a litte lusciousness :: popup dinner

20 July 2015

I think it's a fantastic thing that supper clubs and popups are increasingly popular amongst food lovers. It offers a slightly different dining experience to the standard restaurant, and it also allows you to support small and local businesses which I think is so important.

Ever since Rosie of A Little Lusciousness and I started reading each other's blogs sometime last year, and having been to a couple of events where we'd had some good chats, I've wanted to attend one of her popup dinners. She is the top featured chef on Grub Club, her events are always sold out, and being based in West London where I also live, I knew I had to give it a shot as soon as possible.

Well, you know how life is - after being unable to make it to date after date, E and I finally managed to go a couple of weeks ago. It was slightly different to her usual popups, as they're normally held at her house, but ours was at Urban Villa, a modern hotel. It was set up beautifully, and it was a great place to host something like this.

For £35, we had a four course meal and a welcome drink - ours was champagne, and generously topped up as we chatted away before dinner! - and although the popups at her home are BYOB, the wines here were very reasonably priced and we had a nice white wine to go with our meal. 

But let's get on to the food! Having talked to Rosie herself about her passion for homemade, wholesome food, created with local and sustainable ingredients, I had high hopes for her dishes. For starter, I chose the steak tartare with quail's egg, and E went for the pea and broad bean mousse with goat's curd, both served with fig bread. I absolutely loved my pick - it was possibly my favourite of the evening, but I actually also liked E's dish just as much. He was also impressed with the mousse, and it was seasoned perfectly. 

As there were close to 30 guests for this dinner, there were some staff helping with the serving, and our main course was served family-style and by a waiter. I'm always a little afraid to order salmon at restaurants as overcooked salmon is one of my absolute pet peeves, but I needn't have worried. The whole dish was so fresh and wonderfully summery, with samphire, beans and courgettes, with a few mussels for good measure. The potato salad with homemade mayonnaise was fantastic - nothing beats a good homemade mayo! 

There was plenty of food on the table and we all had seconds, so we were definitely full and satisfied, but we were only half way through....

For dessert, we had nectarine tarte tatin with salted caramel cream. Yes, as good as it sounds. I liked that the tart wasn't too sweet, and the nectarine is a nice twist on the standard apple - E enjoyed it too, and he knows his tarte tatin!

Now, I really proved myself as the champion eater of us both, since E was too full to eat much cheese, but I did my best to try a little of everything! I would advise you to try and save some room for the cheese course, because it's not just a few bits of cheese - it's 4 different types of cheese, homemade crackers (amazing), pickled strawberries (I could eat those everyday), figs, roasted tomatoes, and nuts and honey. I mean, that could be a meal on its own. I'm such a huge cheese fan and I tried to make a dent in the very generous plateful that I was served by Rosie's boyfriend - I should have asked for a doggy bag!

Needless to say, I rolled myself home very full and very happy. It was great to see Rosie in between courses and she was a truly lovely hostess - I definitely plan on going again, at her own home next time for the "original" experience! I have so much respect for anyone who follows their passion alongside a full time job (yes, she has a completely unrelated full time job, and still manages to do popups and catering gigs) - it just shows how much they love what they do.

I would highly recommend grabbing yourself seats for one of her future events, and perhaps I will see you there!

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