Wednesday, 17 June 2015

That Hungry Chef

A Goan Feast

There are times when something spectacular turns up and you can't understand how you've never encountered it before. The mere suggestion that it has a finite timespan makes you weep a little inside. This was the emotional state I had to deal with on my first trip to a supper club (yes, I know, HOW HAVE I NEVER BEEN TO ONE BEFORE)?!

The delight I had the pleasure of experiencing was a Goan Thali feast of kings at the most drop dead gorgeous Holloway home of Michelin trained That Hungry Chef a.k.a Pratap Chahal and his wife Nikhat. 

For anyone not on the supper club radar, they are essentially one-off dinner parties hosted by a mix of trained chefs, food enthusiasts and really anybody who is brave enough to open their homes to a bunch of random strangers for dinner. (Grub club has it all covered)!

We arrived early to explore the place and have a chat with our hosts for the evening. Aside from a beautiful interior, the garden was alive with lanterns, candles and this superb little fellow. Luckily for everyone, their magical garden is fully equipped for summer BBQ's and brunches (check out what's coming up, here).

Back inside we took our seats between our newfound best friends for the evening where the table was laid with gorgeous multicoloured settings, shining silver cups and the sweetest little wooden spoons around.

Sannas and pork ‘vinha d’alhos’ was feast item numero uno. The fermented rice pancakes topped with a mild pork vindaloo were to be eaten with our hands and quickly banished all thoughts of the British equivalent.

Next appeared our sumptuous thali platters and in we dived. Nishtyachi Kodii  was a traditional Goan fish curry accompanied by  Temperado, green beans and carrots in spiced coconut milk. Foogath or curried spring cabbage stir fry added a sharp element along with Red Rice and Peanut Pulao and crispy Plantain Wafers to mop up all the sauces. 

Pickled Walnut and Doce otherwise known as chickpea and cardamom fudge arrived on silver displays but I was distracted by the Sago and Coconut dessert, pretty as a picture and perfectly sweet and creamy.

Bebinca (a 16 layered pancake cake, we love a good cake cake) and a sneaky taste of Bunnahabhain 12 rounded off our meal and we sat at the table, comfortably refusing to leave the gorgeous house we had found ourselves in. 

A going home gift was presented in the form of That Hungry Chef's artisanal food products. I was united with a jar of dangerously hot Mojo Risin' red relish salsa which I'm going to use in everything because I have it under very good authority that it is everything-appropriate!

We reluctantly bid goodbye to our newfound friends, hippos and Pratap's superb whisky collection and made our way back to reality. The dreamy evening couldn't have been more perfect, setting the bar somewhat sky-high for future supper club adventures. Please, whatever you do, make sure you book one of That Hungry Chef's sell-out dining experiences, I can't wait to return for more.

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