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Last published on June 9th, 2017

Normally we don’t host supper clubs in the same venue twice, however the vibe from our last one just felt right and therefore we knew our coming together with Olivers Village Cafe was definitely more than a one night stand!

Back at Olivers Village Cafe
Shakira helping out for the evening

On this occasion, Chef Kim decided to leave her unglamorous and ‘slightly’ balding assistant (USBA) out of the kitchen and instead called upon one of the volunteers from her recent collaboration with social enterprise-SOOP Stories. We therefore had the pleasure of working with sous-chef Shakirat for the evening. Kim met Shakirat whilst teaching a lesson at SOOP, ‘Stories on our Plate’ is a culinary program offering skills, support and guidance to refugees and asylum seekers.

Table settings ready
Rebecca and Chris helping out

Chef Kim and sous-chef Shakirat were left to do their magic in the kitchen while Rebecca from Olivers and her musically gifted assistant, Chris Mossop, used their magic to make the setting for tonight’s culinary adventure something special. She was determined on reflecting the glorious summer breeze rather than the political stalemate of that infamous day. Once again, the artistic hands of baby S were called in to action and hey presto beautiful, original, name cards were created.

Spice challenge rules
We have a winner...finally

As with all of our supper clubs, diners are welcomed with a drink that is painstakingly curated by yours truly; let’s just call it the more mundane and painful aspects of my ‘day job’. For tonight, we drew inspiration from the rather special ‘shakey pete’s ginger brew’, which has been made famous by Hawksmoor. Think of it as all the fiery sweetness of a ginger shandy with the added refreshing sophistication of gin’s juniper notes.

No Spice Deli supper club is kicked off without the guess the spice challenge and its great to see how quickly our lovely diners turn from mildly intrigued to uber competitive. Tonight, we had our highest score of 12 correct entries (out of 14) from 2 guests on the same table; awkward? Naturally, I come prepared for such occasions and had with me 2 additional spices to settle the score. Let’s just say that when they both guessed both the additional spices correctly, the only next best option is a good old fashioned arm-wrestle. And with that, our handcrafted wooden spice box had a new proud owner.

Not sure if it was the gentle summer breeze or the great mix of diners or the lure of the handcrafted spice box or the delicious ginger brew that prevented everyone from taking a seat but that soon changed when they were reminded of the culinary treats in store for them.

Asparagus, broad beans and peas with saffron yoghurt and dukkah
Samosas two ways

First to the plate was the Asparagus, broad beans and peas served with saffron yoghurt and dukkah. The freshness of these lovely spring vegetables sleeping under the rich and smooth blanket of the saffron yoghurt sprinkled with the nutty spiceness1 of dukkah. I could go on, but based on how quickly we were called upon to collect the clean plates, in this case less is definitely more.  

Where the first plate was a sophisticated fusion of summer and spring, the second plate called upon everyone’s (& I mean everyone) love for the naughty crispiness that only something fried can give you. It was time for Samosas two ways (feta and leek / beetroot and coconut) served with homemade coriander chutney. Crisp, flakiness welcoming you to your visit with either the salty duo of feta and leek or the deceptively spiced duo of beetroot and coconut, while you are chaperoned by that familiar yet fresh companion of homemade coriander chutney. once you’ve tried both, figure out which is your favourite and then repeat (for research purposes only, obviously).

Jardaloo murg (appricot spiced chicken)
Jardaloo cauliflower (apricot spiced cauliflower)

It was now time for star of the show, the Jardaloo Murg (Apricot spiced chicken topped with crispy matchstick potatoes) served with jewelled rice, kachumbar (delicately pickled salad). This is a traditional 2 dish which is usually served at happy occasions and with all the smiles around, chef Kim must have done the Parsis proud. For the vegetarians, chef Kim reimagined the dish by using cauliflower steaks, thereby ensuring that everyone had their far share of happiness.

Jewelled rice and kachumbar
Stem ginger ice cream with rosewater shortbread

According to wikipedia, “Dessert” is code for your brain to tell your guts to prep stomach no.2 3. Jokes and facts aside, we all know that desserts can, if you are like us, make or completely and utterly destroy all the previous hard work. Determined to ensure that all the above mentioned smiles were converted into warm fuzzy glows, it was time for the stem ginger ice cream served with rosewater and pistachio shortbread. Mission accomplished!

More happy diners
More busy diners
Busy diners
Happy diners with chef Kim

And just like that, it was time to bid adieu to our happy diners, but not before they collected their spice pot from a selection of chilli salt, chai spice, and garlic salt sourced from Spice Kitchen, a family run artisanal spice and tea company run by mother and son team Sanjay & Shashi Aggarwal.

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Spices on a summer breeze