I recently enjoyed a very fun and rather unusual Saturday night.
Venue: Finsbury Square Pop-Up Patio.
Event: Fabulous 698B supper club.
As mentioned in April’s round-up, having met Maja & Guillaume, the creators of Fabulous 698B at a TABL event in March, and having fallen in love with their delicate, fresh canapes and beautiful antique crockery, they were kind enough to invite me to attend an entire Fabulous 698B evening, to which I was more than happy to oblige.
Top tip: If you’re ever trying to find the Pop-Up Patio, having walked around the perimeter of Finsbury Square for a good 15 minutes, I can tell you now that it is in fact in the middle of the square, so get on that grass.
And what an unexpectedly stunning venue it was.
Two long, white tablecloth-laden tables, artistically & colourfully decorated with bright flowers, intricate vases and unusual water jugs.
The room showcased Maja’s exceptional taste and evident knack for finding vintage gems amongst the rubble. Seriously Maja, I need to know where you got those water glasses!
As with most supper clubs, the event was BYOB, but Maja had prepared a delicious gin & grapefruit “Spring Martini” to kick start everyone into social mode.
Which worked a treat!
Every Fabulous 698B adventure revolves around a specific theme, but you are always guaranteed a feast of seasonal British produce revealing unexpected flavour combinations.
Our ‘nibbles’ were a mushroom cup and rough cod pate.
I really enjoyed the taste & texture of the cod bite, which had delicious depth of fishy flavour, but I wasn’t as keen on the mushroom cup, the pastry of which I found to be a little greasy.
Our starter was a very simple seasonal plate of greens, “British Asparagus, Quail egg, Flat, Runner, Yellow & Bobby, Hazelnut, Basil”.
A visually stunning plate of food, and incredibly fresh; this was certainly the healthiest starter I think I’ve ever eaten.
What I really, really loved about the venue was that we could observe Guillaume and his right-hand man plate each & every dish, which I found absolutely fascinating to watch. Each component was carefully placed before the next layer was added, and around & around they went until each dish was complete.
The starter epitomised Fabulous 698B’s ethos and was executed brilliantly, with the delicate quail egg’s cooked to perfection. As a salt fiend however, my only criticism would be that I could have done with a good shake of the white stuff, or at least would have liked to have been able to add it myself.
Our first main was “Roasted Turbot, Brittany Shallot, Lemon, Squid ink”.
Again, I was completely captivated by the plating of the dish.
With the finished result just as beautiful as our starter.
Once more, a very fresh & light dish on the waistline and the palette, with the squid ink bringing the most forceful flavour to the table. Again, I would have liked more seasoning, and must admit that I found the fish to be slightly overcooked.
The arrival of the “Lancashire Pork, Wild Garlic, Coco beans, Rosemary”, however, was when I died a little and went to heaven.
As a Dane I like to think I know my pork, and I have to say that Fabulous 698B’s serving was exceptional. Putting juicy lean pork on a plate is an achievement in itself, but to combine it with crunchy crackling is practically unheard of.
And then there was the gravy. *THE gravy*, of which I asked for more before I had even been served my plate because, a), in my book you can never have enough and, b), I could tell from its aroma that it was going to be exquisite. And that it was.
Intensely rich and shiny smooth, it was faultless.
Empty plates were cleared and as BYOB started to get the better of everyone, the chatter & laughter around the room reached new heights.
Until we were interrupted, that is.
High tempo rock n’ roll started blaring from the speakers, and the real show began.
Using the pre-prepared ingredients that they’d sneakily placed to the side of the room as we’d all been nattering away:
Maja, Guillaume, and their helper for the evening started running around the room to the fast-paced music turning our tables into food art.
The most painful part being that they’d cleverly taken away our cutlery so no one could start stealing bites until the creations were complete.
The run-around layering of yumminess resulted in the “More Than Just a Strawberry Fool!” dessert description being accomplished with ease, and a total of 4 different delectable desserts taking shape before our eyes.
Eton Mess: French crispy meringue, vanilla Chantilly, British strawberries, flambé vodka, viola flowers.
Millefeuille, Guariguette strawberries, strawberry mousse, Port marinated strawberries, puff pastry, blow-torched Italian meringue.
Chocolate mousse, hazelnut nougatine, walnut praline, toasted almonds, and lemon cheesecake, shortbread, freeze-dried strawberries, baby mint, strawberry coulis, strawberry jelly.
^ MY FAAAAVE.
Plus spattering’s & sprinklings of salted caramel, lemon thyme granita, popping candy, sherbet, chocolate soil, coconut Chantilly, chocolate sauce, rhubarb puree and vanilla yogurt.
In short, a table spread of dreams.
Although it was definitely a case of spoon’s to the finish.
Not a single drop of pud was left behind. Always the best sign.
So, what did I think of Fabulous 698B’s supper club?
In all honestly, I think Maja & Guillaume exceeded themselves on presentation & atmosphere and, although I loved the freshness of their food, for my personal taste, I would have liked the first two courses to have been bolder in flavour.
And maybe for there to have been bottomless pork. And gravy.
In short, fabulous hosts and concept, most enjoyable food and great company.
I don’t think you can ask for much more from a Saturday night, or a supper club experience.
If you’d like to attend one of Fabulous 698B’s supper clubs, then you can buy tickets here, for a very reasonable £44pp. DO IT.