visited Penang (Malaysia), a few years ago and it is known as a ‘Hawker’s Paradise’. I tried the Rojak there as I was told it was a speciality of the area. I recalled that there was a variety of fresh and deep fried items that could be selected (like a pick-a-mix) and the thick treacle like, sticky sauce was ladled on, hence it’s translation ‘mixture’. Wild Serai’s version was a heady mix of pineapple, turnip (which was not my favourite, a little hard), deep-fried tofu (deliciously porous, soaking up the sauce) and fresh cucumber. This was a lighter sweet and sour sauce, using prawn paste and tamarind. The plate was garnished with nuts and rice-crackers.

    Penang Rojak

    Penang Rojak

    Roti Jala, was a new dish on me, I’m more akin to Roti Canai (a cross between a paratha and roti) for soaking up my curry sauce. Roti Jala was a thin and latticed pancake. The Jala referring to a ladle with five holes, thereby creating the patterned pancake.  The roti was accompanied with a tender Malay lamb curry, which had been tenderly cooked on the bone. It was medium in chilli heat, cooked in coconut milk, making it rich and creamy.

    Roti Jala & Lamb Curry

    Roti Jala & Lamb Curry

    Nasi Lemak and at (60 sen) referring to the Malaysian price you can pick this street food breakfast staple up for. Normally sold on road-sides parcelled up beautifully in banana leaf pyramids. From afar, the street carts selling them look like topiary displays. Likewise, our plates were ‘cleaned’ by the placing of a fresh banana leaf, to eat from. Dainty, heart scooped coconut rice piles were decorated with boiled quails eggs, ikan bilis in Grandma’s special sauce and Nyonya fried chicken. I am such a fan of ikan bilis (dried anchovies), that I love it in anything, whether it be curry, sambals, omlettes and even salad garnishes. This was real soul food, again the textures were so wonderful together, even something as simple as the fried chicken, had been marinated for 48 hours in curry leaves, shrimp paste, lemongrass and blue ginger, making it really crispy and tasty.

    Nasi Lemak 60 sen

    Nasi Lemak 60 sen

    Dessert came in the form of an adapted version of Ais Kacang. Beautiful shaved ice, drizzled with evaporated milk, rose and palm sugar syrup, sweet corn kernels, tapioca pearls, red beans, sea coconuts (a cross in texture and taste between rambuttan and lychee) and jelly (mango and honey-dew melon).

    Ais Kacang

    Ais Kacang

    Every stir, uncovered new assortment of sweet jewels, bursting with flavour, I absolutely loved the combinations.

    Ais Kacang stirred

    Ais Kacang stirred

    A much needed caffeine pick-me up came with Teh tarik (pulled tea), still frothy from being poured at height between two metal tumblers or jugs. Sweet, Malaysian tea, made with black tea and a combination of evaporated and condensed milk.

    Pulled Tea

    Pulled Tea

    Not that I needed it, as I was so full of food and contentment, by this point. However, how could I resist just one small banana fritter?  This for me, was a true hark back to my childhood, as it was a typical tea-time treat that my Mother would make, using up any over-ripened bananas.

    Banana fritters

    Banana fritters

    I hugely enjoyed the Wild Serai Seafood Feast and this was indeed a great contender to it, showcasing some great street food. For the vast quantity and selection dishes, £25 is a bargain. Yes, ok in Malaysia this street food is a pittance in £ terms, however this pricing needs to be compared to a ‘dining out’ experience in London and it fares extremely well on value, execution and consideration of diners.

    New Malden, normally famed for it’s ‘Little Korea’ (a collection of Korean take-aways, eateries and supermarkets), handy for stocking up, getting your fill of Kimchee or taking a peek as I did through the windows. Alas, I was full on my return to the station, but a little Sushi lady vendor (I know, Japanese not Korean – before you say it), right in the station’s entrance, caught me eye. With a steely look, she meant business and I’m sure could take on any trouble with her sushi roll-mat. Something, for another visit, but how I’ll be able to resist the beckon of Wild Serai’s Malaysian food, I’m not sure…

    To find out about more Wild Serai events check on the  Read more about Malaysian Street Food Brunch on Edible Experiences site or sign up to their mailing list here.


