Attending My First Supper Club: Vietnamese Dinner At Uyen Luu’s
I feel I missed the boat on Supper Clubs, somewhat. I’ve just never been organised enough to attend one, restaurants have usually suited my last minute nature, better! However, when the guys at Leisure invited me to Vietnamese cook Uyen Luu‘s East London home on Tuesday night I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to try something a little different than my usual restaurant reviews. These photos are a mix of the shots I took on both my camera and iPhone, and the film crew and photographers snaps. I’ll share the video that was shot too in a Weekly Love. I also might share some of the recipes if you’re interested?
We arrived and were greeted with glasses of champagne while we chatted and mingled in Uyen’s galley kitchen and garden while she and her assistants put the finishing touches to dinner and the table. I loved the intimate feel of it all, like we were arriving at a friends house for dinner. The format was really the same as one of my own dinner parties. (Oh, and because people kept on asking me when I was shopping in Selfridges and Harvey Nichols that afternoon, my thin Autumn jumper is my new favourite thing and from Boden.)
We kicked things off with a simply delicious bowl of Kale & Ginger Soup with Glass Noodles. The noodles and the kale provided a light but wholesome start to the meal gathered up with chopsticks, and the broth was vibrant and affirming drunk straight out of the bowl. Something so simple, yet so comforting without filling us up too much for what was to come. I loved all the crockery we were eating off too; both mis-matched but all in one unified theme. Nothing about the meal was trying too hard, which helped make everything relaxed. I think this was part of why I enjoyed the evening so much and I did not feel like I was working.
The Lemongrass & Ginger Chicken, served with a side of Grilled Seasonal Vegetables with a Soy Dressing was served family style in big, beautiful platters on the table. Big bowls of rice were on hand, and little jugs of the accompanying sauce made with the chicken juices and fish sauce were dotted around, too. Everything was simply delicious, like a big family Sunday roast with an Asian theme. Except, I usually hate gravy but that sauce was one of the most delicious things I’ve ever tasted; I could happily eat just bowls of rice drowned in it!
We finished off with the sort of seasonal dessert we’ve been enjoying a lot ourselves at the moment at home; a light and delicious, simple plum cake served with a good creamy scoop of homemade vanilla ice cream. Served with a delicious Spanish dessert wine (we were treated to some simply fantastic bottles from Bodegas Tierra Hermosa with the meal) it made the perfect end to the evening.
More than to share the delicious food we were treated to, I wanted to put this post together as more of a view on supper clubs in general. I would really recommend if you’re in London (especially East) you head along to one of Uyen’s dinners (they’re £35 a head, much better value than a restaurant meal, too), but honestly if there is a supper club near you that you have been considering attending, take the jump and go for it. It is a lovely experience with a great cooked meal, and even if you go alone I promise you it will be a great way to meet new, like minded people. I honestly wish that there would be call for a supper club in the Canterbury area because, honestly, I can fit 10 people around the table and I wish I could run my own!
Have any of you been to a supper club before, or are you at all familiar with Uyen Luu’s food? I now really want to get my hands on her book My Vietnamese Kitchen; it is already on my Amazon Wish List to come in in my Christmas cookbook haul! You can check out the full range of Leisure cookers like the one Uyen was using here on their website.