I remember first reading about supperclubs and underground restaurants on the rather excellent blog by Ms MarmiteLover (aka Kerstin). Since then, Kerstin has become a doyenne of the scene and supperclubs have been popping up all over the place. I've unfortunately yet to make it to Kerstin's in London, so I was rather glad when I found out that I could get a taste of the supperclub experience on my doorstep in Cambridge- yay! The Plate Lickers supperclub is run by Miss Igs and The Afternoon Tease, or Ivana and Jo as they are otherwise known. I went along to their second event, which had a vaguely middle eastern theme.
Our secret location turned out to be a church, so I had the unique experience of dining below stained glass and next to some pews. After a welcome drink, we started off with some hummous and an aubergine dip with a hefty garlic kick. This was followed by a chilled, green gazpacho which included some sort of pesto element that made it rich but still refreshing.
Next up was my (vegetarian) main course of courgette and feta fritters, with green beans (dressed with hazelnuts and orange), and cous cous. I've tried to make courgette fritters before, but ended up with some bland discs of stodge. These fritters were delicious though, and I think the generous use of feta was probably why.
A mint tea and orange blossom sorbet followed, though this was probably my least favourite part of the meal. It was a bit sweet for my taste, but I generally don't get on well with seriously icy things anyway due to my teeth being quite feeble and sensitive. Pudding arrived soon afterwards, Baked peaches were stuffed with a sweet nut mix, reminiscent of those hot, sugared nuts (ahem) that you sometimes find people selling in little cones, and were served with a piece of almond and polenta cake. And though we were all rather full by this point I cleaned my plate, which I believe made me the 'winner' of pudding amongst my friends, (I can get quite competitive when it comes to puddings).
Overall, this was a great meal which I thoroughly enjoyed. Supperclubs are obviously very different from conventional restaurants. There are no extensive menus with a range of choices, no surprises about the cost (there was a suggested donation of £30 per person), and no pressure to vacate your table. What you do get is the chance to meet some interesting people in an unusual venue, with some tasty food. I went with friends, but we also had plenty of other interesting folk at our table with lots of general chat, so I would have been quite happy to have gone on my own too. The Plate Lickers girls are obviously enthusiastic cooks, who have invested a lot more than many regular restaurateurs in this venture, as as well as cooking, they are also serving, and (presumably) doing the washing up afterwards too.So props to Jo and Ivana for hosting a fab evening, and here's to many more!