  2. Eat Scandi

    April 6, 2012 by Dini

    Gravadlax

    The ‘Scandilicious’ Way

     

    Signe Johansen, otherwise known as ‘Scandilicious’ on twitter and her eponymous first cookbook, hosted a Scandinavian Smörgåsbord feast, fit for the most ardent of carb-lovers. Held at the spacious Holloway apartment of @chuchibum (Hannah, co-host), once the guests started eating, we simply didn’t stop being spoilt with treats, constantly flowing from the kitchen. This was the first brunch held in March, I didn’t mind this, as Signe’s excellent baking reputation proceeded her and she rolled out a stellar performance.

    The table was dressed with single flower heads and rhubarb stems in vases. I especially liked the cute jug, inscribed with  ‘modestly small jug’ and the wall hanging ‘keep calm and keep kissing’. All comforting touches, in addition to our hosts’ warm welcomes and hospitality, to put diners at ease.

    Bloody Mary

    Bloody Mary

    On arrival, we were treated to an aperitif of a ‘Scandi’ Bloody Mary (I opted for the boozy variety, made with Aquavit, tomato juice and spiced up with horseradish and dill). The table was decorated with savoury muffins, deliciously soft and moreish.

    Jarlsberg & Fennel Muffin

    Jarlsberg & Fennel Muffin

    This was washed down with the rather virtuous ‘Green Goddess’, a cucumber, mint, ginger and apple juice concoction. A pretty zingy and cleansing combination.

    Green Goddess

    Green Goddess

    Next arrived, homemade yoghurt with sweet n’ crispy rye granola.

    I couldn’t resist but add Signe’s Queen’s compote (a blueberry and raspberry jammy mix) making a ribboned swirl.

    Queen's Compote

    Queen's Compote

    This was a medley of textures and taste, soured yoghurt, crunchy nuggets of sweetened granola and sticky compote.

    Having the choice between cardamom and cinnamon and cardamom buns, my favourite were the latter. I thought the combined spices worked well together. These were delicious by themselves or smothered in the Queen’s compote.

    Cinnamon & Cardamom buns

    Cinnamon & Cardamom Buns

    Next up, was another refreshment, a divine smoothie made with: raspberry, vanilla, ginger, blended with peanut butter. This was so delicious, fruity with a creamy, nutty edge from the peanut butter.

    Smoothie

    Smoothie

    To the main event: Gravadlax. Juicy morsels of sliced salmon, dressed with dill, in a sweet and salty cure.

    Gravadlax & Celariac

    Gravadlax & Celariac

    Signe served the salmon with baked celeriac crowns, with a Halen Mon smoked sea salt crust. This was a completely new way of eating celeriac for me, I’d have never have thought of salting and eating the crust. The celariac was quite starchy, so great to have the silky contrast of salmon and hardened salt crust of it’s skin.

    There were also Peter’s Yard sourdough crispbreads, laiden in beautiful biscuit tins, to drape salmon on. Being resourecful, even the circular discs of the crispbreads were utilised, dressed with dill and a dash of Norwegian Kaviar (creamed, smoked cod roe).

    Norwegian Kaviar on crispbread

    Norwegian Kaviar on crispbread

    More vibrant colours were added to the mix, with an end-of-winter salad, featuring golden and purple beetroot, dressed in a delicious vinegarette, using Womersley Foods’ raspberry vinegar.

    End-Of-Winter Salad

    End-Of-Winter Salad

    All was not over, out rolled some freshly made oatmeal bread, soft and just beckoned to be smothered in butter.

    Oatmeal bread

    Oatmeal bread

    This came in handy to dunk into my baked eggs, seasoned with allspice and Abba anchovies.

    Split Baked Eggs & Buttered Bread

    Split Baked Eggs & Buttered Bread

    Next up were some Norwegian vanilla & sour cream waffles, this was served with poached rhubard in blood orange syrup. Very sweetly heart shaped waffles, that were light as a feather and contrasted with the tart and sticky rhubarb.

    Waffle & Rhubarb Compote

    Waffle & Rhubarb Compote

    Our penultimate item, was a freshly fried cardamom doughnut, a light and billowy fried treat. This was washed down with a choice of coffee from Square Mile or Tea’s from RareTea Company.

