Somehow, I have become a foodie. How did this happen? One minute I’m just bebopping along, doing my wine thing, next thing I know, I’m reviewing Michelin starred restaurants and supper clubs. I suppose it shouldn’t be a surprise as food and wine are meant to go together and like so many of my wineblogging breathren, I do think that wine should be drunk with food close at hand. I have to say though that the wine always takes centre stage, although I do make an effort to think about the food too.
Supper Clubs, great idea but a bitch to find! Luiz and I must have spent 10 minutes looking for the Stolen Supper Club in Notting Hill. Can you blame us, here is the door, sans door number:
Our charming hostess, Mia (aka Bonnie) greeted us at the door and led us into a currently being renovated flat, cue lots of exposed ceilings and plasterwork. The only thing fully in place was the brand new kitchen where her accomplice Leandro (Clyde) was busy preparing our dinner. It was looking good as she led us past the oven and into a lovely garden where the other guests were chatting and drinking.
The Stolen Supper Club’s USP so to speak is that they ‘steal’ famous chef’s recipes to re-create their dining experience in their supper club at home. This week they were replicating Mark Hix’s menu and due to the fact that Mia had spent 10 years in the London restaurant scene, Mark is a friend and kindly donated Hix napkins for the evening as well as plenty of info on his restaurants and the aperitif for the evening.
The menu was from Hix Oyster and Chop House and we duly started with oysters on the half shell fresh from Billingsgate Market that morning, served with a bloody mary granita on top and naked for the purists. I liked the bloody mary granita but I like my oysters unadorned by anything but a splash of lemon juice. Stolen was also featuring Hix’s house white the Tonnix, a white wine from the Douro. I was liking these guys more and more. A refreshing white, medium bodied wine, a blend of codega and rabigato grapes, it’s made for Mark Hix from the well known Portuguese producer, Quinta de la Rosa, who I’ve profiled previously on The Winesleuth. The Tonnix is made for seafood and it certainly had a citrusy character to it with nicely balanced acidity while not being too zingy.
For the mains we had Jack O’Shea Rib-eye steaks with straw potatoes and three sauces, a Chop House Butter, a pepper sauce and salsa verde. This being a supper club, it’s BYOB and I had brought a bottle of Jackson Estate Pinot Noir, the 2007 Gum Emperor. Jackson Estate are one of the top wineries in Marlborough and all their grapes come from only 4 estate run vineyards. The Gum Emperor is 100% pinot noir and is named after a moth that lives in Jackson Estate’s iconic gum tree which graces the label of their wines. The Gum Emperor is only made in the best vintage years and is a showcase for what Jackson Estate is capable of doing with pinot noir. The first thing that hit me was the classic black cherry and ripe strawberries on the nose and palate that seem to be ubiquitous in cool climate NZ pinots. On the palate it had quite an autumnal quality to it, smokey, wet leaves, like walking through the country side on a wet autumn day. Silky tannins and bright acidity kept this wine going and going. Great with the steak, it cut through the fat and left me wanting more. The ’07 is still young and will definitely age well.
The meal was finished off with Sloe Gin Jelly shots with sorbet and Jersey Cream. At first I didn’t know what to do with the cream but after due consideration for my arteries, I poured it over the jelly – delish!
The Stolen Supper Club is a great concept and Mia and Leandro are stealing great recipes from some great restaurants. I’ll be happy to receive their stolen goods anytime. If you’d like to visit them, check out their website, Stolen Supper Club.