30 October 2013

A Malaysian Street Feast Supperclub - Foodie-in-training

It's really hard to say no to a home cooked Malaysian feast, inspired by the varied street cooking of tropical Malay towns. It's especially hard to say no when it's cooked by May, of @MalaysianbyMay, and you've been invited to come and try their new menu. She's pretty hard to resist.
 
 
What is a supperclub when it's at home?
Essentially they are part-time restaurants  where you go to eat delicious dinners for much less than you'd pay in a big name establishment. They are usually hosted in the home of the chef (or roped in accomplice) where you are sat with other selected diners and served a menu of home cooked delicacies. It's a well established Foodie craze, with roots in Prohibition speakeasies and Cuban paladares,
 
What happens during a supperclub?
Once you've booked the date, you're normally emailed the directions and address in advance and reminded to bring plonk the drinks you prefer (they are normally unlicensed). Once you arrive, it's a introductions to your fellow diners, a quick chat and a few hors d'oeuvres before you're seated. It may be a single long table (ours seated 11) or several small tables, but be prepared to mix and mingle, and meet a few new foodies.
 
What will I get to eat?
Now, this is the 64 million dollar question. Some pop-ups pre-empt you with the menu, and some simply present you with delectations as you go along.
 
For once in my (blogging) life, I'm not going to describe every small iota of my newest discovery. Ours was eight almost mini-courses of Malay, Chinese, Indian, Nyonya and other unique fusion cuisines that co-exist along the busy streets of Malaysia, slightly anglicised for our London palates.
 
 
Each course was a revelation of spice, flavour and colour - Curry Laksa KL Style, Kajang Satay, Penang Rojak and some Nyonya dishes to name but a few. Each course was explained by the busy chefs, and seemed to come out of the kitchen at just the right pace.
 
Each dish is explained as it's served (bar the first salad which we were encouraged to guess the mystery exotic vegetable - my money is still on water chestnuts). The time floated by comfortably as we chatted with our table companions and more courses appeared in front of us.
 
 
We loved it. Conversations ranged from Travel to the weirdest thing you've ever eaten (with some very surprising ingredients and a really interesting discussion on what a 'weird' ingredient is) and the surprising revelation to our dinner mate that Chablis is made with Chardonnay grapes (much to his amusing distaste). 
 
I highly recommend it as an experience. From the clandestine nature of where you'll end up eating to the interesting people that you'll meet it was great fun. We left with another 'armchair travelling' experience under our belts, with full bellies, missing Asian cuisine tried on our travels and we barely had to leave Zone One.
 
My tips?
  • Be sociable. The group we were in had a real mix of fascinating personalities, and several couples as well as singletons.
  • Take ample supply of your favourite tipple. Some research suggests that if you leave a Supperclub earlier than midnight you're not doing it right (or in our case are having to travel on the last tube trains).
  • Be prepared to share and try new favourite tipples.
  • Go with an open taste palate and mind. If you are allergic, or don't like a particular flavour let the Supperclub host know in advance so they can assist or tailor their menu for you.
  • Bear in mind that this someone's home which you have to respect, and let the chefs know what you enjoyed - they will never know if you don't tell them...
  • Be nice and you might even get seconds (or thirds if you're really lovely).
  • There is a Supperclub for everyone. Go, google and explore.
  • Check out the up-coming nights hosted by the Malaysia by May team & tell her I sent you!

12 comments :

  1. How fun! I would love to do something like that!

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    1. It was definitely a great night!

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  2. I am filing this away from when I get homesick for Malaysian food. Thank you!

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    1. The shades of flavouring were so reminiscent of the Malay Quarter food in Singapore. Nom nom!

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  3. Is there any offers for group bookings on Christmas?

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    1. Hi Catherine, I'm not sure to be honest - pop May an email on "bookings [at] MalaysianByMay.com" or drop her a line on Twitter (at)MalaysianByMay

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  4. This sounds great! I really want to host one, I love cooking meals for people. It's kind of like come dine with me only without scores haha.

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    1. It does look like a lot of fun - I don't know how the come dine with me people do it!

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  5. This sounds like so much fun! I'm definitely going to look it up.

    Hmm maybe...

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    Replies
    1. There are so many different supperclubs too.

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  6. Um, this sounds like the best thing since Harry Potter. I am definitely looking into this!

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