A surrealist supper with The Clove Club
Joining London Cocktail Week, Hendricks Gin has taken up a site at Fitzroy Square and set up a pop up call "Carnival of Knowledge". I went to one of their special events on the Friday night: A surrealist supper which was a fine dining experience with the food provided by The Clove Club and Hendricks gin providing matching cocktails.
|Carnival of Knowledge tour bus|
We stopped at the Parlour Bar for a classic G&T and already I could feel the surreal elements with the Victorian setting, bird cages, funky painting, newspaper and giant polo bear! Hendricks Gin's ambassador guided us to downstairs after ours drinks, one pair at a time to the surreal dining room which wouldn't look out of place in a fairy tail.
|Parlour Bar decor|
We started off with some trademark appetizers from the Clove Club, the radishes and wood pigeon sausage was like how I remembered it from the last visit at The Clove Club. The Gochuchang sauces was just perfect, matching with the radishes. What was new to me was the oak smoked cod's roe on rye cracker, lovely earthy notes from the cracker and the roe was smooth and blended wonderfully. We were served a hot gin punch to go along with in which tasted a lot like madeira wine, lovely citrus and spicy notes spreading around the whole dining room.
|wood pigeon sausage|
|oak smoked cod's roe|
|Mr Micawber's hot gin punch|
Then the surprise came! Duncan, Hendricks' UK ambassador popped out from the table and gave us a mini speech before some "magical hands" appeared from the side of the table and started serving us cocktails! What a wild and brilliant concept from Hendricks! The handed served us a "Diamond Martinez" it was dry and savoury which worked well as an aperitif. For starters, we were served flamed grilled mackerel tartare with cucumber and elderflower. Again it was the same dish which I had before, but the quality was the same and showed the great consistency from the kitchen staff. It was rich and smoky with the mustard really adding a nice cool and refreshing kick.
|flamed grilled mackerel tartare with |
cucumber and elderflower
Up next was the line caught squid, tarragon and green meat radishes. Gosh the squid was so tender and it cut like butter, lovely seasoning too and some of the finest squid I've had in my life. The cocktail that was served by the "hands" was just as good: "St Germain des pres" using elderflower liqueur with lime, cucumber with chilli adding a lovely freshness and a hint of spices inside a gin cocktail, this was outstanding, wonderfully mixed and has officially become my all time flavour gin based cocktail.
|line caught squid, tarragon and green meat radishes|
|St Germain des pres|
|St Germain des pres|
For the main course, we were served feather blade of beef, with mushrooms, ceps and truffle. Beef was beautifully cooked, moist, tender and full of robust flavours. The Cesar's mushroom matched it perfectly and provided an extra layer of texture with the Wiltshire truffle giving the whole dish an aroma sensation. This time around the "hands" served not one, but two cocktails with the beef. First a "white lady" with a twist, with egg white and sugar added in to made it a touch thicker. The second cocktail on the other hand was a real beast, beer cocktail with honey and ginger, very bold and strong in flavour and I can drink that all day long on a cold winters day.
|feather blade of beef, with mushrooms, ceps and truffle|
|Diminutive white lady|
On to the dessert, autumn berries, milk mousse and beremeal. Those lovely grainy notes came through wonderfully with the creamy milky mousse sandwiched between the sweet and bitter berries, great balance of flavours. To finish off the "hands" offered us an "Angel Face". A lovely after dinner drink with calvados, brandy and peach bitter, very bold and fruity in flavour, a perfect drink to round off an amazing dinner with chocolates on the side.
|autumn berries, milk mousse and beremeal|
|Coffee and coco|
My dinner turned out to be very surreal indeed. The Clove Club really delivered wonderful taste in every single one of its dishes and the gin cocktails that came with it were just as good, along with the fun factor and entertainment from the "magic hands" and the ambassadors. The surrealist supper was one of the most enjoyable experiences I've ever had in my life. Hats off to Hendricks Gin for such a quirky and fun event, amazing food and amazing cocktails, with a magical touch, what a spectacular evening.
£71 per head with drinks and booking fee