This is not going to come as a surprise but there is a lot of uncertainty in the world right now. In recent months, two friends and my sister have all been made redundant and for LK this means, for now anyway, leaving London. LK and I met on Instagram, when we were both living on Brick Lane, mutual admirers of each other’s posts and, finally, we took the bold step to meet in real life, a friendship date, if you will. We have lots in common, not least that we both did/do travel a lot for work and life, making it hard to catch up. With LK’s impending departure approaching faster than the UK’s from the EU, we are trying to squeeze as much fun London stuff in as possible, and so the perfect reason to take her to her first supperclub.
Regular readers will remember that, at the start of the summer, big J and I went to Brawn and I really loved it. So, when I found Sa:ucy Suppers was run by two Brawn chefs, I was very excited. Can we also just take a moment to appreciate the name. The chefs are Sara and Lucy, I love this portmanteau , (think Brangelina). Although,as it makes an existing word, is it?
The August bank holiday was glorious, the sun shining like a giant disco ball in the sky. I had spent the day in the park with a date, drinking Pimms and Aperol, separately. It was the perfect night for a canal side supperclub and meant I, finally, got to visit the Towpath cafe. LK was waiting when I arrived and we spotted a new table being set up outside and leapt on it.
The night started with a sharp, refreshing stellacello spritz with rosemary and grapefruit, served with a selection of cicchetti. Like so many first supper clubs, it is full of friends and family and, in this case, quite a few fellow chefs. If your friends are a judgement on your character, then these girls have nothing to worry about, our table is lovely and the debate is lively.
Crisp, airy grissini are piled high with a soft drift of parmesan, which always tastes better when it’s finely grated, and crisp sage leaves which converted even me.
These are swiftly followed by one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Gordal Olives, stuffed with nduja and deep fried, served with a sweet tomato sauce. Newly forged friendships are in danger of ending abruptly, as we all grapple for the final few on the plate. Firm, salty olives, sweet, spicy richness of nduja and a crisp shell. I would eat these by the plateful and never know when to say enough, I was not alone.
If this was a smack in the mouth, then fennel, white anchovy and marjoram was a gentle kiss on the cheek, delicate balance of subtle fragrance amongst crisp fronds of charred fennel and lemon notes.
There is a real generosity in the food served by Sara and Lucy. Plates are piled high with fantastic ingredients that have had minimal intervention, just enough to let them reflect each other’s beauty.
A plate smeared in salty goats curd, piled with a crisp, bitter chicory and generously grated bottarga confirms this. It’s food that makes you smile, that makes you reach across to clear the last smears with a piece of bread.
The main arrive as does night, our table is laden with food. The pièce de résistance are two (there are ten of us on our table) massive legs of lamb, meat tumbling off the bone, glistening with gravy. Rich, unctuous and sweet, it’s pretty spectacular. It could be hard for the sides to stand up to this but bowls of creamy, mashed coco blanc, scattered with braised artichokes, do so easily. Hazelnut salsa verde is fresh, toasty and cuts through the intensity of the rich, creamy flavours on the plate.
LK and I eat beyond the point of comfort. It’s proving an epic last meal and we haven’t even finished yet.
Dessert for me is nostalgic, a version of this was made on summer nights by mum, taken from one of my all time favourite childhood books The Maggie B. If you have a child you love, buy this for them, the illustrations are stunning. Anyway, dessert was baked peaches with biscotti and bay leaf ice cream. The ice cream is thick, gelato like in texture, neither too sweet or too perfumed by bay.
It’s the send off LK deserves. We leave our new friends and head for buses and trains and the promise of new adventures in new places.
I was a guest of wefifo but all views are my own.