A rainy Saturday evening in Nottingham, a little bit merry from a few pints whilst watching the rugby. Two taxis loitering on a residential road with no sign of the house number we are looking for.
“Erm, are you going to the supper club?” one leg out the cab, I shouted through the drizzle. “Yes! Follow us!”
All four of us huddled in front of the blue door. Ready for an evening of Japanese food and a new experience.
If you’ve not heard of a supper club before, let me explain –
Fabulous cooks who want to share their food with others, basically hold a dinner party for strangers and charge for the food! To keep it small, you only find out the location after booking and it’s normally BYOB. Initially they don’t look cheap, but the standard of food is always incredible (in my experience), taking your own drinks saves a fortune over a bottle of wine at a restaurant, you meet new people and have new experiences… invaluable.
We were welcomed in to Johanna and Mark’s lovely home, where in true Japanese style we swapped our shoes for slippers at the door. A coolbox was ready for our beers and we all introduced each other and spoke about our days. Our hosts immediately put us at ease and I truly felt like we were with friends. Before dinner we were coached in writing our name in Japanese. Liam (who can lend his hand to anything) won some fabulous chopsticks for doing the best characters. It was a great ice breaker, bringing smiles to all, the traditional brushes and ink are completely different to work with.
I’ll let the photos of the food speak for themselves, but the courses got better and better as the night went on. I think the panko quail egg and with miso butter shitaki mushroom with it’s earthy undertones and umami top notes was my favourite course, but some of the garnishes/sides really surprised me. Their miso soup is on a par and better than some of the miso I had in Tokyo, really surprising. I could have happily just had bowl after bowl of it that evening. The sesame carrot served on the side of Kara Age was so delightful I was lucky enough to be sent home with some leftovers.
It was Liam’s birthday, a happy coincidence when I saw them release the dates, as well as being in charge of the music, winning his chopsticks (it’s a fix!) Johanna was sweet enough to treat us to birthday cake and candles. Such a magical evening, and unlike a restaurant there was no waiting for the bill at the end, we whisked straight into a taxi to find Liam’s friends and tell them all about our special meal… over a few more drinks… and maybe dancing!
Almost always fully booked, follow the team on social media to get a heads up of future dates. Or if you can get 6 of you together Mark and Johanna will even do a special night just for you. I can’t wait to take Amy and Nigel to try their vegan tasting menu.
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