Sunday, 29 July 2012

Fed by Tang Cantonese Supperclub

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There has been a supperclub revolution in London recently which so many new ones popping up all over! Being a supperclub virgin, I just had to get on the bandwagon as soon as possible because from the look of things, I seem to be missing out big time! Hence, living out of London, a weekend lunch would be much more convenient without the need to rush for the train should I attend a dinner supperclub. So I kept a lookout and when Cherry of Feed the Tang posted up news of her 2nd Cantonese supperclub and a lunch one at that! I immediately went on the Edible Experiences website to buy tickets for the event. I've been following Cherry on twitter and have been kept updated with pics of her home cooked meals so yes, this would definitely be a good 1st supperclub to attend. 

It may seem odd to turn up at a stranger's house and expect to be fed but I've had the pleasure of meeting Cherry briefly on 2 occasions and we've communicated over twitter so it was more like turning up at a friend's house.

Fast forward to 22nd Jul, we arrived at Cherry's inviting home and were met by Chef Cherry as well as the charming front of house, Phoebe and led into the living room. We were served a very refreshing watermelon and sparrow gin cocktail. Introductions were made with the other diners and we all started to chat. Truth be told, it was a bit quiet initially but Phoebe did a very good job of breaking the ice, made us feel comfortable, relaxed and the chatter began.

Once all the guests arrived we went into dining room that sits 8 and the first dish was served.  A light but very flavourful papaya and pork broth, that's also good for the skin, got our tastebuds going.
Next up were some light bits. Neatly stuffed glazed chicken wings which in my opinion would be very tedious to make as the chicken wings had to be deboned and filled with carrots and wood ear mushrooms. Tender seasoned chicken alongside the crunch of the woodear mushrooms made for a very interesting and taste texture sensation.
Eggs soft-boiled in a bonito stock and topped with salmon roe was a triumph! I've always have a soft spot for a perfect soft boil egg with gooey yolk and this was just that and much more! Cherry managed to infused so much flavour into a simple egg and that, I find pretty amazing.
The eggs were served along side some pork pastries.. roast pork wrapped with puff pastry that were just as yummy!
Succulent and juicy chilli soy sauce cooked to perfection prawns came next for this, we had to get our hands dirty, the best way to enjoy prawns! Finger bowls, anti bacterial gel and wet wipes were provided so yes, they do pay attention to the little details that makes for an even more enjoyable meal.
It was now time for the main dishes. Bowls of rice arrived together with the dish I was so looking forward to, the very nicely presently Mui Choi(Preserved Vegetables) Triple cooked(poached, fried and steamed) Pork belly!!!! Cherry's version was drier than the other versions I've tried but it was just as delicious with it's sweet, salty combination.
The beautiful taste explosion, szechuan influenced, not over spicy Saliva or Mouth watering chicken was delicious and a delight to eat. Not to worry, it's not made with saliva and it's so good that it makes your mouth water, hence the name.
A complete chinese meal would never be complete without green vegetables and my absolute fave simple yet vibrant stir fried kailan made me a happy bunny! 
The last main dish was the pan fried bite sized sea bass with chinese chives was satisfying.
At this point, i was already stuffed and we haven't even got to dessert yet! Plates were cleared and on came the desserts. Red bean with homemade coconut nut ice cream was a decadent way to end an outstanding meal! I got to admit that sadly, I couldn't handle the very pretty, light and fluffy raspberry swissroll as I was so full so i just had a small taste of my hubby's portion.

The meal ended with chrysanthemum tea that definitely helped with the digestion. I really needed that as I was so full, I even had to skip dinner!
I thoroughly enjoyed my first supperclub experience, the food and of course the company. Sitting around a table of 8, we chatted constantly across the table and made some foodie friends along the way. I will be attending more supperclub events should the opportunity arise and in fact I've booked myself on another one already!

If you are looking for a supperclub to try, I would highly recommend Fed by Tang as Cherry's cooking is indeed impressive!! Am sure tickets will be highly sort after once the word gets out! 
4 thumbs up from us!!!! :)

Please visit Edible Experiences for more information on Cherry's next supperclub.

