Ferdie’s Food Lab – Supper Club

The Foodie Boys have tired of the restaurant scene of late.

“A table for two please.”

“Do you have a reservation?”

“No.”

That sort of thing. Boring.

No! Calm down! Be still your beating dicks/fannys. That doesn’t mean our days of blogging about food are over!

No, we’re branching out down some exciting new avenues – or streets as we say in Britain.

We can often be found wandering down British streets to see if we can find something satisfying to fill our stomachs. Fortunately London is full of people hanging about down streets who are happy to oblige.

One such street was ‘Ethalburga Street’ in Battersea.

“Ethalburga street – Ethal Burger street. A burger made by a woman called Ethal. All women called Ethal are at least 80, would you eat a burger made by an 80 year old? I think it’s too risky to eat anything cooked by anyone over the age of 60.”

This was just a snippet of the conversation we had as we walked down Ethalburga street and towards the London Cooking Project which was hosting Ferdie’s Food Lab.

To sum up, we’d been invited to a supper club. The only supper club we’d ever been to before was in Battersea. Do supper clubs only exist in Battersea? We don’t know, but we were delighted to accept the kind offer of our host Simon.

Ferdie's Food Lab Menu

Menu (taken with an Android)

We’d been sent a list of wine pairings for each course before we attended, meaning we could raid the local Asda for Rollbacks. Our wine strategy consisted of one bubbles, one white and one red.

We were bemused to be asked to leave Asda for refusing to stop singing Take That’s ‘Shine’. It was only after we left that we realised that advertising campaign was for Morrisons. A full apology has been sent to Asda head office.

On arrival we met our fellow diners over a glass of prosecco, which was a nice bonus. ‘Met’ here = Tony asking all of them whether they had an iPhone 6 charger. With every person he asked, the haunting realisation dawned on him; we would have to use my Android phone camera to photograph the supper.

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Lamb rib (not taken with an Android)

To begin Simon presented us with slow cooked lamb rib in a croquette style thing, dip and garlic Afghan bread – just like grandma used to make. If your grandma was Afghanistani, which fortunately neither of ours are/were (some of them are dead).

The cubes of meat were delightful, and would have probably gone down really well with the suggested wine pairing of Pinot Noir. However, we were busy getting as much prosecco as possible in our thirsty, horrible faces.

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Purple salmon

After this out came the purple salmon, beetroot and horseradish parfait.

“This will go nicely with the prosecco,” Tony remarked.

“I’m not eating purple fish.” Toby responded.

Next, a green bomb appeared. We don’t entirely know what this was, but it was nice and the spicy cucumber salad that came with it was a healthy kick in the balls.

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Veal

The highlight of the dinner was the veal. Which if we had a way with words we would describe here, but believe me, it was very nice.

The chocolate cherry dessert had somewhat fallen apart, and frankly the appearance may have put some people off, but they would have been wrong. It was great.

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Cherry tart

Foodie Friendship Boys

Of course, a supper club is FAR from all about the food. It’s a social occasion. We were relieved to be placed near another food blogger. Ordinary people just don’t understand how important what we do is.

Flo, one half of Flo & Elle (we can’t comment on the mysterious absence of Elle) came to the rescue, when she offered to send us her photos of the night. This means, aside from the menu picture, we didn’t have to use Toby’s Android phone.

The conversation with Flo flowed, perhaps where she got her name. We discovered a lot about her, much of which we cannot publish here for fear of repercussions.

What we can publish here is our wine battle. How did our wine choices fare against hers? Bafflingly, she hadn’t gone to Asda.

Our Riesling (name of which we can’t remember) scored a rather respectable 3.6 out of five on Vivino. Poor Flo’s only got a 3.4.

“You can’t trust these shit apps,” she shrieked as she smashed the bottle against the table and lunged at Toby’s neck. Jerking backwards, Toby dodged out the way.

“It’s all kicking off!” we shouted at Simon.

“Erm, this is supper club, not fight club,” Simon roared as he took Tony out with a roundhouse kick.

We all took to our seats again, made our apologies and ate some nuts coated in chocolate and finished our last bottle of wine, which scored a pathetic 2.2.

Thanks to Simon who was a thoroughly welcoming host and chose some fantastic food and wine pairings.

Four boys out of five.

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Roux at the Landau – Review

The FoodieBoys needed to up their game.

Sure, we know the street food scene like the back of our heavily stamped hands (they sometimes stamp your hand) but it was time for a bit of fine dining.

With us not being wealthy men (yet! If you’d like to give us money, let us know and we’ll set up a crowdfunding initiative) we needed to source a good deal.

