First time Supper Club

It’s Saturday night and I find myself in the depths on Maida Vale accompanied by my trusty friend Steph in search of an elusive parking space. The reason for our North-West London expedition, is we will be attending our first ever “Supper Club”. It’s one of those things I have often heard people speak about, but like the concept of eating Kale I don’t think I really understood. Steph in her wisdom had signed us up a month before and after the previous chaotic week; being a bridesmaid (more about that in my next post) I welcomed the chance for a relaxed Saturday, whilst being fed good food.

But what were we to expect, as I said my experience of Supper Clubs was limited/ non-existent, so with a quick google I found various definitions, including being described as:

“An underground restaurant, sometimes known as a supper club or closed door restaurant, is a social dining restaurant operated out of someone’s home, generally bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations”

“The overriding purpose of Supper Club is the consumption of meat and alcohol by like-minded individuals in a suitably comfortable environment.”

Well I can’t say the google search helped much, but we had paid in advance and nothing else planned, so off we went to Jason’s Little Kitchen Supper Club, in search of good food and company.

Jason owner/ creator and host describes the experience as:
“West African supper club based in London, which plans to bring and share authentic homemade West African dishes using organic and locally sourced ingredients”

We sat on communal tables, decorated in traditional Kente cloth and Ankara wax print fabrics that encouraged the interaction between diners, adding to the relaxed atmosphere as we discussed which wine is best served with Chin Chin.

We ate:

 

Jason's Little Kitchen

 

Ghanaian Tuna Pie

 

Jason little kitchen

 

Spinach Stew and Rump Steak, served with Yam and Plantain

 

 
DSC_0298
 

Chin Chin Crumble (Who knew such a thing existed?)

 

The food was impeccably presented, a welcomed surprise, being of West-African decent myself I am used to the “pile it high” method of serving food, presentation not being a top priority. However on this occasion each dish was thoughtfully presented the result being traditional Ghanaian cuisine, served in a gourmet fashion.

 

As an added bonus Preet Sahota of Edgmond Wines was on standby to offer expect advice as to the best South-African wines to accompany our meal. In answer to the previous question: KWV “The Mentors” Noble Late Harvest goes well with Chin Chin Apple Crumble, though be warned this wine is very sweet and may not be to everyone taste.

 

 

Overall it was a great evening, a mixed crowd average age ranging from late 20s to early 30s provided good conversation and interesting company. Not forgetting the whole restaurant wishing me a happy belated birthday, the highlight of my year thus far.

Jason's Little Kitchen

I will endeavour to attend again, any opportunity to support those bringing a positive light to Africa and if they feed me good food, even better!

The Jasons of the Kitchen
Jason's Little Kitchen
For more on Jason and his little kitchen see the website: jasonslittlekitchen.co.uk

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Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings, Friendship disection

Those that know me well will know that I have been brainstorming the whole concept of friendship of late. We dedicate so much time to analysing our romantic relations and there is a deluge of literature dedicated to being a better wife, parent, employee; but very little in reference to being a good friend.

It’s so easy to take real friendship for granted and forget even the strongest of bonds need time, effort and a little love sprinkled on top, to renew that union you share for the next 10 years.

So when Steph invited me out for a late lunch I jumped at the chance to hang-out with one of my best friends, on a sunny bank holiday with the stress of work long forgotten.

The lunch was not just about the food, though it was delicious and we happily overate with willful abandon. No we were here to work, I enlisted Steph’s input and advice to help me formalise my thoughts around the subject of “Friendship” by the end of our meal we had dissected and categorised the different friendship types, from the “faux plutonic friend” to the “default group buddy”. Too much to write in this post, which lead me to the conclusion I need at least a whole post dedicated to the subject matter if not an entire series.

Anyway back to today’s lunch, we found ourselves at Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings in Clerkenwell London, a relaxed eating environment serving all day breakfast and brunch.

For full details of what I wore, see my LOOK BOOK.

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

The all day brunch menu has something for everyone

We ate the full works breakfast with a “side” of pancakes
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Tropical print chairs

The indoor conservatory/ green house
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Steph’s dress encompassed the botanical tropical theme beautifully “happy accident”
Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Stacked rings and sparkly things.For full details of what I wore, see my LOOK BOOK.

Bourne & Hollingsworth Buildings

Brunch at Hoi Polloi, Ace Hotel

Those that know me well, know I love a leisurely brunch on lazy afternoon, catching-up with friends whilst enjoy good food. On this gloriously sunny afternoon I met with my friend Carina, location Hoi Polloi, Ace Hotel, Shoreditch.

