In the Embassy Cafe in the heart of Cathays, Cardiff, there is a bit of a weekend gem, brilliant chef Simon, aka Herbivore takes over on Saturdays and Sundays bringing beautiful vegetarian and vegan food to the neighbourhood. If you haven’t been, this is your memo to CHECK IT OUT.
Supper Clubs have also become a regular part of the Herbivore experience and so when the opportunity came up this week for me attend one, I jumped at it, and oh what a treat it was.
We arrived early for a warm summer evening with the front of the cafe flung open allowing for a dreamy alfresco vibe. Tables of all sizes meant it was a balance of intimate and communal, a mix of couples and groups so you could easily make it as social as you wanted it to be. Homemade soft drinks were first up, with watermelon coolers providing the perfect relief from the warm sun alongside elderflower or ginger fizz. (Herbivore operates a BYOB policy so we had decided to opt out of wine for the evening and instead focus on everything else the menu had to offer)
Ten minutes later the delivery of fresh water Kefir arrived and with all of us totally intrigued by the beautiful glass bottles in every shade of pink, and having thought Kefir was always yoghurt based, we grabbed a Rhubarb & Hibiscus and Blackcurrant flavour to share and the debated all evening which was our favourite! (I’m going with Blackcurrant, although still need to figure out what made it different to Kombucha, I think it’s the cultures..if you know the answer do pop it in the comments!)
Drinks poured, golden hour setting in it was time for the foooood. First up was thin ribbons of courgette fried and served with creamy elderflower mayo, the perfect start, I could have eaten BOWLFULS of these. Salt baked carrots followed on top of a white bean hummus. This was probably one of my favourite dishes, super fresh ingredients and honest flavours, a real celebration of seasonal British produce.
Next it was tomatoes stuffed with an olive crumb, this beautiful looking dish got an audible ‘ooooo’ when it came out of the kitchen, it looked like someones garden had spilled onto the plates, edible flowers scattered everywhere and a rainbow of colour. And then something comforting in contrast, a potato corncake with spicy smoked pepper sauce, the heat providing the perfect follow up to the fresh light plates that preceded it.
And then we were onto dessert. Steel bowls appeared at the table piled with blackcurrant & liquorice sorbet, it had the subtle aftertaste of aniseedy fennel and topped with cream oat creme fraiche it was by far my favourite flavour combination of the evening, sharp but sweet, the ultimate palette cleanser. I’d quite happily have a giant bowl of it hidden in the freezer..if anyone has a recipe, send it my way!
If one dessert wasn’t enough we finished our evening with one last plate, elderflower soup with an almond sponge, sweet, not too sweet and not too heavy either, although I’d personally have just taken a second bowl of sorbet..!
Six courses, immaculately presented, well balanced, seasonal ingredients. A celebration of freshness and local talent. Oh and for a mere £25/ ticket it was an absolute BARGAIN. If you haven’t already then I highly recommend keeping an eye out for future events with Herbivore, there is a small plates evening on August 10th if the tickets aren’t already sold out then snap them up!
Want to find out more? Check out http://theherbivore.co.uk/supper-clubs/ and if you have any other recommendations for Supper Clubs you think we should try..pop them in the comments!
elderflower mayonnaise & rosemary salt
CARROTS & CHAMMOMILE
salt baked carrots, cannellini, calendula
FLOWERS & LEAVES
POTATO & OREGANO CORNCAKE
fried green tomato, smoked red pepper sauce
BLACKCURRANT & LIQUORICE
sorbet, vanilla cream, fennel
lemon & almond sponge, elderflower syrup