Thursday, March 13, 2014

Dinner at Scratch Supperclub in Marylebone

Lemon Olive Chicken Tagine


I love going to supperclubs. It’s a great way to discover a new chef, eat some delicious food and meet new people outside your social circle. Last month, I attended a 'Scratch Supperclub' dinner in Marylebone hosted by Michelle, a lovely Australian ex-chef who’s been doing these events for a while. The dinner was 8 course menu with Moroccan influences (inspired by her recent trip to Morocco).

We barged in a few minute late – so any awkwardness I felt about entering the rather intimate setting of stranger’s home quickly dissipated. We were just in time for the first starter, a Chermoula and Lamb crostini which was utterly delicious. As I tasted the first bite of slow-cooked lamb, in an instant all my fears vanished. Who knew how this night would go but it was certainly starting off on a good note.









Next was a little “soupette” of Saffron, Carrot and Orange served with a little crunchy pastry of sweet potato and walnut. The third course was Braised Aubergines dressed with labne (a yoghurty sauce) and caramelized tomatoes – all flavours that worked well together.


Ras El Hanout Cod with Cinnamon Chickpeas

The next dish was one that divided the table: Ras el Hanout spiced cod with cinnamon chickpeas and phyllo flakes. I think some people found the fish with chickpeas a strange pairing but I personally enjoyed it.
Braised Aubergine Caramelized tomato


And then came a Tagine of Chicken, preserved Lemon and Olives served with pine nuts, mint yoghurt and a citrus cous cous. I found it a rather comforting fragrent dish to eat and like the rest of the meal, a lovely way to get an introduction to Moroccan flavours and spices.

Dessert was a Moroccan Bread and Butter Pudding with date molasses and orange blossoms. I was initially not enthralled when I read it the menu. It sounded dreadfully dull but then I had the first bite and oh my god - it was so amazingly good. I like the way Michelle plays around with flavours and each dish had a her individual creative touch on it.










We had some fresh mint tea and some rose Clementine sweet pastry to end the meal. The minimum contribution is £40 and at the end of the meal, you’re handed an envelope to put your payment in. Michelle also serves a cocktail and everyone usually brings their own bottle of wine.


Moroccan Bread and Butter Pudding

Overall it was a entertaining night with good food and I enjoyed conversing with the other people on my table. There were about 12-14 people seated at two tables. Some had come with friends, some had come alone. The person sitting next to was from Dubai and was only was in London to do a 2 week course at LBS. Over the course of dinner, we gave him some recommendations of places to eat in Marylebone and the next morning, guess who we bumped into at Providores! He was there trying out their brunch menu, which we had raved about the night before.


I think that Scratch Supperclub dinners are ideal for people who are new to London or visiting for a short period. It’s a great way to immerse your self in a new neighbourhood, meet some locals and have a fun night dining with a bunch of friendly strangers!

So if you’re interested in finding out more, here is the Scratch website: http://www.londonfromscratch.co.uk/

Michelle also runs food tours around Marylebone and Soho which would be quite fun if you’re visiting London and want to get to know all the insider tips and local favourites.



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