I’d never been to a supper club before a two weeks ago. I’ve always thought it was a cool idea, but for some reason, I’d just never gone through with it. But then I was invited to the much-lauded Fernandez & Leluu supper club. F&L (aka Simon and Uyen) were hosting a special event with Qype , sponsored by After Eight mints and led by the King and perhaps first-ever supper club master – Jim Haynes.
Jim is a total legend. American-born, has lived in Paris for decades, and every Sunday for the last 30 years has hosted anywhere from 80-120 people for dinner. Such a cool story. Plus, he was a wicked ‘tache:
So late one Monday evening, about 40 of us all pile into the secret supper club location, and eat Jim Haynes-style, which basically means standing up with plates and mingling while trying desparately not to drop our food. (It was as difficult as it sounds.) Normally, however, Simon and Uyen host abut 25 people in their living room, which my friend Sian described as ‘a magic supper club TARDIS’. Brilliant.
The first course was a selection of finger foods, mostly Vietnamese:
- Fresh Summer Rolls With Mint, Shredded Pork Skin, Barbequed Pork, Roast Pork Belly, Cured Vietnamese Ham, Sweet Basil & Lettuce
- Spring Rolls With King Prawns, Minced Pork, Black Fungus, Carrots & Glass Noodles
- Pork & Chicken Liver Terrine On Ciabatta
- Whole Prawns With Green Herbs Mayo & Salmon Caviar
- Carrot & Corriander Salad With Shredded Chicken
I’d never given much thought to a summer roll before. They’re usually just a bit basic, but this one (the big honkin’ roll on the left side of my plate) left me speechless. I never would have thought to put pork skin, barbequed pork AND pork belly in a summer roll, but wowza – I sure would now.
Also a big thumbs up to the liver terrine. I’m not generally fan, but this was gorgeous.
For our mains, we had:
- Carpaccio of Argentinian Beef Fillet Rolled in Black Pepper With Raspberry Jus
- Mashed Garlic & Spring Onion Inside Baked Potato Skins
- Lambs Lettuce In Olive Oil & Lemon
- Garlic Foccacia
I wasn’t as big of a fan of this as I was with the starters, but mainly because it was way to difficul to cut it into manageable pieces. I ended up having to chow down on huge chunks when I really would have preferred to savour it a bit longer. Note: If holding a standing supper club, I’d recommend bite sized foods.
Dessert was an absolutely amazing Trifle Of Croissant Bread & Butter Pudding With Whisky Raisins, White Chocolate Custard & Strawberry, Raspberry & Blackberry Soaked in Cointreau.
By this time, I was outside in very low light, so I didn’t get a great photo. Luckily, Kang over at The London Eater did though (as usual!):
I was in love with this from the first bite – it was a beautiful explosion of fruit with just about the most boozey strawberries I’ve ever had in my life. If I wasn’t ipsy before this dessert, I certainly was after.
My first supper club may not have been traditional, but it was certainly good fun. I’m really excited to try Fernandez & Leluu, properly, if not just to have a chance to eat that summer roll again.
If anyone has any other Supper Club suggestions, let me know! I’ve had a couple already, but would be keen to hear more.