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Posts Tagged ‘secret supper’

Sorbet and flower 

 

Rosie and Ellie’s Salad Club is a food blog I have been following for a while and when I read about their secret supper, a four course meal served in a sitting room in south London, I was desperate to reserve a table.

 

So Felicity, Philippa and I made our way to Brixton on Saturday evening, undeterred by the mist-like rain and excited to find out what was for dinner. We were quickly relieved of any apprehension with a warm welcome. We were made to feel at home and throughout the evening the service was fantastic.

 

There were some wasabi peas and a complimentary beer when we arrived. Even if you loathe wasabi peas it is impossible not to nibble on them in a masochistic fashion if a bowl is sitting in front of you. 

 

soup

 

We started with a beetroot soup served with sour cream and dill. At the last minute Rosie and Ellie decided to serve this warm rather than chilled because of the terrible weather. This was a good call as I had arrived with soaking wet shoes and although the soup wasn’t able to repair the damage to my pumps it did warm me up.

 

A salad of fennel and roasted onions was dotted with capers and pine kernels. I adore fennel so my opinion on this salad is perhaps unbalanced but I thought it was delicious. Some raisins might have been a nice addition, or is this further evidence that I am becoming obsessed with the holy trinity of raisins, pine kernels and capers?

 

Shredded lamb, served with mint yoghurt and tabbouleh was very fresh and zingy but balanced and made substantial by the melt-in-your-mouth lamb. Ultimately this dish came down to the fantastic meat which had been marinated for 24 hours before cooking. It was divine.

 

salad

 

Sorbet was a lovely end to the meal. I like having a set meal that has been carefully considered not only because all the flavours complement one another but also because the person who devises the menu acts with the necessary restraint that perhaps I don’t at 10pm after a few glasses of wine when suddenly a sticky toffee pudding can seem like a very good idea.

 

The mango and rosewater was by far and away my favourite sorbet. I didn’t know how rose would compete with mango but it actually worked very well. I think the rosewater restrained the mango a little which gave a more refined floral taste than your standard mango sorbet. It was very good.

 

Our evening drew to a close with coffee and singing from The Rooftops, a harmonic quartet. They were like the Puppini Sisters without the full-on 40s gear, which is a good thing. 

 

lamb

 

At the start of the evening there were a few journalists and photographers milling around. I was expecting to spend the whole evening a violent shade of red which is my involuntary reaction to the camera but they were very discreet and agreed not to film us. A lady from Grazia asked us a few questions one of which got me thinking: were we dining in a secret restaurant because we found normal restaurants boring? Well, I’m only 26 and I haven’t quite had enough of restaurants just yet. I could understand AA Gill feeling a tad jaded and searching for the next dining-high, I however am still easily thrilled by a mid-week visit to Pizza Express. I certainly don’t find the illegal aspect exciting, I am a big fan of all things legal and if I thought there was any chance of the Met conducting a late-night raid on the Salad Club I would steer well clear.

 

Perhaps all the other diners at secret suppers are epicurean thrill-seekers but I was there because I am attracted to something that is individual, homely and motivated by passion rather than profit.

 

I don’t think my generation have had time to get bored of restaurants but we might need to reassess where we dine. Our parents may have come to accept high prices for mediocre food as the norm but we’re going to have to find an alternative because it’s looking like there isn’t much money left. I could dine for £20 in many restaurants in London but what Rosie and Ellie have done is offer something of value.

 

 

menu

 

Hopefully secret suppers aren’t a fleeting craze to be leapt upon and destroyed by journalists and PRs wearing unusual spectacles. If this does happen, and there’s a 99% chance it will, then these evenings will be the hot ticket for a few months until something new comes along like dining in a disused warehouse or eating according to the turning of the tides. And that would be a great shame because Rosie and Ellie’s Salad Club was one of the nicest restaurants I have been to for some time.

 

Coffee

 

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