Last week was the launch of Ruby & Pickles, a new London-based supperclub project by me and my friend Jasel. You can read a bit more about our story behind it on this previous post.
Despite both being confident cooks and between us having stacks of events experience, it was a nerve-wracking day and evening. Before we knew it dinner was over and we were elbow high in dishwater, balancing out the glamour of the celebrations and cheer of earlier in the evening.
The supperclub was a massive success – more so than I think either of us anticipated. Sure we had a few glitches during the day when we weren’t sure if the cooker was going to work or if we’d have enough tables but everything that was within our control worked out. All dishes went to plan, we had more than enough food (there’s still several portions of chickpeas in my freezer…), plates were cleared and we received really positive and enthusiastic feedback at the end via our anonymous comment cards.
The Ruby & Pickles experience is based on creative eastern-inspired vegetarian and vegan food that draws on our Indian heritage but also the global and contemporary society we live in and the flavours that we love. Our first menu erred on the side of traditional homemade Indian food, with a few modern twists like serving up the pav bhaji like bruschetta and adding homemade mint pesto croutons to the dal. The main courses were served with two of our pickles – olive and beetroot – and we’ll be making a different pickle every month, reflecting on our name.
The menu for the evening was:
Starter: our contemporary twist on Indian street food Pav bhaji (Indian bruschetta), served with a relish of bombay onions, gherkins, and lime.
Main course: thali dish of three curries served with rice and flatbreads including a rustic langarwali dhal of dark lentils in a mild but rich sauce garnished with mint pesto croutons, seared tofu ‘paneer’ with slow cooked peppers, onions and cherry tomatoes, and smoked aubergine, spinach and chickpea curry.
Served with flatbreads, carrot and cucumber raita topped with pomegranate jewels and the homemade pickles of the month: beetroot and olive.
Dessert: fragrant semolina pudding with almonds and pistachios, infused with saffron and cardamon served with vanilla ice-cream and strawberries.
Masala Chai: with a blend of home made spices and fresh ginger.
Guests absolutely loved the pav bhaji which was the fieriest dish of the evening and we are pretty sure that our semolina pudding helped to banish any unfond memories of slopping school desserts! We dished out seconds all round, and in some cases even third helpings, which was great as we still went home with plenty of leftovers.
Brimming with ideas (including great comments and suggestions from guests at the end of the night) and buzzing from the success of the night, we’ve already dived straight into planning the next one. We are going to continue a residency at The Joker of Penton Street in Angel and will be able to announce a date very soon. We are keen to branch out to other parts of London so will be looking out for opportunities as we develop so if you’re a venue, would be interested in collaborating or know of any opportunities do drop us a line.
Future events will see us draw on inspiration from other cuisines we enjoy, the countries we have travelled to and even exploring dishes we might not be as familiar with, but always with a spicy eastern twist. We can share now that the next supperclub will be a Meditterean summer party drawing on flavours and dishes from across the region, but with our special Ruby & Pickles twist.
Finally, I just wanted to say thanks to everyone that came along on the night, everyone that has supported us so far and a huge thanks to Jasel for being up for developing something new and exciting for the London food scene. We hope to lots of you soon at future events!