It was my first time visiting Hoi Polloi, though I had been to the Ace Hotel on a number of occasions. The entrance to the restaurant is not the most obvious, as you make your way through a florist or if like me who got very confused the neighbouring bar. Once inside I was delightfully surprised by the spacious yet intimate space. The Art Deco touches, mixed with the soft leather booths and paneled wood, resulted in a comfortable and inviting dining environment. The menu was presented as an old newspaper and our table water is served in old glass milk bottles.

 

However the highlight of the day was the string quartet playing some of the best pop classics, myself and Carina found ourselves pausing in conversation to enjoy the music. I have heard Beyoncé Crazy in Love a million times, but I got to enjoy it as if for the first time and found myself wanting to sing along.

The clientele were what as expected for this part of London; think bearded, clad in denim and ironic take on fashion representative of East London.

I ate stacked pancakes topped off with bacon and maple syrup, undoing all the good work I had done in the gym that very morning. Though there was no remorse as they were wickedly delicious, certainly worth another visit.

Hoi Polloi Pancakes

The staff were friendly and we didn’t feel at all rushed to hurry-up and leave, in fact we could have easily spent the whole afternoon hanging-out and chatting.

 

For more about Hoi Polloi Restaurant visit: www.hoi-polloi.co.uk

 

Hoi Polloi, Restaurant Review

Jackson + Rye restaurant: Chicken with a side of girly chat

After an eventful week of mishaps and unnecessary stress, I ended the week in a somewhat reflective mood, pondering on life, my future and what happens next.

It’s Saturday afternoon and I’m spending time with one of my best friends having a girly chat over fried chicken and pancakes.  Our location of choice London Soho Jackson + Rye restaurant and the topic of discussion “self-improvement”.

Often we become so focussed upon what everyone else is doing wrong we forget that to action real sustainable change we need to start with ourselves.  This year 2015, the year of the Goat just happens to be the year of me. I’m embarking on a journey of enlightenment I want to learn new things and remove all the dead-wood, so I can focus on achieving my goals. What those goals are, I’m not quite sure.

 

We ate authentic southern fried chicken, butter pancakes and enjoyed fresh green juice.

Jackson and rye
Jackson and rye

Green Juice: Avocado, Spinach, Watercress, Mint, Cucumber and Chia seeds (I confess I don’t know what this is)
I settled for the fresh Carrot and Apple juice with a Ginger kick.

Jackson and rye

Jackson + Rye the heart of London Soho, Wardour Street

Jackson and rye

Dishoom Bombay Café, Kings Cross

Indian restaurant in the heart of London.

It’s late December post-Christmas and just happens to be my birthday, after working a full day in the office I made the short journey down the Euston road to Dishoom King’s Cross, located at the newly developed Stable Street. The restaurant was slightly tucked, meaning very easy to get lost which some of the attendee’s to this special dinner found.

It was my birthday, yet it wasn’t actually my birthday dinner, I was invited to celebrate with my friend Carina. Who by coincidence has the exact same date of birth as me, down to the year making us “twins from another mother”, as we like to refer to ourselves.

I was a little nervous about attending, as I knew the fellow birthday girl but I wasn’t familiar with the other attendee’s. As part of my New Year’s resolution I have decided to say YES more frequently so when Carina extended her kind invitation to me I immediately said yes, and then fretted about it after. I knew this would be a great test of my introvert nature and opportunity to exercise my New Year resolve (more about my New Year resolution coming soon to the blog). Anyway I have completely digressed, let me get back to the topic in hand …. Dishoom!

Dishoom

I had been planning to visit the restaurant for some time, since it opened late 2014, however was put-off by talks of 2 hour queues just to get to the bar. However on this occasion we had pre-booked and were seated upon arrival.

We were a large group, so instead of ordering separately, a number of different dishes were selected to create our very own custom buffet, including my highlights of Garlic and Cheese Naan bread, Chicken Tikka and my surprise favourite of the night Okra Fries (who knew such a thing existed).

The venue and décor were impressive, think 19th century Bombay colliding with this historic former railway shed and you start to get a flavour of what I’m talking about. The restaurant literally oozes history, from the tiled floors to the dark wood table tops. I was also surprised by the size of the venue, you will find a basement lounge, ground floor restaurant and mezzanine level bar all under the one roof.

Dishoom

I will return again, this time to sample the breakfast menu.

www.dishoom.com

Mosob Eritrean Restaurant NW London

Just off the Harrow road, minutes from Westbourne Park station, you will find London’s best Eritrean restaurant Mosob. Though my experience of Eritrean restaurants is limited, I would agree with those who have visited before me. I dined with an eclectic mix of friends and we partook in range of sharing platters representative of this east African country.

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HONG KONG: Green tea cake and Sea salt brownie

Continuing my Hong Kong adventure, I sampled Green Tea Cake and Sea Salt Brownie. Though at first dubious about the strange food combinations, the results were surprisingly pleasant.