Read more about Lunch at Tang's on Edible Experiences

Saturday, 14 July 2012

Crispy Snacks - Healthy Fruit and Veg Crisps

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I'm always on a lookout for healthy and hopefully still tasty version of snacks, cakes etc. Since I've started baking at home, I've replaced butter with light olive oil and the end product is still fab!! Snack-wise, i've yet to come to a point where i'll try to make my own crisps other than roasted chickpeas and kale so when Arthur from Crispy Snacks asked if I wanted to try their fruit/vegetable range of crisps that's free from additives, salt and sugar, I immediately said yes and was actually pretty excited about it since I've yet to see this brand in shops.  
According to the Crispy Snacks website, the wide range of fat and salt-free fruit and vegetable crisps are made by the innovative MIRVAC (worldwide innovative method of fruit and vegetable dehydation) technology. Using this method, the nutritional structure of the fruit and vegetables are not changed. They retain almost all of the nutritious values present in the fresh fruit and vegetables because water is evaporated from the product in a form of steam within a short time(2 hours, with temperature not exceeding 40 deg).

Having tried a selection of their products, I find that the above method truly retains the flavour and in fact intensifies the flavours of the fruit and vegetables. Good in most cases with the exception of one which I'll cover later. Crisps are also non-oily since they are not fried or baked so we can eat as much as possible with no worries at all!

Crispy snacks kindly provided me with 2 20g packs of each of the following.
Apple Chips
These crisps made from Idared apples were light and very crispy. I've always liked apple chips so it's not surprising that I loved these.

Apple Chips with cinnamon
Apples and cinnamon have always been a match made in heaven so this is definitely the perfect combo. The addition of cinnamon doesn't overpower the taste of the apples and it's a nice change from the usual plain apple chips.

Beetroot Chips with vinaigrette
These beetroot chips have been sliced thicker and feels somewhat heavier than the apple chips but the vinaigrette is cleverly added to offset the heaviness. Crunchy, sweet yet sour makes for a very appetising snack.

Carrot Chips with paprika
The carrot chips, like the beetroot ones are thicker and gives a very good crunch in the mouth. Lightly spiced with paprika, it brings out the sweetness and intensity of flavours in the humble carrot!

Tomato Chips with basil and oregano
I loved apple, beetroot and carrot chips but the tomato ones really needed some getting used to. It's amazing how they managed to extract all the moisture from the tomato and made it so crispy. However in my opinion, intensifying and concentrating the saltish flavour of the tomato in this way wasn't to my personal liking. I could only have a few pieces and it got a little sickening somehow. I have to stress that it's probably just me which had a problem with the flavour. I love tomatoes and sundried tomatoes and eat them all the time but I just don't really like it when prepared in this way. 

No harm done though since I'm happy Crispy snacks contacted me and I'll definitely be buying more of the healthy apple, beetroot, and carrot chips to keep at home to satisfy my snack related cravings! 

For those in London, Crispy snacks chips can be found at the following places.
  • Partridges of Slone Square on Kings Road
  • Portobello Wholefoods on Portobello Rd
  • House of Mistry – Hampstead
  • Heath Matters London – High Barnet
  • Organic and Wholefood – Healan Centre in Crouch End
In addition to the above, they can also be bought directly from the Crispy Snacks website.

Thursday, 12 July 2012

Elderflower cordial

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We recently decided that we should start playing tennis since we have 2 tennis courts just a 3 mins walk away. One early Sunday morning we made our way there and noticed that there were 2 Elderflower trees just beside the court! I've been looking out for them here in the UK ever since we saw so many whilst we were on holiday in Slovenia. So I was pleasantly surprised to find them here, away from the roads, a good thing as I've read that it's not such a good idea to pluck those by the roadside since they are contaminated with the petrol fumes.
After a good hour of playing tennis for the first time in years, we quickly plucked some elderflowers and made our home. Believe me when i say that I ached like no one's business for the next few days! Gosh! I haven't ached like that in ages!!
I immediately search for recipes once we got home and for once, I actually had all the ingredients for some impromptu cordial making including citric acid! Something my hubby bought when we visited Brixton market recently. 
This takes 24 hours to brew before it's ready so don't be too impatient!
Ingredients (Adapted from the Good Food Channel)
20 small heads of elderflower
500g caster sugar
750ml water
1 unwaxed lemon
30 g citric acid

