Komal's Supper Club
Supper clubs started off as ‘offroad’ dining experiences – literally underground clubs where in-the-know diners gather to meet and eat from exotic menus.
In the UK – no doubt influenced by TV’s infamous Come Dine With Me – they’re more homely affairs set in the front rooms of enterprising hosts. Both flavours have benefitted from the upsurge in social media networking. Twitter, Facebook and Blogs are great for setting up new events and marketing them and in fact I learnt of Komal's Supper Club through following her on Twitter (@SweetKomal).
Komal is the first to set up a true Supper Club here in Sheffield as far as I’m aware. Yes, the Seven Hills WI hold them, but they're open to members only (yet another reason to join?) and Roast (previously Clearly Food Kitchen) also hold them, but they take place in their restaurant, not in a home (although this doesn't mean that they don't serve up a good meal).
So as a Sheffield Foodie I was very excited at the prospect of attending Komal's first event and I very quickly booked places for both myself and the husband. Three courses with pre-dinner nibbles and coffee to finish for £20. It's BYOB so it was all very reasonable!
Now these things could probably be a bit nerve racking, but as I had briefly met Komal a couple of times before I wasn't feeling that nervous. Also Ros from Nibbly Pig was going and after lunching with her over the Food Festival I was looking forward to seeing her again. And the husband was coming too, so it's not as though I was going on my own!
We arrived a little late, something that I hate doing, but we'd struggled finding Komal's flat (essentially Google Maps told us that she lived at one end of a very long street when she actually lived at the other). Anyway, Komal didn't hold it against us and she graciously welcomed us into her home.
We were shown into the living room where the dining table was set up. Dressed in a pretty table cloth with candles dotted around, it looked lovely.
There were 6 diners in total, a nice size to start with I think, although Komal would have liked a couple more. As we sipped at our mango bellini, prepared by Komal, we chatted amongst ourselves as our host slipped off to the kitchen to prepare an accompaniment. The dukkah nibbles were a new one on me and according to Komal it's an 'arabian dry nutty spice mix that goes well with pitta bread and oil/mayonnaise'.
The idea is that you dip strips of pitta bread (handmade by Komal) into the oil or mayonnaise and then into the dry nut mix. It was delicious. The pitta breads were perfectly formed and the nut mixture was spicy but not hot, Komal had used coriander, cumin and mustard seeds along with dried mint and za'tar. It was so good, that we all declared that we wanted to make the dish at home, so Komal has kindly posted the recipe on her blog.
Starters were Thai corn fritters with a sweet and sour cucumber dipping sauce. The fritters were nicely packed with corn and herbs. They were well cooked too; free of any grease. The dipping sauce was tasty and surprisingly hot given that it wasn't packed with chillies. Worked well with the cool corn!
The main event was Indian style green fish curry, which tasted very much like a Thai green curry. Served in bowls with ample rice it was a real crowd pleaser. The fish was trout and there was a nice selection of green veg in there too. The flavourings were good; coconut along with some chilli heat.
Time for dessert and Komal served us poached pears with ginger, dark chocolate mousse and cardamom crème Chantilly. There was quite a bit on my plate, and I must admit to feeling a little overwhelmed. The chocolate mousse alone would have been ample for me, but as my only complaint is that we had big servings, it's pretty good going!
Pears were still firm (not hard) despite the poaching and the cream was a good rich side to the fresh tasting pear. The chocolate was the star of the show for me. Rich and dark is how I like my chocolate and this fit the bill nicely.
So how was it? Well, eating in someone's home feels a bit strange when you don’t know the host and Komal was so busy cooking that she didn't join us for the meal (although we did manage to persuade her to have dessert with us). But we all had a hugely enjoyable evening. The company was great and I think Ros and I will arrange another foodie get together in the near future. Most importantly, the food was delicious! I enjoyed every mouthful.
Komal too has declared the event a success and that she will be holding more! This is good to hear as Sheffield has been crying out for a supper club.
If you fancy attending one of these events follow Komal on Twitter or her blog and she'll keep you updated.