    As a surprise finale, Signe presented us with some brownies (the recipe from her forthcoming book, Scandilicious Baking). They were velvety soft, rich with dark chocolate and a gooey centre.

    Brownies

    Brownies

     

    I can’t say enough to say how good this brunch was. Reminding me of familiar Scandi favourites as well as a few new twists that I can try at home. Signe has a few more brunches and dinners pencilled in and there are some baking classes in the pipeline too. Thanks to both Signe & Hannah, they were devoted to producing a stunning array of delicious food and drink and were consummate hosts.

    If you’re going to go along, I recommend skipping breakfast or lunch, you’re going to need all the belly space you can make. I’m a carb-aholic, so loved the different buns and breads but with the generosity of food provided needed a caffeine kick at the end to get me moving again from my food-coma and definately didn’t need dinner!

    For details on these, please check out Signe’s Scandilicious blog: www.signejohansen.com

     

     


  3. Japanese Supper with The London Foodie

    January 8, 2012 by Dini

    Japanese Umami Feast

    5th January 2012

    Fresh from his travels in Tokyo, TheLondonFoodie (Luiz) hosted the first of his Japanese Home Supperclubs, to showcase recipes from his travels and from recently published ‘Hashi Cooking’ by Reiko Hashimoto. This was the second Supperclub I attended, that Luiz had hosted, the first being the inaugural Grazing Asia event.

    Reiko's Hashi Cook Book

    Reiko's Hashi Cook Book

    There were no spaces left as a dining guest, but keen to increase my knowledge of this genre of cusine and take part in the event, I volunteered as a Kitchen Assistant for the evening. For diners, this supperclub was £35 per person (BYO), pretty good value considering the calibre and variety of ingredients used.

    Welcomed with a glass of wine, by Luiz and Dr. G (Luiz’s partner), I was made at home and what a beautiful home it was. I was particularly impressed with their pantry, divine cooking accoutrements and serviceware.

    Japanese Bowls

    Japanese Bowls

    Looking at all of the plates and bowls lined up, at a guess I’d say there were over a 100 for the 20 dining guests. I knew from this, that a serious feat was about to be performed by Luiz. Having started at 7am, Luiz was supper organised with a timed plan (which we almost stuck to) and had already done a lot of the mise en place. This was essential, as we were catering for 20 hungry diners and had a 6 course feast to be served pre-midnight…

    Luiz preparing the Sushi

    Luiz preparing the Sushi

    ***

    Sushi selection

    Dainty hand-rolled sushi with sea-bream, mackerel and asparagus. The diners were treated to an accompanying aperitif of Gordon’s Gin & Tonic, which set off the night, with a lemon-twist (I told Dr. G, that lime might make a nice change for next time).

    Sushi selection

    Sushi selection

    ***

    Salmon Sashimi ‘South American way’

    Delicate strips of tuna sashimi drizzled with a marinade and served with a sour-cream, wasabi avocado salad.

    Salmon Sashimi South American way

    Salmon Sashimi South American way

    ***

    Spicy Pork with Seafood Nabe

    Spicy Pork & Seafood Nabe

    Spicy Pork & Seafood Nabe (pre-cooking)

    Typically, a one pot dish of seafood and vegetables, that cooks at the table in a claypot. I last tried this is in Laos, so it was great to see it in action again, it adds such drama and fun to the occassion. After the diners has wrestled over the seafood picks, we added some udon noodles, so they could slurp up the remaining cooking juices, which had a good spicy kick.

    Spicy Pork and Seafood Nabe

    Spicy Pork and Seafood Nabe (cooking)

    ***

    Beef Fillet Tataki with creamy sesame dressing

    Luiz seared the fillets then allowed them to marinade and then delicately sliced and positioned over brined onions. For a supperclub, it was quite a luxury to have fillet. This was possible thanks to The Well Hung Meat Co who donated the meat and generously offered the diners 50% off their first orders.

    Beef Fillet Tataki with creamy sesame dressing
    Beef Fillet Tataki with creamy sesame dressing

    ***

    Takikomi Gohan

    A mixed rice, bejewelled with 5 ingredients, this was a chicken and vegetable based one, dressed with mange tout chiffonade.

