Saturday 20 November 2010

Good Stock Supper Club

There's a new supper club in town.  It's called Good Stock and it's run by a lovely team of sisters and cousins.  Anna, Marie, Sarah & Lucy and their team hosted their first dinner last night and it was a huge success.  The biggest coup being the fact they've managed to secure the best venue - a spacious riverside penthouse on the Thames!  So the wow factor was apparent from the moment you arrived and were handed a glass of pink Prosecco to enjoy whilst taking in the stunning view overlooking Tower Bridge.  

Professionalism is certainly the name of the game with Good Stock, and in some ways it felt more like a restaurant than a supper club in someone's home.  They run a very slick operation and being quite a perfectionist myself, I really appreciated their attention to detail, including simple ideas such as putting sprigs of fresh mint in the water bottles, and colour printed menus on each table.

The 24 diners comprised of groups of friends, regular supper club goers and friends of the hosts.  I sat at a table with a lovely bunch and we all got along like old friends, enjoying the food, wine and banter.  The atmosphere in general was happy and relaxed, and despite the kitchen being open plan and only feet from the diners, we were oblivious to any action frantically taking place as the hosts moved deftly between us serving the food.

A platter of delicious peat-smoked salmon parcels with beetroot and horseradish, and some cheesy rarebit puffs with pancetta crisp were handed out whilst we had our welcome drink.  They were a great combination of flavours and would have been perfect if offered as canapes.  But according to the menu, these were in fact the starter, which I found quite disappointing as there wasn't a substantial enough amount for all the guests (I only had one of each) to justify a starter.  The smoked mackerel and trout terrine with saffron potatoes was tasty and made up for it.  The main course was a Carbonnade of British beef with garlic and dijon croute which was effectively a beef stew served in individual pots with a slice of French bread on top and some green beans wrapped in courgette on the side.  The beef was tender and the sauce was excellent, really flavoursome and perfect for a hearty, cold November evening.  But being quite rich, it would have definitely benefitted from a good dollop of creamy mashed potato.  Surprisingly, no bread was offered on the table, but when we asked for some, the hosts instantly brought us a basketful. 

It was rose water-poached pears with homemade spiced vanilla ice cream for pudding.  Beautifully presented on a plate with a delicate mint leaf, at first you wondered if the ice cream was coming separately, until you discovered it gently seeping out of the pear's bottom!  The girls had painstakingly hollowed out each pear and inserted the ice cream.  The pear, spiced vanilla and mint were a lovely combination and the ice cream was especially creamy.  

A cheeseboard of brie drizzled with honey, figs and stilton rounded off the evening perfectly.  Compared to most supper clubs, Good Stock didn't offer the BYO wine option, instead offering a glass of carefully selected wines to accompany each course.  This was a nice touch but I'd like to have had the option to bring a bottle too.  They did offer additional wine for sale.

Towards the end of the evening, we were all given a little brown box, with 'Good Stock' neatly printed on the lid.  Inside was a duo of handmade salted caramel truffles.  As mentioned earlier, it's this  kind of thoughtful detail which makes Good Stock stand out from the crowd.  The chocolates were so delicious, with the perfect contrast of sweet and salt, I'm sure the best chocolatier in the world would have been impressed.  A great trademark. 

When they'd all finished sweating over the hot stove, the team emerged looking fresh and gorgeous to join us at the table for some cheese and chat.  It was a fun night and I met some interesting people and think Good Stock should be very proud of themselves for hosting such a great dinner.
Hopefully they will be putting on more dinners soon, so I suggest you book yourself a place and check out their website  Thanks for a lovely evening and well done!

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