Sunday, February 10, 2013

Melba Supper Club Dinner: Four delicious Courses served by four unique Chefs

Salamagundi by Ian 'The Candle Stick Maker'

I was looking forward to going to the launch party of Melba (the company formerly known as Epicurely). Melba is a social dining website that helps people find out about supper club events in London or even host their own. I've written about some of their events here and here. For their official launch, they decided to host an event that showcases some of the new and upcoming talent - young chefs who have been recently listing their events on the Melba site. The Melba Supperclub Dinner had 4 courses - each created by a different chef and was hosted at Salvation Jane in Shoreditch. Tickets were priced at £30.




The first course was by Tim Dorman. Tim is the head chef at Lantana, a popular brunch spot in London. His starter was Hake and Kaffir Lime Thai Fish Cakes with Nahm Jim Dipping sauce and an Asian herb salad. Upon tasting the dish, the I could instantly see his influence on previous meals I've had at Lantana. Clean, fresh flavours and a slightly fusion twist to the familiar. I think however, I prefer fishcakes that are made with mix of fish and potatoes. For more about Tim and future events, check out the Melba site.


Thai Fish Cakes by Tim Dorman

The next course was Salamagundi - a many component salad by The Candle Stick Maker otherwise known as Ian Ballantyne. This was my favourite course of the night. Such a simple unassuming dish on the surface - it was just a salad but it was a salad made of different vegetables, fruits, leaves, nuts and even flowers that was as close to perfection  as it could get. It was beautiful to look at and even better to taste. I'm still not sure what half the components were but I ate everything and I could see every one's plates were wiped clean. I think he hosts his events in Clapton. I've never been to Clapton but suddenly I'm totally up for going there and checking out his next supper club dinner. 

To find out more about Ian and his Candle Stick Maker events, you can check out his profile on Melba.

3rd Course: Salamagundi - a many component Salad by Ian Ballantyne 'The Candle Stick Maker'


All the components to make very own Duck Soup - created by Jamie 'The Wandering Chef'

The third course was probably the most fun to eat. Duck Soup by Jamie a.k.a. The Wandering Chef. Platters of sliced duck and garnishes of coriander, red chili and lime, bowls of vinegary mushrooms, soup spoons containing bright  yellow egg yolks and mounds of gleaming, slithery noodles and tea pots full of hot broth - all laid out in front of us to create our own versions of Duck Soup. I absolutely loved it - it was new, it was fun and it was tasty. 

You can find out more about The Wandering Chef and all about his future events here

3rd Course: Duck Soup by Jamie 'The Wandering Chef'

Honeycomb and Galangal Ice Cream by Ilyas Kasam

The last course was dessert by Ilyas Kassam who hosts 'The Thinkers Balcony'. I've met Ilyas before but never tried his food before so I was quite keen to see what he would prepare. Ilyas always likes to add a little something to think about to his dishes. In this case, it was Milan Kundera's book 'The Unbearable Lightness of Being'. He presented a light, ethereal Honeycomb and Galangal Ice cream with some intense, dark chocolates. The ice cream was delicious - definitely not a typical ice cream - creamy and light subtle flavours combined with this intense pure honey. It hit all the right notes and was a perfect finish to the meal.

I hadn't read the book and but this sparked a conversation among the group of people I was sitting with - I suppose this was what Ilyas intended - some food for thought. 

More about Ilyas and The Thinkers Balcony can be found here

At the end of the meal, we were given pretty little boxes that contained Alfajores from Amisqi. Alfajores are a Peruvian sweet - shortbread-like biscuits that are filled with a sweet cream ganache called dulche de leche. I've been curious to try these and they don't disappoint. They reminded me of eating macarons - both are tiny little decadent treats that a box of them could all easily finished at one go if you're not careful! 

If you'd like to order some, here is the website or follow @Amisqi



And that's all folks. I totally enjoyed myself at the event and as I've said before it's a great way to meet new people and enjoy good food. You can check out all the chefs and all the events at the Melba website or follow @Melba.

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