    Green beans and Kamaboko with Spicy Mayo

    Crunchy beans with a sliced fish cake (Kamaboko) garnish and wok-dressed in a zingy mayonnaise. I really like the contrast of textures, with the crunchy beans, creamy dressing and almost sponge-like fish cake slices.

    Green beans, Kamaboko and Spicy Mayo

    Green beans, Kamaboko and Spicy Mayo

    Tamagoyaki

    A beautifully rolled omlette, sweetened with sugar, seasoned with dashi and chives for pretty colouring. This was a real masterpiece, so when it was sliced, almost like a swiss roll, you could see the many delicate layers. Grated mooli and soy sauce were placed on the side.

    Tamagoyaki

    Tamagoyaki

    Aubergine Dengaku

    My favourite of the side dishes, using delicious aubergines. Luiz used the thin variety of aubergine, for faster cooking and also because they soaked up the Nasu Dengaku glaze (with white miso, mirin and sugar) more. They had a gratinated crust made with melted mozzarella and were garnished as with the green beans, with crunchy seasame seeds.

    Aubergine Dengaku

    Aubergine Dengaku

    Deep fried Tofu and Spinach Miso Soup

     A bubbling bowl of soup, that was great for cleansing at the end of the night.

    Tofu & Spinach Miso Soup

    Tofu & Spinach Miso Soup

    ***

    Ice Cream Trio with Madeleine

     The scent of zingy lemon rind madeleines drifted through the room, kindly whisked up and baked fresh by Dr. G.

    Dr. G in Madeleine making mode

    Dr. G in Madeleine making mode

    This was a light and simple accompaniment to the smooth and creamy trio. The flavours were heavenly: Green Tea, Red Bean and Black Seasame. I’ve tried the flavours in various muses as created by Teanamu (when I’ve visited his Tea-House), however the last, was a new one. Luiz created it by making a praline with the black seasame seeds and then adding the brittle to the ice-cream mix, before churning.

    Ice Cream Trio with Madeleine

    Ice Cream Trio with Madeleine

    ***

    I’ll hold my hand up and admit, the evening was ‘hard-work’ not all making up G&T’s and tasting for seasoning (unfortunately!). Alas, now I know that Luiz being a perfectionist, wouldn’t let a mere amateur like myself, scrimp on beautiful plating up or the taste of his dishes going out. Next time, I know I’m best suited on the receiving end and do what I do best… Eating. I wish I had been a fly-on-the wall whilst Luiz had done his mise en place, so that I could pick up tips or learn the recipes. The saving grace was the fact I could always refer to Reiko’s book (a signed copy) and Luiz promised to email his recipes too. This was a Japanese comfort eating at it’s best, really good hearty food, that hit the spot. However, in the kitchen, the execution was somewhat more intricate than usual comfort food and expertly executed by Luiz.

    Luiz has kindly invited me back to learn the recipes and sample all the dishes at leisure, so I’m very much looking forward to that experience.

    To find out more about Luiz’s supper’s or cooking club’s:
    Luiz’s twitter: @thelondonfoodie
    Luiz’s website: http://www.thelondonfoodie.co.uk/
    Reiko’s Hashi Cooking: http://www.hashicooking.co.uk/

  4. Burger Monday #2

    December 29, 2011 by Dini

    Goodman’s London Burger Monday

    31st May 2011

    This was my second Burger Monday, the first one was catered by the Young Turks, so I knew the routine and to keep an empty stomach, ready and waiting for the readies. John led the Team from Goodman’s and they really made the night special. There were flourishes such as a creating bespoke menu and giving all a printed placemat reminder.  I loved this, as not only was it a momento of my evening, it also displayed the recipes for all the burger components: The bun, burger patty and ‘special’ sauce. If you want the recipes, sorry I’m not going to giveaway Goodman’s secrets, you just had to be there on the night!

    For starters, we were served up with a monster Caeser Salad, this was merely a pre-cursor to set off the proceedings. Whole anchovies and wafer shavings of Parmesan were laiden on the thickly dressed leaves. Delicious and scoffed in a couple of minutes.

    The main event arrived, it was a tall order (literally), like was a burger taking on a club sandwich in height. The sourdough brioche was soft and sweet, aptly so to mop up the oozing meat juices combining with the ‘special’ sauce, that were in freeflow as you bit into the burger.

