Supper Club at Fernandez & Leluu

When I read about Fernandez & Leluu, an underground Supper Club for ‘avid foodies’, on One Million Gold Stars, I had to try it. As well as finding the images on both Gail’s, and Simon and Uyen’s blogs utterly mouthwatering, I found the idea of having dinner with a group of strangers really appealing.

Perhaps small-mindedly, I expected to meet a group of like-minded, food-loving, internet fiends. The prospect of going to a secret location to share food with people you’ve never met before, can be a bit daunting, so I had assumed you would have to be really into food to be especially bothered about a supper club. I was therefore surprised when my table mates didn’t seem enthuse as geekily as I did about the inspired use of ingredients, and the beautiful table settings. Equally, with the supper club’s booking process and word of mouth reputation residing online, I guessed the clientèle would be blogger/tweeter, galore, which my table at least, weren’t.

Of course, everyone loved the food, and seemed to be having a great time (you couldn’t not!), but I felt somewhat alone in my food nerdism. That’s not to say I didn’t enjoy people’s company, but ultimately, I didn’t feel like I had much in common with anyone. That said, it was really nice talking with people from different walks of life, working in very different industries from myself, and I look forward to being able to meet different types of people again on my next visit.

The food however, was every bit as amazing as I had anticipated. Here is my dish by dish account of last Friday’s menu:

First up was a salad of shredded red cabbage, beetroot and creamy goat’s cheese, in a honey and chilli dressing. Beetroot and goat’s cheese are a favourite combo of mine, and worked beautifully with the crisp red cabbage. The honey dressing had a flavour that totally reminded me of cough sweets, but not in a bad way! It was cirtussy and sweet without being sickly, and the fiery hit of slices of red chilli gave the strong flavoured salad a fresh kick.

Next up was Sweetcorn Veloute with Chorizo Foam. I love sweetcorn soups, and this light, creamy, take on it was no disappointment. I always hate the idea of ‘foam’ when I see it on a menu, but instead of being the spit-like globule that I so dislike, the chorizo foam here was more of a light froth coating the top of the soup. The smoky, paprika flavour it provided was gorgeous the sweetness of the soup, and subtle enough not to overpower it as actual chorizo would have done.

Having successfully avoided a fish and chip lunch, thanks to @fernandeznleluu assuring me on twitter that I would be getting fish and chips, but not as I know it, I was especially excited to find out what the dish on the menu would be. Salmon sashimi dressed with soy and served alongside wasabi mayonaisse and perfectly crispy home-made chips was far more interesting than anything I would have guessed it would be, and tasted absolutely amazing. I love raw salmon, and these sweet, fresh, meaty chunks of fish were some of the most delicious I have ever tasted. Chips might not be a usual accompaniment to sashimi,  but actually, having the lightness of the raw fish alongside the chips was a much better balance than two deep-fried things together. This was definitely my favourite dish.

Continuing with the fish theme was a black squid risotto with deep-fried calamaris and salmon mayonaisse. My poor quality iphone pictures (I am apparently incapable of charging my camera) don’t do justice to just how great this dish looked, but the strong, black colour of the squid ink risotto was pretty alluring. People always assume that squid ink is going to taste overly fishy, but it is really quite subtle in its fishiness whilst adding a rich flavour to the dish. The rice was soft without being stodgy and gluey, while the calamaris were crisp and without a hint of rubberiness. I was initially unsure of the salmon mayonaisse (I hate tuna mayo), but where it was similar in texture, it was incredibly different in flavour, and I really enjoyed it, especially slathered onto a calamari.

Perhaps because I initially felt a little nervous around new people, or perhaps because it had been a long week, I was racing through my bottle of red, and a bottle of sparkling white, and ended up pretty drunk by the end of the evening. As such, I bowed out before dessert and the roasted rack of lamb with mustard cabbage and butternut terrine was my last course. As you can see from the picture, the lamb was cooked to perfect pinkness, and was so tender, the knife glided through the juicy meat with ease. I’m pretty into tarting up savoy cabbage, and mustard was a great addition, especially alongside the sweet lamb and butternut squash.

So ultimately, I had a great night filled with some of the best food I have eaten in ages, and I can’t wait to return. Next time, I will hopefully remember not to speed through the booze so quickly and end up wrecked by midnight!

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9 Responses to “Supper Club at Fernandez & Leluu”

  1. Gail Haslam Says:

    I’m glad you enjoyed it – their food is indeed inspired, isn’t it? I say embrace your food nerdism! We’ve sat with people who are food-crazy and also others who’ve just heard that it’s a great restaurant and aren’t at all interested in dissecting the dishes and working out the secret ingredients… I just love that it’s a genuine passion on the parts of the hosts. And must try to get into F&L again!

    • laurafleur Says:

      yeah, I imagine it is a really diff experience each time, so am looking forward to returning and checking out other supper clubs. The passion from F&L was totally clear. Felt so nice to be able to visit someone’s home and eat their amazing food just for the sheer love of it on both parts.

  2. Fernandez & Leluu Says:

    Thank you so much for your wonderful post on our food. We read it over curry the next day after so much hard work – it made it really worth all our while that you and everyone we spoke to enjoyed the meal.

    We love playing around with tastes and flavours in a way that we think works for us – so happy that other people like it too.

    As for the crowd, we try so hard to place everyone with people we think may get on – its all to do with instinct and sometimes its not right or the mood of certain groups are not the same as others. Its like putting on the wrong song sometimes.

    Sometimes there are so many foodies and sometimes there are just people coming because they heard good things and want to enjoy a good meal with good company – as Gail says above.

    It was a pleasure to meet you and Robert. We hope to see you both again soon and thank you for making a wonderful day for us yesterday with your post.

    Uyen & Simon xxx

  3. laurafleur Says:

    Thank you for the lovely comment, and for reminding me that I really need to eat at Tayyabs!

  4. Jennifer Says:

    Hi Laura,

    Sorry I didn’t get to talk to you again after the initial hello at the door! I went to my first supperclub with 9 others and this one in a group of 6. I think I need to come in a pair next time so I actually meet people! Meeting other food geeks was part of the appeal for me too. All the dishes were amazing, weren’t they? Sorry you missed the dessert, it was equally delicious! Though I still can’t get my body clock sorted from staying up so late again so soon after getting back from Australia!

    I hope I get to meet you again sometime!

    Jen (@chocolateguide) x

  5. The London Foodie Says:

    Interesting review, and glad you liked F&L, they re one of my favourite supper clubs in London. I also thought it was interesting that you felt slightly alienated by your “nerdism” regarding the food, ingredients and decor, I can very much relate to that as I hardly find people nearly as enthusiastic as I am about food (but then I work in banking!).

    Luiz @ The London Foodie

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