Sunday, August 22, 2010

Croatia Nights

Thanks to Qype and www.onthebeach.co.uk holidays, we won a holiday. (Read here and here and watch here). They have asked us to bring our holiday back to London and share it others. This is something we would do anyway. When traveling, our mission is always to discover the local cuisine aswell as laying on the beach. Neither Simon nor I have ever had any formal training in cheffing/ cooking/ restaurating but we love learning and discovering ways to make food.
To be honest, we didn’t eat the most amazing food in Croatia – that’s only because we went spontaneously and had no time to do any research previous to our trip and that’s to be expected going to holiday. touristy towns! However, it is always really exciting to go to a new destination. Walking around, discovering and seeking out places and judging them by how many people are inside, what the menu looks like, the prices, the room temperature, the atmosphere, the smell, the front of house, the location, the type of people inside and what is on the menu. It’s all a balancing act and on many levels, its judging a book by its cover as well as relying on your previous experiences to not fall into the tourist trap.
The Dalmation part of Croatia rely heavily on tourism, so it was a challenge! Even though we ate in the back alleys and low key restaurants sometimes, we were ripped to shreds with the poor quality and badly made food. Despite eating out 3 times a day, we only found a handful of wonderful places recommended to us by locals as well as the ones we gambled on. It gave us such inspiration and we bought it back to the supper club over three nights.

Here is the menu we devised:
Croatia Nights

Mackerel Pate w/ Garlic Bread

Black Squid Ink Risotto

 
Parma Ham With Melon & Prawn Cocktail

 
Tuna & Chips
 
Octopus Carpaccio w/ Capers
 
Pulled Lamb w/ Cold New Potato Salad
 
Orange Pannacotta With Vodka & Blueberries
 

We got some lovely reactions, here are some blog posts from our guests – The Food Archive & The Reluctant Londoner.
 
We had one of the best nights at Fernandez & Leluu, when one of our guests, Jody Wade, a professional pianist played the piano that had been left untouched since third grade piano lessons two decades ago! The house sparked, breathing, living electricity flowed through all our veins as Mia, our brilliant singer waitress sang, whilst Jody played and one of our loyal 5 timmer guest Nathan improvised beats – everything from Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi to Frank Sinatra. It was amazing!
 
Jody’s father, Jeff had come to visit all the way from Kentucky, USA, spoke to all our guests and wrote a poem about everyone within the song, ‘Making Whoppee’

“…and in the corner, there was {so and so}, they came from Texas, and loved the risotto; she had a friend she called her lover and in the garden, they made whoppee!”

This week's crowd was very international, from the US, to Sweden to Clapham! My best friend Fatima came for the first time, she now lives in Barcelona and we had a surprise guest, my lovely old friends from Zurich bought their Ayno, the little Hungarian Countess.

Having friends at the supper club is a very special thing especially because they traveled all the way, and that they are simply just friends coming to see a friend.

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