    The Goodman's Burger

    The Goodman's Burger

    Daniel (pictured in the red shirt) always strides through the restaurant, like an expectant father, asking diners how it was and did they enjoy it. I’m sure he pretty much has a 99% satisfaction rate on burgers… I’ll leave the odd 1% for the odd ‘grumpy’ diner. This burger again with the meat provided by the Goodman’s supplier and now Burger Monday favourite, O’Shea’s of Knightsbridge. The patty was a combination of chuck, rib eye, sirloin and short-rib, a real mix of cuts from each end of the £ scale, creating a taste revelation.

    The dessert, taken from Goodman’s own menu, was their Sundae. A layered concoction with ice cream, brownie squares, plenty of whipped cream, choolate and caramel sauces. It was more heavenly with every decadent spoonful and definately straight to the hips. It was a rich and sumptuos end to a great evening of dining. Goodman’s may have Mayfair routes, but definately know how to knock a humble greasy spoon into shape.

    You might ask, why do successful chefs and restaurants (such as Goodmans and Opera Tavern) take part in such events? I think it’s about them hosting informal events, outside of their own premises and being able to try out and create different menu’s. It’s also about widening their reach. They are embracing avid foodies, who share their experiences with others and thereby hopefully create positive word of mouth for the restaurant.

     

    If you’re a Burger fan or creator… join in with the fun:

    Burger Monday website: http://youngandfoodish.com/
    Goodmans London website: http://www.goodmanrestaurants.com/
     
    Edible Experiences

  5. Burger Monday #1

    December 29, 2011 by Dini

    Young Turks' Burgers

    Young Turks’ Burger Monday

    25th January 2011

    Burger Monday is the quest to find perfect burgers. It’s where burger-lovers congregate in social spaces (online or at pop-ups) to live, breathe and be in awe of guests chefs that take the reigns, all under the expert hand of Daniel Young (@youngandfoodish).  The Young Turks are young, talented chefs, often mentioned in ‘ones to watch’ and London ‘food scene’ trend reports. Donning their chefs whites for this inaugural event, we were fortunate enough to have the full collective of: James Lowe, Isaac McHale and Ben Greeno, putting their spin on the humble burger.

    I loved the fact that Burger Monday attendees started pre-event chat on facebook and twitter… deliberating and mostly salivating. In addition, we were teased and toiled with by Daniel, posting up pre-event videos and dry-run pictures. Here’s a video of James Lowe selecting the ‘beef’ at O’Shea’s (Knightsbridge) for the event…

    Burger Monday takes a ‘greasy spoon’ cafe (Andrews) by day and converts it into a twitter foodie hotbed of burger lovers by night (well the designated and usually ‘sold-out’ in minutes nights). I like this, burgers are a comfort eating action, something you can be at ease in doing, not something for a fine-dining environment per se.

    The menu is simple, 3 courses, you eat with companions you may have booked with, otherwise if a singleton, you’ll be seated with other food lovers who’ll soon welcome you into the Burger fold.

    I have to admit the starter of Smoked Salmon and the dessert of Affogato, although executed perfectly and were delicious, were superfluous to the main event, of the ‘Burger’. As per the video, James Lowe opted for high fat content meat. The cut being: private reserve 100% Perthshire Black Angus Beef, the patty result was a succulent texture but retaining it’s moisture. The chips were fried in beef dripping, I can tell you I had to fight my dining companion for them and especially the crispy bits at the bottom of the dish (way better then Heston’s triple fried chips). I could have easily eaten two dishes to myself, but alas we were sharing a dish between two (this was probably good, to save my cholesterol level).

    I have now become quite a fan and follower of Burger Monday, it’s a great group of ‘Burger Lovers’ who share a passion and talk and meet frequently. I’ve since been too a couple more and you genuinely do meet regulars that you’ll recognise and feel like you are part of a special night. This was probably my favourite event, it being the first one and of my attendance, however the Goodman’s night, comes a close second. I hasten to add, that now even with multiple sittings in an evening, I am never able to book speedily enough to grab a seat. Such is the popularity of these events, that the recent Opera Tavern one, sold out in 6 minutes! I’ll persist to book in a timely fashion, as these nights are truly worth it.

