People ask me how I heard about Fernandez and Leluu (Simon and Uyen). In fact they have always been on my Supper Club radar. I’m just sorry it has taken me so long to find my way there!
Keen, as I am, I arrived a bit early, but was welcomed in and given a cooling aperitif to start me off. Uyen invited me up into the kitchen to check out the hub of the house. All the food was prepped and ready to go, looks like they have been very busy!
I was getting the feeling that this was a very organized Supper Club. I guess you have to if your going to have 28 people over for dinner. F & L have been inviting people into their home since October 2009.
As the eager arrived, they were also greeted with an aperitif (after which is BYO). The outside space was filling up fast with people mingling and chatting. The leading question being; “Is this the first time you have been to a Supper Club?” It was generally, a mixture of first timers, seasoned regulars and those who had been brought along by a friend who wanted to share the ‘Supper Club world’ with them.
We sat down around 8pm. To my delight Uyen had sat me across from The London Foodie. I was instore for a good night!
We were able to access the menu via their website, so we all knew there were many treats awaiting us.
We all fell in love with the Beetroot Dip: creamy, garlic flavours with hints of cinnamon, coriander and cumin. It was accompanied with foccacia-like bread, but some of us loved it so much we just spooned it in!
I have to say the next dish didn’t hold the vibrant summer flavours I expected. I think the water content in the zucchini/cucumber combination made it heavy and a bit ‘wet’ for my liking.
Pea Soup with Parmesan and Ham
The next dish again found me hearing alot of hmmm’s and yumm’s around our table. I love thick textured soups and this was perfect. You could still taste the fresh texture of the peas with the melted Parmesan adding a salty treat and the ham a tasty crisp touch. I loved it.
Cambodian Steak Salad with Sugar Snap Peas and Chips
I was looking forward to this. Medium rare steak with crispy sugar snap peas and coriander in a soy/fish sauce plus chilli and cashew nuts to boot. I wasn’t disappointed. I thought the chips were an odd pairing, but it worked and I was glad to have the little crispy blighters by then. Was it the F & L take on steak and chips?
Bacon Swirl and Vegetable Terrine
It was getting late by now and my little happy snapper was not coping with the dim light very well. The bacon swirls were a winner for me. Light butter puff pastry with bacon bites in side!! Tasty indeed.
The vegetable terrine was interesting. The vegetables were packed with flavour but the tomato consume jelly was soft and didn’t hold the terrine together. It was a lovely dish to eat, and to be honest, I’m not really fussed with the texture of firm savoury jelly anyway ( I think it reminds me of childhood brawn). Although it did create a post dinner debate about the best consistency for terrine jelly.
As you can see this dish looked quite inviting. Such a substantial portion of rainbow trout immediately caught my attention and I got stuck into the noodle laden broth. The fish stock was impressive, a little spicy for me but I am a bit of a whimp.
Upside Down Apple Pie with Rose Cream
It was nearing midnight by now but I wasn’t leaving before dessert! Can you imagine a more perfect comforting dessert? I couldn’t at the time. The apples were cooked so that they still held flavour and firmness, beautiful thin pastry (you will always win me over) and the delicate rose cream with vanilla bean seeds bobbing through it.
Simon and Uyen share the cooking. Sometimes they come up with new menu ideas together and cook together. Othertimes one of them has ‘kitchen control’ and the other takes on the ‘helper’ role. I can see why the later would work best for two people so passionate about food. I found the menu was very interesting and the mix of cuisine’s worked well for me. Some dishes were sharing plates, for 3-4 people, and others, like the soups, were obviously served individually.
Their lovely ‘helper’ Mia must have been running up and down the stairs all night bringing us food and water but I didn’t notice because I was being entertained by The London Foodie. Uyen’s mother also helps them out, to make sure their kitchen doesn’t look like most of ours would after serving 28 people dinner.
I loved my time at Fernandez and Leluu. I have to say most people coming to a Supper Club are open to new ideas, up for meeting new people and are interested in the other side of London life. The side where you can be impulsive and try something new. Fernandez and Leluu was like that for me. It was different from the Supper Clubs I had been to in the past, and I enjoyed sitting at a table of people who were interested in the lives of others. I hope that one day I will have the pleasure of going back again.
P.s Uyen I am still lusting after your vintage sideshelves