A supper club? In Deptford? A whole meal cooked by Mike & Ollie?
When Mike announced a month or so ago that he was going to try a supper club, I decided that this was one not to miss, and booked myself in for the very first night.
The venue was the Deptford Project (otherwise known as the train carriage) and for the night's supper club, the tables were in one long row along the middle of the carriage, just like it used to be when it first opened.
The carriage had been liberally decorated with tendrils of ivy, and we were entertained throughout the evening by smooth and mellow guitar sounds - real, live music!
About 16 guests were present, and although the seating arrangements meant I didn't get chance to talk to many of them, most of those that I did seemed to have come from Brockley and further afield. For some it was their first visit to Deptford! We were welcomed with a pear and elderflower martini, and little slices of toasted bread topped by roast beetroot with homemade curd cheese, and belly pork with manchego cheese. In typical Mike & Ollie fashion, these snacks were decorated with tasty slivers of pickled lemon (or was it quince, I can't remember) and fresh herb leaves.
We were treated to multiple courses, all of which were delicious, and which included seared pigeon breast, slow-braised ox cheek, mackerel, as well as the roast bone marrow which was served with whole heads of roast garlic and little heaps of finely sliced onions, parsley and capers, and which prompted by far the most discussion! I wasn't too sure about the marrow - gloopy and quite tasty but I probably wouldn't choose it again from a menu. In between we had apple sorbet which was served in hollowed-out (foraged) apples.
Throughout the dinner we were told which items in each dish had been foraged but I'm afraid those details were lost in the mists of time (and red wine).
It being the first night there were one or two inevitable glitches - the cooking of the mackerel demonstrated the lack of suitable extraction equipment in the carriage, and had us scrabbling at the windows trying to open them for a few minutes. The nibbles were all served on what looked like old scaffolding boards that Mike assured us had been cleaned and sealed, but the process of placing each board with its foody cargo and decorations (generally spherical objects such as quinces and apples which had a habit of rolling around) on to the tables was a delicate operation which required practice, but by the end of the night Mike and his team seemed to have got the hang of it.
Apparently we also missed out on one course, which was still in the freezer at the Vietnamese restaurant a few doors along, and which had closed by the time Mike was ready to serve it. But it's fair to say that to eat another course on top of the huge amount we'd already eaten would have been sheer gluttony...although that wouldn't have stopped me had it been put down in front of me.
At £25 a head it might be more than you would expect to pay for dinner in Deptford, but in terms of the quality and quantity of food I would consider it an absolute bargain. Last time I went out for a 'posh' meal it was at the Guildford Arms in Greenwich where you get two courses for £25 - Mike & Ollie's food was as good, if not better quality, and there was much more of it. I had fun meeting new people and didn't have far to go home!
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