     

    If you’re a Burger fan or creator… join in with the fun:

    Burger Monday website: http://youngandfoodish.com/
    Young Turks website: http://youngturks.co/

     

     


    Edible Experiences


  6. City Caphe & L’Amant Dining Supper Club

    December 26, 2011 by Dini

    Not your typical Caphe…

    5th November 2011

    Any Londoner in search of a decent daytime Vietnamese lunch, may have already stumbled upon the delights of City Caphe and Banhmi11 (L’Amant Dining). Each operator specialising in delicious banh-mi’s, summer rolls and pho.  So, it was my delight to find out, that they were joining forces to create a supper club,  located in City Caphe’s premises. I’ve recently been opting for attending these supper-club evenings as it’s a great way of sampling new cusines, meeting new people and at an affordable cost, for so many dishes. On this occassion, the cost was £35 and BYO, for 8 courses, a bargain and not a surprise to see the two inaugural dates sell-out speedily!

     

    Menu

    ***

    Green mango, pomelo and sun-dried squid salad

    (Fresh citrusy notes, with great textural crunch of the squid)

    ***

    Pan-fried scallops on lotus root chips

    (Juicy scallops, serenaded by spring onions and crispy chips)

    ***

    Prawn banh xeo

    (One of my all time favourites, it’s the addition of the fresh herbs, that gives this omlette like dish real depth. Every mouthful exacted juicyness from  the plump prawns and beanshoots)

    ***

    Fish Q roll

    (Thankfully not a DIY roll, which never ends prettily for me, for spillage, but a dainty fish roll, readily spliced)

    ***

    Ban rieu crab noodle soup

    (A spicy pork broth, with nuggets of crab and tofu. This was slurp-tastic, although I had to fight against the dreaded coriander, in the herb mix)

    ***

    Oven baked sardine in lotus leaf

    (The sardine was of course riddled with bones, but because it had been beautifully baked, was easy to flake away the fillets, however the candlelight, didn’t help this process much)

    ***

    Home made ice cream (choice of Durian or Fig & Honey)

    (I’m not a fan of durian perhaps an oversight on my side as it’s actually a delicacy in Asia. However, having encountered this beast of a fruit in Malaysia, even the mere smell, makes my stomach turn. I opted for the ‘safer’ option, which was rich and creamy, I ate this first for fear of it melting away)

    ***

    Che troi nuoc mung bean dumplings in ginger syrup

    (I then tucked into the hot option, a gooey dumpling, with a heady ginger syrup, that had a real kick)

    ***

     My thanks for great hospitality provided by Julie & Team (from City Caphe) & Van, Anh & Team (from L’Amant Dining/Banhmi11), it was a perfect evening of fun, meeting new food-lovers and great Vietnamese ‘eats’. This event was a celebration of Vietnamese dishes, I enjoyed seeing some classics given a modern twist.  Having travelled around Vietnam, I loved re-visiting the freshness and vibrancy of the cuisine and am pleased that there is now more than just the Kingland Road for getting my Vietnamese fixes.

     
    If you’d like to check out either of my hosts’ eateries or events then click on the links below:
    Banhmi11 (www.banhmi11.com) and City Caphe (http://www.citycaphe.com/)

     

     

     
     

     


    Edible Experiences


  7. +65 Singaporean Supper Club

    December 23, 2011 by Dini

    Mountain of Chilli Crabs

    Seafood Feast, starring: Chilli Crab

    16th October 2011

    This Singaporean seafood odessy was hosted by PlusSixFive’s Host – Goz. He shared his cooking duties with: Malaysian co-horts Yolanda and Sharif (Wild Serai) and Singaporean, WenLin (Edible Experiences).

    I had tried for a while to go to a PlusSixFive Singaporean supper club, however with a lot of these supper clubs, space is a premium (as held in the hosts’ homes), they always sell-out very quickly. I had also heard various friends’ accounts from their experiences and was keen to book. When I saw that Goz was having a sea-food night with chilli-crab, I instantly booked and succeeded in getting a prized seat.

    I’ve been to Singapore twice and extravagantly dined out on all manners of cuisine, from hawker fayre to fine-dining. What I really enjoy about Singaporean food, is that it’s a bubbling mish-mash of ethnic cuisines coming together. Therein, it’s quite fitting that this meal was a combination of the best of Malay and Singaporean dishes.