1. Shake the elderflowers to expel any lingering insects, and then place in a large bowl. (I soaked the elderflowers for a bit to clean it a bit more but beware that some of the flavour will be wasted when the water is poured away)
2. Put the sugar into a pan with the water and bring up to the boil, stirring until the sugar has completely dissolved.
3. While the sugar syrup is heating, pare the zest of the lemons off in wide strips and toss into the bowl with the elderflowers. Slice the lemons, discard the ends, and add the slices to the bowl. Pour over the boiling syrup, and then stir in the citric acid. Cover with a cloth and then leave at room temperature for 24 hours.
4. Next day, strain the cordial through a sieve lined with muslin , and pour into sterilized glass jars/bottles. Screw on the lids and pop into the cupboard ready to use. Keep in the refrigerator once opened.

Note: I sterilized the jars by washing them in hot soapy water and placing them in a 120deg oven to dry. Thanks to Dish Piglets and Mondomulia for the tips via Twitter!

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sushi Tetsu - Sushi at it's best!

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Opened only 3 weeks ago, Sushi Tetsu has already been receiving rave reviews from bloggers. Some have even returned for another meal  as they couldn't get enough of it's awesome offerings.

I got to know of this amazing but tiny restaurant run by Chef Toru Takahashi, who used to work at Nobu and his wife, through twitter and after reading The Skinny Bib's very exciting review, I knew that I would have to make a reservation soon as everyone who's been there all feel that it's going to be very difficult to make reservations soon. Oh yes! It is that good and I totally agree after having a dinner experience there!
It only sits 7 people at the counter and 2 tables of 2 in the restaurant. I was told that Chef Toru only serves sushi at the counter so the tables are there for people who are waiting to enjoy a beer or two.
There's only sushi and sashimi on the menu so for those who don't eat raw fish, this is not a place for you. Fish sourced by Chef Toru supplier are indeed of the best quality. Fish that are fresh, springy and full of flavour definitely hold the prime spot here. Chef Toru is a master at combining flavours and textures whether it's spring onions, shiso leaves, sancho pepper, cucumber, plum sauce or blowtorching which compliments and accentuates the star of the show! Just look at the concentration on his face during preparation!
As we were here to eat to our heart's content, we each went for the omakase flower set menu which contained the most amount of items... 9 items(chosen by Chef Toru) + a roll. However, towards the end of this taste adventure, we decided to order more as we couldn't get enough and asked Chef Toru  recommend 3 more items so yes, we ate quite a lot but somehow with sushi, one will never get too bloated, a very good thing in my books and just for the record, i'm usually a pretty small eater and i managed to eat everything. :) 
After we placed our order, a bamboo leaf that has already been soaked in water was placed in front of each of us and wiped cleaned. All sushi will then be served on this bamboo leaf. It'll be replaced when it gets too dry. 

The journey then begins. One thing to note is the Chef Toru brushes most of the sushi with soy sauce so though there's additional soy sauce available for you to use on the side. It's usually not necessary. 
Seabream Sushi
Turbot Sushi with plum sauce and spring onions
Salmon Sushi
Ebi/sweet prawn Sushi
Yellow Tail with plum sauce
Tuna Sushi - the colour is amazing!
Mackerel, Sancho pepper amd seaweed algae sushi
Light seared Scallop Sushi
Cucumber, Razor clam skirting and shiso roll
Chef Toru blowtorching the Otoro (Tuna Belly)
The awesome smokey oily seared Otoro (Tuna belly)
Razor clam, lime juice and seasalt sushi
Sea urchin wrapped in cucumber
Tamago(Japanese Omelette) - prawns and fish was used to flavour this and it added a nice sweetness. Started over a stove and ended in the oven.
We thoroughly enjoyed sitting at the counter and watching Chef Toru work with precision and lightness. We'll definitely make another trip back soon!

The bill came up to £65/person. We had green tea but Sushi Tetsu also carries a selection of sake and Japanese beer. 

Sushi Tetsu
Jerusalem Passage
Tel. 020 3217 0090
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