Sunday, 26 April 2015

Dee Reviews Tan Rosie’s Kingston Jamaica Cook-Up - 25th April 2015

We discovered the Tan Rosie Kingston Jamaica Cook-Up while searching for supper clubs based in Birmingham and booked our places several weeks ago.  That turned out to have been a wise move, as all the places ended up being filled, as was the case with the previous event in February.

The Tan Rosie business is run by hard working mother and daughter team Lee and Monica, and extends beyond supper clubs and private catering.  They also produce a range of Caribbean condiments and snacks which they sell both at local food markets and on line: Tan Rosie on-line shop

The supper clubs are held roughly on a monthly basis, at Lee and Monica’s house in Birmingham, with a different theme for each event.  There is far more to Caribbean cuisine than Jerk Chicken, and the Tan Rosie super clubs feature menus from all across the region.  Jamaican cuisine is the best known and most commonly encountered in the West Midlands though, and was the theme for the evening.

Several tables had been set up in the dining area and silver bunting added further decoration.  There was a covered patio area outside, but it was a bit too cold to stand outside.  A soundtrack of Jamaican Reggae was playing, though not too loud to drown out conversation, and a photo of Bob Marley was on display behind where I was sitting.  The atmosphere was friendly and the conversation already free flowing by the time we arrived.

We were among the last guests to be seated, and after a friendly welcome from our hosts, we enjoyed a glass of home-made lemon and ginger alcohol-free cocktail, which was packed with flavour and very popular with our fellow diners, as were the spiced plantain crisps and soft bread rolls that were served before the starters.
The crisps were accompanied by two dips; a hot garlic pepper sauce and a milder chilli jam.  The latter was the more popular, at least at our end of the table, though I was partial to the hot sauce, which I have a bottle of at home.

For the starter, there was a choice of vegetable or beef patties.
The patty shells were made from a type of rough puff pastry which added a flaky, buttery texture to the lightly spiced filling.  Jay and me both chose the vegetable patties, which were served with a mild pepper sauce and fresh rocket dressed with a little olive oil.  Portion size was generous and the sauce and rocket were a perfect balance to the richer patties.

For the main course we both chose the Brown Stew Chicken, which was served with rice and peas, a slice of deep fried plantain, and carrots and sugar snap peas.
From what I could make out, all of the diners had chosen this.  The alternative was a vegetarian Ital stew made from a selection of vegetables, tubers and beans and cooked in coconut milk. 
The Stew Chicken was deliciously rich and highly spiced, though not hot.  My portion included two thighs cooked on the bone with the meat coming away from the bone easily.  The rice and peas were ideal for soaking up the remaining sauce, while the carrots and sugar snap peas gave a fresher bite in between the richer textures present on the rest of the plate.

The most popular dessert choice was a Jamaican Ginger cake, which was served with cream and a tiny mint sprig, but I went for a fruit salad of melon, pineapple, grape, kiwi fruit and pomegranate seeds.
By this time, we’d enjoyed the meal so much that we almost forgot to photograph the dessert, but as the photo above shows, we remembered at around the half-way point.
I welcomed the fruit salad as a nice fresh palate cleanser after the rich main course.  The zesty ginger cake was loved by all and I certainly enjoyed the small sample of Jay’s that I tried.  It had a nice moistness to it, which could have been down to a coating of ginger syrup, but also a light almost buttery taste.  I’m not normally a great lover of ginger in desserts but would have been more than happy with this cake.

A cup of coffee rounded off the supper club and all of the diners seemed to be in agreement that it was a most enjoyable evening with pleasant company and of course fabulous food.  We bought a copy of the Tan Rosie recipe book, which includes some of the dishes we’d enjoyed, so we’re looking forward to trying some of them out very soon.

The next supper club, focusing on the cuisine of St. Lucia, is on 23rd May, with bookings now being taken.  Sadly we won’t be attending due to a prior commitment which we will be writing about in due course, but we will certainly be booking places for some of the future events.

For anyone interested in trying some fabulous home-cooked Caribbean food, the Tan Rosie Supper Clubs are highly recommended.

Tan Rosie Web Site

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