It is hard to know where to start in reviewing a night that was essentially just a really swell party. I’d heard wonderful things before visiting but the hype was well and truly lived up to on Tuesday as Jim Haynes, surely a man with the ideal lifestyle, After Eight and Qype helped them to host a Dinner Party through the Decades.
Having been to a couple of supper clubs before I thought I knew the drill but the crowd here tonight turned it more into a cocktail party than anything as Johan the Mixologist served up Bellinis while we mingled.
With Qypers and food bloggers rubbing shoulders and appreciating the sensational starter selection it became clear that this was going to be something of a special evening. Crispy Spring Rolls and Summer Rolls stuffed to absolute bursting point were superb while the take on the Prawn Cocktail (2 large tiger prawns in Garlic & White Wine with Mayo) worked nicely as well.
Then the cocktails came out in force with a refreshing Summer Tom Collins, the Bramble which didn’t quite have as much Blackberry as I was expecting, and the rose one, which most had as their favourite. For more detailed reviews of the drinks check out Billy’s Booze Blog.
The main course consisted of rather yummy mushrooms, a delicious carpaccio of beef and a baked potato mash. Not as immediately stunning as the starter but we were satisfied and really beginning to get into the swing of things by this stage as it was time for Jim to regale us.
Jim is someone who for the last 30 years has had upwards of 60 people coming into his home every Sunday for a dinner party, and funnily enough he is entertaining, engaging and accommodating as you might expect. He told stories about how he had brought people together and of his foolproof method of not upsetting the neighbours (take them food).
It was a pleasure to be in the company of someone who unashamedly lives in the moment as an existentialist; his favourite food is the food he is eating right now, and by extension Fernandez and Leluu’s was his favourite supper club, at least that night!
We rounded off of course with a wafer thin mint and what was described as a summer fruits spotted dick. This was an incredible finish, baked croissant with white chocolate liqueur sauce, raisins and strawberries, just fabulous. So good in fact that Luis The London Foodie got so excited he managed to spill sauce down his front, how lucky to be wearing a black shirt!
An incredible event, Jim will be getting some new guests to dinner, this and other supper clubs will no doubt get an attendance boost now we have the bug and we all left with a box of after dinner mints and a tale to tell. “Did you hear about that night in East London when everything just worked?”
They do it here twice a week and I salute them.