    Goz’s apartment in the heart of Angel, was beautifully colourful and showcased some awesome art. I loved the fact he had commissioned a board (pictured) for his Supper Club, in prime location of the dining room. He also had his monitor on, with a +65 screensaver and his twitter feed running, all reminders of the fact this was a social media saavy host, who used the medium to invite and engage with food-lovers.

    ***

    Starter:

    Pork Belly Satay

    I’m so glad that this was pork for a change, rather than the usual chicken. A sticky peanut satay enveloped the pork belly strips, served with cleansing cucumber and red onion.

    ***

    Fish Course:

    Chef’s Surprise Scallop

    Not quite sure what the surprise was, thankfully it was delicious. A fiery butter sauce, with crispy curry leaves, chilli and garlic, drizzled over the scallop and coral.

    ***

    Mains:

    Sambal Prawns

    This was an old family recipe of Yolanda’s using Petai (stinky beans) and Belachan (shrimp paste from Bintulu, Sarawak, Malaysia). The sauce was sticky and fiery hot, which is the best combination for prawns. This was a dish that went pretty quickly as you can see from the empty plate.

    Stir-fried “Lala”

    Thankfully, a milder dish where the ‘LaLa’ (the Malay term for mussels), was cooked in a yellow bean, garlic, ginger and Chinese rice wine broth. I used the broth from this to sprinkle over my rice, as it was cooling compared to the other prawn/crab.

    Kang Kong Sambal

    This was another soothing dish of stir-fried morning glory, with garlic, chilli and belachan, I especially love the irony taste of these greens.

    Chilli Crab – (The Main Event)

    Almost like the curried style I am used to in Sri-Lankan cooking, in fact I believe they were Sri Lankan crabs used. I was glad that it was this style of dish and not the black pepper crab method I’d tried in Singapore. That indeed is hot, but doesn’t have the variety of spices and flavour that are used in this method. This was finger- licking food at it’s best. Thankfully, copious amounts of wet wipes were on hand. Nut-crackers were doled out but, the best way to get in there, was with fingers and sucking the blighters claws off!

    ***

    Desserts:

    Chendol

    I loved the fact that Goz got us involved, helping to shave the ice, with his cool ice-shaving gadget. I’ve seen larger versions of this at Dishoom, for when they make their Gola Ices. The dish was shaved coconut milk ice with gula melaka (palm sugar), green noodle pieces and sweet red beans. It was simple and extinguished the fire in my mouth from the red-hot mains. I’m showing myself to be a feeble diner (as a Sri Lankan, I’m bowing my head in shame).

    Kueh Ubi Bingka and Kueh Lapis

    Goz got out a huge Japanese knife, this worried me, I thought someone had refused to pay…

    Thankfully, this wasn’t the case and he then started to carve the Kueh Lapis, this was fascinating to watch with the intricate layers being spliced.  These were tapioca and coconut milk based cakey sweets. The colourful one is poured in layers, the vibrant colours achieved through natural flavourings (green from pandan). Served up with rich coffee, these were a sweet digestif, quite rich, but I still managed to gobble a few.

    ***

     

    That was that, I had contentedly eaten so much, that I practically needed to be rolled out. Unfortunately, I had to be snappy so that I could run and catch the last tube home. I can’t recommend this supper club enough, for £40 (BYO), you are fed more than handsomely and welcomed with such care and attention. I attended alone, but was tended to by the hosts and met some great food loving attendees that night, who were very inclusive. This dinner not only transported me back to great memories of my food adventures in Singapore, but reassured me that I could find authentic dishes here in London too, thanks to Goz, Yolanda & WenLin.

     
    To book onto one of Goz’s supperclubs or to find out more click below:
    +(65) / plusixfive A Singaporean Supperclub in London and
    Wild Serai – For Malaysian Supperclub and Recipe suggestions
     
     


    Edible Experiences


  8. Fin & Flounder

    August 11, 2011 by Dini

    Fishmongers do Supperclubs…

    5th August 2011

    I first heard of Fin & Flounder (Fishmongers based in Hackney, London), whilst dining at Grazing Asia, as they had donated some superb tuna for the event. After starting to follow them on twitter, I discovered that they were starting to host supperclubs. A little like Bonnie and Wild, they too are spreading the word of amazing produce via great word of mouth and  supperclubs.

