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Supper club revisitations

It has been 2 months since my first foray into the world of the underground restaurant. It all started with a trip to the Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club. I wrote a gushing account of the experience here. Kim and I have been dying to return and decided to invite a few friends who we knew would love it as much as we had…after all it’s good to share right??

I felt strangely at home walking into Simon and Uyen’s gorgeous eclectic flat…

After a pleasant spell in the garden with a glass of wine we settled down at our tables for an epic Vietnamese feast…

We started with Banh cuon (delicate, thin sheets of rice noodle served coldwith pork belly…

then prawn and squid paste on sugar cane…

it was so light and fragrantly tasty and the sugar cane added a whole new dimension of flavour when chewed (chewing the cane was recommended I wasn’t just being a heathen).

The next course was BBQ spare ribs and a chicken salad…

Just when I thought things couldn’t get any better we were served Bun Bo Hue, a beef broth with noodles that was just bursting with flavour…

But in my opinion the best savoury dish had truly been saved until last…the most mouth-wateringly tender lemongrass beef wrapped in vine leaves, served with a spicy peanut dipping sauce. My photo really doesn’t do it justice but you’ll just have to take my word for it…I didn’t want it to end…

However, all good things must come to an end and we finished off the perfect meal with a dainty tea cup full of zingy, coconut sorbet…

The real beauty of Simon and Uyen’s food is that it’s so fresh and full of taste! I’m in complete awe of how they manage to shoehorn so much flavour into what are in essence fairly uncomplicated dishes. It’s honest food, the kind of food that you can’t hide behind. I can say, hand on heart, that I would choose a meal at the Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club over the showy foams and emulsions offered in eateries like the Dorchester or L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon any day of the week.

Thank you Simon and Uyen! 

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9 courses of pure joy and wonderment

I’m up pretty early on my day off because I felt the urge to share with you the pure gastronomic joy and wonderment that I experienced last night at the Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club. I’m gutted to have to admit that I didn’t take photo’s of my food as I felt a little bit conspicuous in the setting of Simon and Uyen’s lovely home, which was so relaxing with an atmosphere so unlike that of a restaurant that it just didn’t feel right. I am also aware that I may be labelled as ‘one of those annoying people who takes photos of everything they eat’ and although that does sound pretty accurate I’m not sure I like it and at least can work on taking the ‘annoying’ bit out of that sentence 🙂

So I’m afraid all I can do it tell you all about the most delicious meal I have eaten in….well…forever!

We arrived at Simon and Uyen’s house clutching our bottle’s of wine and with our cash donations tucked away in our purses. Fortunately there were quite a few first timers like us so we weren’t alone in initially feeling slightly strange that we’d just rocked up at a strangers house and were now drinking wine and making small talk in their back yard.

Any awkwardness disappeared when we were lured to our tables by the intoxicating smell of fresh baked garlic bread, which I’m actually calling course number 1. There was a seating plan for the evening and Kim and I were very lucky to be sat on a table for 4 with 2 lovely supper companions.

From that point on, the wine and conversation flowed freely and we were brought out a steady stream of the most delectable dishes….9 courses in total!

Course 2 – We started with a pea soup with basil, topped with parmesan shavings and lardons of succulent ham.

Course 3 – Next up were figs stuffed with goats cheese and topped with proscuitto and pine nuts.

Course 4 – We then shared sweet potato tortilla with a tomato picante sauce and a really fresh cucumber and feta salad.

Course 5 – Then fresh and zingy carrot and chicken salad served with deep fried lotus (something I have never seen or heard of before) and prawn crackers.

Course 6 – Next we had banh cuon (thai pasta sheets) with cured ham and pork belly, which was to die for.

Course 7 – Just when we thought the meal was nearly over they places a huge plate of the freshest, most tender tuna Sashimi and chips in front of us and we were in pure ecstasy! I’ve never had sashimi before so have nothing to compare it to but 

Course 8 – We were all pretty full at this point but managed to devour a delicious bowl of beef pho.

Course 9 – The final course was a coconut sorbet with cointreau, which was exactly what was needed to finish the meal of perfectly!

Well…what can I say…I have fallen in love with the Fernandez and Leluu Supper club and will most definitely be returning if they’ll have me back. I was totally amazed at the professional standard of the food being produced in what was in reality a fairly small non commercial kitchen. We all commented on the quality of the food – there had definitely been no expense spared on ingredients and it was worth every penny of my donation. I believe that that standard of food can only be produced by people who fully appreciate, understand and have an all encompassing passion for food and I have come away from my first supper club experience completely and utterly inspired!

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