karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Plate Lickers is a supperclub by Jo Kruczynska and Ivana Gresham. I was at the first one and loved it but since then my calendar had been against me so I missed the others until today's "Sunday lunch club".
It was held in the community centre in Ross St. (off Mill Road) which had more of a sports hall than a restaurant feel to it but it worked quite well, mainly because of the nicely laid out and decorated tables.

Proceedings started with an excellent hot toddy and deep fried haggis balls with red onion marmalade.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13 Jo and her haggis treats

The starter was beetroot cured salmon on dill buckwheat blini with creme fraiche:

Beetroot cured salmon
This was my favourite dish of the day, the salmon was pretty much perfect.

The main was stuffed roast loin of pork with tatties&neeps and buttered savoy cabbage:

Roast stuffed loin of pork
The fun bit about this dish was that the gravy came in a giant teapot:
Gravy from a giant teapot

The palate cleanser was a tangy "baked lemon pot", rather like a flavoured burnt cream but without the caramel topping:

Baked lemon pot

The actual dessert was a poached pear with chocolate sauce:

Poached pear, chocolate sauce

There are few more photos below and still more on flickr.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13
Ivana and Jo, our lovely hosts and fantastic cooks.

Platelickers supper club, 01/13 Amazing teapot

Platelickers supper club, 01/13
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
Yes, I know, another post about Alimentum but this one is a little different. Last Sunday was the first of head chef Mark Poynton's "supper clubs", an informal evening during which he trialed new dishes. Instead of the usual individual tables, there were three long ones which encouraged talking to the other diners about what everybody thought about the dishes.
Thanks to the efforts of Stagecoach, the bus operator in Cambridge, I was almost too late but got there just in time to grab a glass of welcome fizz before taking my seat. Proceedings started with a few nibbles, onion rice cakes, cheese puffs (neither of which I don't have a photo) and red mullet parfait on toast.

Red Mullet parfait
The parfait was soft with the fish coming through nicely.

Next up was braised rabbit with avruga. This might sound unusual but the saltiness worked well with the soft, sweet meat.

Whipped cep butter Milk loaf
The next item was a treat. Freshly baked bread (milk loaf) and whipped cep butter. You only needed to spread a thin layer of the butter to turn a slice of bread into a mushroom. Superb and one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Wood pigeon, liver on toast
The wild theme continued with wood pigeon, a perfectly cooked piece of breast and liver on toast.

Smoked eel, apple, cucumber, horseradish granita

Then, the fish course and my favourite: Smoked eel, apple, cucumber, goat's cheese, horseradish granita. I love smoked eel which is usually a treat around Christmas in my family but there was some apprehension among my fellow diners. However, this changed when the dish arrived and everyone I heard loved it. The apple/cucumber salad helped counteract the inherent greasiness of the fish, making it lighter. Horseradish is a classic accompaniment to smoked fish, anyway.

Beef cheek, variations of onion
The main event was braised beef cheeks with variations of onion, onion mash and onion juice. Soft, flavourful meat, excellent onion bits but not enough juice.

Tarragon, yoghurt
The pre-dessert was tarragon granita with yoghurt, a lovely palate cleanser and siimilar to a dish I had at Tuddenham Mill earlier this year.

White chocolate mousse, mango, black olive caramel
The final act was white chocolate mousse, mango, black olive caramel. I was apprehensive about the black olive having had a sweet dish with olive at Midsummer House but this worked as it had a similar effect to salt to bring down the cloying sweetness of the caramel. The white chocolate and mango harmonised very well, too. Loved it.

The dishes were paired with excellent wines, two of them English (a white and a sparkling rosé) and a superb sherry with the pre-dessert.
A very enjoyable evening indeed and I've already signed up for the next one.
karohemd: Gentoo penguins in Antarctica, by me (Hungry)
I've been following Sabrina Ghayour (a private chef, cookery teacher and food writer) on twitter for a while and when she announced a Persian supper club, I had to sign up for it, as it seemed the ideal way of sampling a cuisine I hadn't tried before. It was held at a private home, with (I think) 15 guests in total and a friendly and informal affair.
The food was served not in individual portions but in big dishes on the table which was nice as it added a level of interaction with the other guests.

The starters consisted of a selection of vegetables, herbs, salads, cheese and dips to be spread on flatbread and rolled up. The cucumber/tomato salad was light and fresh, as was the yoghurt dip, the sauteed aubergine with caramelised onions and whey was more earthy but the standout dip was one of smoked aubergine with tomato and garlic. I would have been quite happy with just a bowl of that and some bread.

The mains were more rich: Two stews, one of chicken with walnut and pomegranate molasses and one of lamb with aubergine, split peas and preserved lemons. There was also a fresh herb and barberry frittata and Basmati rice. As with the starters, everything was fantastic and full of flavour.

For dessert was an almond, carrot, pistachio and orange cake served with rosewater cream. I'm not a huge cake fan but this was brilliant, crumbly yet moist, perfectly matched by the cream and to wash everything down there was real mint tea.

It was a lovely evening with excellent food and good company. And now for some photos:

The table is set
The table is set

The Chef
The Chef

Mixed veg, herbs and cheese

Maast-o-Khiar - Yoghurt and cucumber with mint, rose petals and pomegranate seeds

Mirza Ghasemi
Mirza Ghasemi - Smoked aubergine dip with tomato and garlic

The Mains
Coucou Sabzi (mixed fresh herb and barberry frittata)
Khoresht Gheymeh Bademjan (lamb, aubergine and split pea stew with preserved lemons)
Khoresht Fesenjan (chicken, walnut and pomegranate molasses stew)

Almond, carrot, pistachio & orange cake
Almond, carrot, pistachio and orange cake with rosewater cream







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