     

    This was a fun event, where @SloLondon (my dining guest) and I cosied upto other guests on the pew-bench like dining set-up. With BYO, we sipped on chilled Pinet and this was a great accompaniment to the terrific sea-food odessey. They pitched the mini- portion sizes just right, considering there were five courses in total. £30 for the five courses and allowing for BYO, was also great value, considering ingredients of lobster, sea-bream and salmon/tuna steaks.

    Things to look out for: F&F have themed menu nights too, they’ve done Ceviche and Asian menu’s so far…

     
    To find out about the fishmongers ‘Fin & Flounder’ & their events: http://www.finandflounder.com/
    Edible Experiences 

     


  9. Bonnie & Wild SupperClub

    June 21, 2011 by Dini

    It was Bonnie & a ‘wee’ Wild…

    19th June 2011

     Showcasing the best of Scottish produce, Bonnie Gull, Fisherman’s Mission and Wild Game Co have joined forces to create some unique pop-up supperclub nights. 

    Hosted in a M.Manze’s traditional Pie & Mash shop in Chapel Market (Angel), diners are seated in wooden church-like pews. Mo-town classics are the background sound-track, heightened by the chatter and laugther of the other diners. My dining guests and I went on their first  Saturday night and it was completely sold-out.

    The organisers’ ethos is to provide sustainable, organic, fresh and British sourced food.  For this they tick all the boxes, the seafood and game cooked to perfection but sides and sauces needed work. The one option for dessert – ‘Burnt Cream’ was a disappointment and I’m not sure what it was supposed to be. Alas, I’ll give them a break as they were only starting out and we were getting a reduced rate (3 courses for £20, usually £29).

    Watch out: Cash only… so make you make a trip to the ATM first

    Make sure to: Take advantage of the BYO

     

    Bonnie & Wild, 74 Chapel Market, N1 9ER

    Website: http://bonniewild.co.uk/

     

     

     

     

     

     


  10. Grazing Asia #1

    June 21, 2011 by Dini

    A Feast across Asia over Lunch

    19th June 2011

    3 things drove me to book onto the inaugural Grazing Asia lunch…

    1.  A knock-out menu
    2.  Bloggers who were passionate about Asian Food were hosting and
    3.  Profits were donated to Jamie Oliver’s ‘Fifteen’

    *****

    Seared Tuna, Yuzu Ponzu & Sesame Dressing

    Luiz (@TheLondonFoodie) – Seared Tuna Tataki, Yuzu Ponzu & Sesame Dressing

    *****

    Nga-pe Thoh aka Spicy Fishball Salad

    Mimi (@Meemalee) –  Nga-pe Thoh aka Spicy Fishball Salad

    *****

    Crispy Pork Belly, Banh Cuon, Pickled, Fried Shallots and Ham

    Uyen (@LoveLeluu) –  Crispy Pork Belly, Banh Cuon, Pickled, Fried Shallots and Ham

    *****

    Malaysian Curry Laksa

    May (@SlowFoodKitchen) – Malaysian Curry Laksa

    *****

    Vanilla Pannacotta with red fruit coulis

    Fifteen Apprentice – Vanilla pannacotta with a red fruit coulis

    *****

    Hosted in Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Foundation’s test-kitchen, this was an informal event, quickly filled up by the hosts’ twitter and blog followers. Each host chose and prepared a dish of their speciality, all colourful, with authentic recipes and sourcing of ingredients. The dessert was supposed to be a green tea pannacotta, however turned out as vanilla. Not in total unison with the rest of the menu, but still a creamy crowd-pleaser. If forced to pick a dish, I’d have to pick Luiz’s tuna dish, because he let the beauty and freshness of the tuna (donated by Fin & Flounder) ‘shine through’. For their first event, I thought it was well organised, executed and a great opportunity to meet other food-lovers. There were opportunities to learn about the dishes as well as socialise with other diners.

    For more Grazing Asia dates – check out Luiz’s site… and details on Fifteen – http://www.fifteen.net/


    Edible Experiences