It was definitely a case of third time lucky for me last week: having missed the previous two Southville Supper Club offerings, I was more than happy to forego my usual Wednesday night plans (pub quiz) to head south of the river for an evening of great food and company to match.
After a cheeky drink at the Ostrich and a detour via Asda to pick up a bottle to accompany our meal, we arrived at our host’s home and were shown upstairs to a large room with four tables laid out for the 14 guests attending…well, five originally, but we managed to persuade the table of two to join our table of five 🙂
Our first course arrived in two parts: a small jug of rich and earthy-smelling mushroom broth for each diner, to be poured into a bowl of chanterelles, parsley and a large crouton. On its own, the broth was incredibly subtly-flavoured, but paired with the whole mushrooms the dish came together incredibly well.
The main course of duck hearts was a completely new experience for me…and, I’m pleased to say, one that I’d definitely like to try again. The three hearts, pink in the centre and tasting not dissimilar in some respects to chicken livers, were served on a bed of smoked potato with a thick and sticky beetroot reduction that clung to the plate. Top marks to the chef.
On the menu on Sam’s blog, we had been told that we would be served a dessert of “Baked apples, ice cream and salt caramel” – a dessert that proved to be strangely reminiscent of a toffee apple when served, much to the confusion of the supper club attendees.
The next few minutes were filled with the sound of cracking as the room collectively broke through the layer of caramel on the outside, followed by loud “ooooooooohs” as this revealed a centre oozing with custard and a compote of the inside of the apple. As it turns out, Sam had hollowed out the apples and frozen them to keep their shape before covering in caramel and filling. A delicious and exciting dessert, with the nostalgia value of Bonfire Night toffee apples.
All that remained was a huge slab of Gorwydd Caerphilly for the table to share, along with a dense and sticky slice of quince cheese. Apologies to the two pregnant ladies on our table who weren’t able to indulge, but I think the remaining three were fairly happy to polish off the lot…
So there you have it. Four delicious courses, great company, and all for the bargain price of £15 per head – thank you, Sam, for a fantastic evening! Unfortunately I can’t make the next supper club, which is taking place on Saturday, November 27th, but if you’re interested in sampling a menu which “might involve apples, goose, pumpkin, pears, pork, roots, and brassicas in some combination or order” then head to the relevant page on Sam’s blog for details of how to book.