Sunday 17 February 2013

φ gets 'Scratch'ed!

Let us give you the take-home message of this post right from the beginning: that food was fucking amazing! We seriously doubt we'll be able to find a supper club that tops 'Scratch Secret Suppers'. It could be our friendly hosts, the chatty friends that joined us, the very interesting people we met on our table, the fact that it was Friday and we had a couple of bottles of vino with us, but even all that aside, the food alone was seriously exciting!
The friends we dragged with :)

Wednesday 23 January 2013

φ visits the Saltoun Supper Club

"This is my home!" said Arno in a half-defensive, half-proud tone, "It's decorated with the things I love, I serve the food I love, this is my home!" And indeed it felt more like Arno had invited us over for an amazing dinner to his beautifully-decorated home on Saltoun Rd in Brixton, and less like a supper club we booked online. Arno is the artsy, talented and friendly host of the Saltoun Supper Club, and as you can see in the pic below, he has a truly impressive beard! His place is equally impressive, and every corner makes you pause with something unique you'd have to definitely take a second look at.

The Saltoun Supper Club was pretty high up on our supper-clubs-to-visit list. With more reviews online than most of the other clubs (e.g. The Happiness Project, The London Foodie), mentions from The New York Times, The Guardian and Time Out, and a short indie documentary on Arno we were intrigued, to say the least.

Wednesday 19 December 2012

φ pilot supper club nights

Boy! That was not as simple as we had thought!! As probably everyone who's done something similar knows, preparing for a supper club night is not even close to what you have in mind when you set off on this adventure. Contrary to simply cooking for a group of your friends, hosting a supper club dinner is a performance: things have to happen at a certain time and they have to happen in the right way the first time, especially if you are hosting a supper club with entertainment, like us.

As we have stated before, φ is all about doing everything from raw ingredients: we kneaded the dough for our bread on Sunday morning; we bought the best-quality dry-aged sirloin we could find in London; the vegetables were hand-selected from Church Street Market on Saturday; the ice-cream was actually made from milk and eggs two days in advance. All recipes were our own and even our entertainer, Avgoustinos, played his own songs (for the first time!).

We welcomed our guests with homemade bread and two kinds of olive oil that foreshadowed the starter and main. The starter, a hot and numbing bean soup that had been slow-boiling for almost two days was our take on the traditional Greek fasolada, inspired by a Sichuan bean-based hotpot we love. The concept for our main was an inside-out stir-fry: our roast was injected with our beer-based marinade and slow-cooked to medium rare. We served it with caramelized onions with juniper, mash of potato and beetroot with a hint of wasabi, roasted seasonal British winter vegetables, and a simple crispy green salad to quietly refresh our guests. The dessert was our halva ice cream with pieces of halva, served on ice-cream cones (yes, we made those ourselves too) with two warm sesame biscuits for a gentle contrast of temperature. Finally, while Avgoustinos was playing his last songs, we served chocolate branches with chocolate covered mint leaves, and 'flowers' of rasberries with petals made out of chocolate covered orange peel.

Wednesday 14 November 2012

Cooking the fish we "caught" at Billingsgate!

Today we fished out of the freezer one of our wild caught sea breams and some scallops from our recent trip to Billingsgate and a few hours later dinner was served:

Tuesday 13 November 2012

"The Hart & Fuggle" Experience

Irene is particularly peculiar about food and trying out with her this popup restaurant we heard so much about was surely going to be... an experience. Our first dining experience with her and Stefanos, her fiancé, was in Rome where we went on a carb-devouring frenzy for a few days and had her cringe in horror at the sights of Roman classics like Trippa alla Romana and Rigatoni con Pajata (a dish with small intestines of suckling lamb and ewe's milk cheese at Checchino dal 1887). But we digress..

We went to The Hart & Fuggle on Thursday, Nov 8 (they had a separate menu every day apparently), the venue this time was the Workshop Cafe in Farringdon. We arrived slightly late and in a state of distress which quickly evaporated when we were served a very refreshing variation of gin & tonic, with a stick of fresh rosemary in it, a nice touch.