We knew all about Michel Roux Junior because of Masterchef and stuff, so when we saw 4 courses for £45 with wine and petit fours on Bookatable‘s star deal we were like, “erm, yes please!”

Arrival

You wouldn't find that in Shoreditch!

A far cry from Shoreditch

Toby: I arrived first. Typically Tony was using the opportunity to shop at some of the swanky high street stores near Regent Street. He bought three items from H&M! Hello Mr. Money!

I claimed the table, having been behind a Scottish family in the queue. I remarked to them they were a long way from home, but apparently they live in London now so that wasn’t strictly true. I wondered aloud if they were SNP, but before they could answer they were shown to their seats.

After depositing my bag in their excellent coat-check facilities, I was shown to my seat.

menu
And what a seat it was!

When Tony did arrive, we stood to shake hands, as rehearsed. It is best to prepare your behaviour at this kind of place, as there are different rules to the rough-and-ready street food scene.

Tony: I arrived and also stowed my bag in a safe place. Unlike Toby however, I was allocated the number 69, which may or may not have been subtle flirtation from the nice lady.

On arrival at the table, I noticed Toby’s first mistake. He’d got mineral instead of tap water. He haplessly explained he had replied “yes” thoughtlessly when the waiter asked if he wanted any water.

As a more experienced fine diner, I would not have fallen foul of this little trick of the trade. I’ve made a note to arrive earlier than Tobes in future. The next step was to have a look at the menu!

Appetisers / Starters

Toby: Amuse-bouches? My mouth couldn’t have been happier if you’d fed it a Michael Mcintyre DVD. These were definitely something involving chicken? Samosa of some sort? Tony – CHECK?

My starter was lamb’s tongue! This tasted much like the rest of  the animal if I’m honest – by which I mean fantastic! It also came with a lovely cheesey croquette, a tiny slither of bread and a green sauce which tasted like lemons. Now you wouldn’t get that from a van by the canal at King’s Cross! (This is not to dismiss the excellent offerings available from Kerb food market.)

Tony: I had the same as Toby.

Mains


Tony: I had originally eyed up the beef on first sight of the menu. However, having had red meat as my starter, I decided for variety’s sake I should go for the Pollack. Plus Toby had gone for the beef and if I’d had the same main as well as the starter it would have got really embarrassing.

The meal was very good, although nothing to write home about. To be honest, it’s rare I get to write home at all these days, but sometimes my Nan calls me to tell me what’s going on anyway. I haven’t told her about the fish I had.

Toby: “Tender is the Night” sang Blur. I’ve got an alternative for them: Tender is the Beef! I’m sure Alex James would enjoy that, being a food producer himself.

What I mean to say is, my red wine-glazed beef featherblade was incredibly tender. This, accompanied by buttered spinach and mashed potato and a curious green sauce called “mimiglot,” made for a sumptuous main, which Tony could only glance enviously at.

Desserts:


Tony: There’s nothing better to cleanse the palate than a nice sorbet. This, accompanied with a coconut mousse perfectly rounded off the three courses. I was a little disappointed that there was no chocolate option on the dessert menu, so I was delighted when petit fours turned up and they were the above delicious chocolate eclairs. The caramel sauce is a must-have.

Toby: Cheese! It goes straight to my bowel. My doctor has warned about my continued consumption of dairy products, particularly the mouldy stuff. But Tobes doesn’t play it safe, and so elected for the selection of cheeses.

As you can see, the server supplied a carried offering of cheeses, from hard to soft. My personal favourites were the goats cheese, and the French soft one which had “chateau“ in the name. Delicious stuff.

Overall

WineLoungerToby: I left Roux at the Landau with the taste of the meal still in my mouth. As I remarked to my housemate, I wish I didn’t have to clean my teeth before going to bed. I then cleaned my teeth with the door to the bathroom open, so it was absolutely clear I clean my teeth.

Extraordinarily, the next day my bowel was completely fine. Which just goes to show what truly great chefs are capable of.


Tony: 
Luckily I’m unburdened by such bowel issues. Lucky he did clean his teeth as we were on the red wine!

The meal itself was a laid-back affair (even the wine was lying down!) and the service was excellent.

Toby nearly embarrassed us both by trying to take the bread from the waiter instead of letting him put it on his little plate. The waiting staff were very good about it after I pointed out this obvious failure in etiquette.

Overall, we had a fantastic time and certainly didn’t ROUX booking a table!

Our meal cost us £45 a head, which includes 3 courses, wine and petit fours. More details about the deal are available here.