Persian Seafood and Spice by Sabrina Ghayour

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My first foray into the Supper Club scene and it seems I started with the best. Sabrina is the new hot chef about town; you are going to be hearing a lot more about her. Her first book ‘Persiana’ is out in a matter of days.

Sabrina’s supper clubs are Persian feasts. She gives her guests the typical Persian eating experience. She has slightly different themed evenings; I attended the Persian Seafood and Spice.

In true supper club style the destination in West London is not disclosed until just before the event. It is in fact held Sabrina’s home.  When we arrived we were directed into her lounge where 2 tables had been placed together to form an ‘L’ shape where 12 people could sit around. It was cosy and homely and so real, this is her crib! My fellow supper clubbers were from all walks of life and in fact all corners of the globe with one strong interest in common – adoration of good food. With the wine we had brought with us chilling in Sabrina’s fridge, we were off, with a welcome cocktail – vodka, apple and mint. I was perfectly set up for the feast.

Ok, so the way this Persian feast supper club works is as follows – for each course, a mass of different dishes are placed on the table for everyone to share. There is no need to worry about someone dominating your favourite dish. I feel Sabrina cooks along the lines of ‘feeding the 5000.’

To start, my highlights included the baked feta with chilli and preserved lemon. I am a feta addict and have never tasted it cooked in such a delicious, precious way. The whole marinated block of feta had been wrapped in vine leaves. It was tender and gooey and set alight by the flavours it had embraced in the oven. The fennel, blood orange and radish salad, served with mint and pomegranate in a citrus dressing was fresh, juicy and explosive. Now onto the main affair! The moment when the dishes were carried out, you wish you had not eaten a single thing all day in order to make the most of this spectacular feast. Maygoo Polow, I salute you! Traditionally steamed Persian rice with an abundance of spices, chilli, raisins and prawns was also delicious. Again, the freshness is what really shines with this staggering dish; it is comforting and satisfying whilst also a sensation for your senses. This was in addition to  a total of four other insane main dishes – a slow cooked cod and herb stew, citrus stuffed trout and dish I never tire of, char-grilled aubergines with saffron yogurt. It was almost impossible to stop serving yourself more and more. Every time I tried, I could swear I saw an aubergine winking at me. It was only when I remembered about dessert that I managed to stop eating the mains and only for fear that I would be able to squeeze in more, a dessert! Dessert, thank goodness was kept simple however, still divinely delicious. In simplicity a cupcake, in deliciousness flavoured with cardamom, orange, pistachio and almonds and all washed down with a fresh glass of mint tea.

What a fabulous evening – a mighty Persian feast and a meeting of foodie minds! For when you fancy trying something different and want to eat like a King/Queen!


Chotto Matte

A catch up with friends I haven’t seen forever, somewhere new and fun in Soho, the classic age old question?

Chotto Matte. It opened late in 2013, from the owners of Nobu and ping pong and I guess this fits nicely in the middle. Soho restaurants more often than not – QUEUES and can only seat 12 people, refreshingly this is neither. You can make a reservation and the restaurant is set across 2 large, gapingly modern floors. It kind of has a nightclub feel inside, everything is glass, dark and conceptual with splashes of neon modern art.

What about the food, I hear your cry? Well it is a fusion (course it is) Japanese and Peruvian, which is new to new to me and I am pleased to say is one of the most glorious of mixes. The menu is built for sharing, they recommend 3 dishes per person, I would say you may need 4. The menu ranges from standard sushi and terreyaki dishes to far more interesting concoctions. I had the most delicious vegetable tartar, is that even possible, YES! Dishes I had never heard of , nehi? Try them it’s fun, a new fusion to London where I guarantee you will learn something, eat beyond delicious food and be surrounded by a super buzzy atmosphere AND you can make a reservation.

The fusion fashion is ON!

Riddle and Finns

When people think about eating out in Brighton, I guess it is fish and chips on the beach. When I am in Brighton I like nothing more than HOME home cooking, so it is almost a chore to drag myself out to a restaurant, very unusual for me. So it is typical that the Brighton restaurant scene is colourful and varied following hot on the heels of London vibes with its own hippy beach style.

However there is nothing hippy and nothing fish and chippy about Riddle and Finns, this is Brighton’s own chic seafood and champagne bar, nestled in the cobbled South Lanes (the lanes closest to the sea) you cannot go wrong with your order. For pure decadence the lobster sea food platter BUT the seafood linguine, catch of the day and fish pie are also great options, enjoy with a chilled glass of BuBBLeS. This is probably not what most people would associate with Brighton, it reminds me so much of Randle and Aubin in Soho, with its bar seating, tiled walls and good upbeat music.

R and F does not take reservations instead just show up, more than likely put your name on a waiting list and explore the Lanes (or go wild on the pier) they will call you when your table is ready. The best type of queuing. This is champagne seafood but with lashings of sea air, perfect for a special treat at the weekend.