Dee - Today’s event, hosted by Carole, author of the ‘No Ping No Bling’ Birmingham food heroes guide and web site Link to web site, was a first for both Jay and me. We’d heard about Supper Clubs and Pop-Up restaurants before but had never plucked up the courage to book in for one. But the prospect of a lunch time presentation of Thai street food proved impossible to resist, and it proved a great introduction to a new dining experience.
We were greeted on arrival by Carole and her family, who gave us a complimentary glass of sparkling wine, and we were shown to the lounge where our fellow diners were gathering. Conversation was easy and friendly, and it was nice to meet fellow food bloggers Taylah: Link to blog and Laura: Link to blog.
Prior to the food being served, Carole gave a short talk covering her long-standing love of Thai cooking, and the time that she had spent learning the various techniques required to produce a feast such as the one that we were about to enjoy.
The first of the food was served as canapes, and was well laid out and pleasantly informal.
First up were the Ma Hor, a mixture of spiced pork, prawn and chicken, laid out on cubes of pineapple. This tasty mix of sweet, spicy and salty flavours was unlike anything either of us had tasted in a Thai restaurant before; and this was to set a precedent for the rest of the meal.
Next were the Neua Sawarn, which reminded me somewhat of beef jerky. It featured coriander in three forms: the root, which I had never seen before, in the marinade, the crushed seeds as a coating to the cooked meat, and the leaves as a garnish.
We were then shown into the main dining area which had been beautifully laid out with lotus flowers and a garlanded Buddha.
Conversation was still flowing, and we scarcely even noticed the grey sky outside.
The first of the seated courses was a Muu Satay, with beautifully cooked pork served on skewers with a delicious peanut sauce on a spoon. The platter was handed round the table several times, so we enjoyed a couple more skewers than the one pictured. This handing round of the platter created an atmosphere of social dining. We enjoyed discussing the food with our fellow diners, and we were pleased to learn that they were as fond of the food as we were.
This was followed by the Prawn Pandanus, a patty of prawns and pork which had been wrapped in a pandanus leaf and steamed to keep it moist. It certainly packed a punch when dipped in the accompanying sauce of sweet vinegar and chopped fresh red chilli.
Pork Hok Parlow
The next course was the Pork Hok Parlow, a dark and spicy broth to which was added pork belly and half a boiled egg. It had a distinctive oily texture and rich flavour of star anise, garnished with coriander leaves. I loved this, and on reflection, I would declare it my dish of the day. For Jay, dish of the day was a tie between this one and the Ma Hor.
Chicken Kow Soi Noodles
The final savoury course was the Chicken Kow Soi Noodles; a bowl of two types of noodles, soft and crispy, in a mildly spiced sauce with chicken on the bone. There was a communal platter handed round with the bowls, which included green beans, tiny peeled cloves of shallot, lime wedges and a paste made from crushed red chillies, which allowed the diners to embellish their bowls as they saw fit. This was another nice personal touch which hasn’t featured in any restaurant meals we’ve had to date.
Sticky Rice and Mango
For dessert, we enjoyed a portion of sticky rice cooked in coconut milk and garnished with black sesame seeds, alongside some sliced soft mango. A nice mix of fruity and creamy flavours and textures.
At the end of the meal we felt pleasantly full after a nice long lunch with great company and amazing food. We retired to the lounge for a final cup of coffee, during which time we discussed our experiences of this new way of dining, and we agreed that we’d certainly like to attend another event of this type. Perhaps an evening supper club next time.
This was a great way to spend a Sunday afternoon, and is highly recommended for anyone who loves a good meal and a relaxed friendly chat.
Now that we have Carole’s useful food heroes guide, we can start planning our next event.