Reinventing themselves from Table for 10 to Txoko Supperclub, pronounced “Cho-ko” and meaning a ‘cozy corner’ in Basque language, which was the name given to gastronomical societies for members to cook, drink and socialise together. An apt name I think!
Having visited their first attempt, I was keen to see how it had changed and it was great to be in a cafe in Finsbury, compared to someone’s living room. Without a shadow of a doubt, this was a much improved and great experience. The food was great, with lots of stories about how they concocted the menu and in addition, there were two glasses of wine with a detailed explanation of why that wine was chosen and where it came from.
Gin, pineapple, lemon, vanilla and Thai basil welcome drink
Fried duck eggs, Chinese style
Chilled cucumber, dill and yoghurt soup
Mangalorean “Chicken Sukka” with coconut rice
Mango and coconut semifreddo with hazlenut dacquoise
Santa Florentina unwooded Chardonnay 2015
Dominio de Toya Torrentes 2015
To start the evening, we were handed the welcome drink and oh my gosh! It was amazing. Definitely something I’d want to recreate at home, especially as I’m partial to gin!
Once we were all seated, the hosts Wendy and Reshma introduced the supperclub, the meaning behind it and the menu. After finishing the cocktail, the first wine was introduced. Normally I have an aversion to Chardonnay, but this one was a pleasant surprise and also wasn’t too yellow. I might give unwooded Chardonnay a try in the future but it wouldn’t be first on my list!
The wine was chosen to cut through the flavours of the duck egg. Hands down, my favourite dish. I would have licked the plate if I could but in company of strangers and in a cafe, I refrained! But at home, I might have done! It was beautiful, the flavours exploded in your mouth. This is apparently a typical snack for when children in China would get home and were peckish, but wasn’t too much to fill them up.
Next up, was a move away from China and more towards Malaysia/Singapore and a chilled cucumber soup. Although this was nice, going from a warm dish, to cold, and back to warm was a little odd. However, the flavours were lovely and was a nice twist where you wouldn’t normally associated the flavours with Asia.
Next up, was the next wine, which again, was chosen to be paired with the Mangalorean curry. The curry derives from Mangalore, a small region on the East cost of India, with unique spices and recipe from that area. With a dry curry, the coconut rice was important to give some moisture and the chicken was cooked on the bone to prevent it becoming too dry. Served with a salad with onions, tomato and beetroot and then lashings of coriander. Delicious!
Last but by no means least, and ensuring that you have had your fill of alcohol when you leave, was the exotic fusion dessert fusing east with the flavours of mango and coconut and a semifreddo from Italy. But as with the last supperclub, this was served with a shot, this time, coconut liqueur. For most of the table, the portion was unexpected after three courses already but I still polished it all off! The hazlenut meringue was a delight that really complemented the Asian flavours.
Overall, the dinner was a success and the group of people were interesting and happy to tuck in to whatever was put in front of them. Definitely went home with a satisfied belly! I also recommend looking them up on Facebook and attending their next supperclub on the 10th of September! Big thumbs up!