On October 4th we’ll be celebrating three years of running our little supperclub! Never did we think we’d last this long! We’ll be holding a special event and serving our guests some meaty treats, from uber modern streetfood to traditional dishes, with a twist. We’ve linked up with the wonderful Brewdog Brewery to pair up each of the courses to some fantastic beers! Russ from Brewdog will be at the event too to chat about all things beer! It’s going to be a fabulous evening, we can’t wait!
Firstly an apology for the lack of posts of late. I’ve been in the Americas drinking beer and eating big food, whilst Susie has been busy baking over on her Sticky Pinny site – check it out!
Anyway now I am back in the real world I thought I would share with you some of the stories from my travels. I never thought I would ever say this, but if I’m honest I got a bit sick of eating out! Try it every day for 3 weeks and you’ll get what I mean. I even got to the stage where I was by-passing starters and desserts – what monster have I created?! A positive about eating out in Canada and the US is the HUGE range, ethnic diversity and value for money. The pound was a bit unsteady due to the impending Scottish referendum, but despite that there were no eye watering bills, making everything very affordable and accessible.
We travelled all over the North West coast of North America – starting in Vancouver, popping over to Vancouver island, a quick detour to Seattle, a trek over to the beautiful Canadian Rockies and then finally across the prairies to Calgary – land of oil and cowboys! Vancouver undoubtedly had the best selection and range of delicious Asian food. I had succulent soft shell crab and soft black cod in sweet miso that was of a Chino Latino standard and yet a fraction of the price. However the meal that stood out for us the most was perhaps the most unexpected…
Picture the scene: tall pine trees covered in snow, looming rocky mountains and little wood cabins with roaring log fires. This was our ‘glamping’ site in Jasper. The last thing we expected to find in the camp grounds was a gourmet dining room. A quick check on trip advisor confirmed it was one of the top eateries in the area – what a coincidence!
The Tekarra Lodge is a top of the range dining experience, so exclusive that even Marilyn Monroe has eaten there. It prides itself on sustainability, provenance and unique flavours and cooking techniques.
The dining room was simply decorated with lots of wood and good quality napkins. The tables were adorned with paper tablecloths and pots of crayons. We drew away to our hearts content, as you will see! The seasonal menu was mouth watering and portions coming out of the kitchen were not overfacing but not stingy either. I enjoyed the show stopper starter of salmon three ways. This old school dish often conjures up visions of slimy smoked salmon and stiff salmon fillets. Fear not, none of these were present in my dish. A ponzu marinated salmon was bright red and full of umami flavours. A tempura sushi roll of salmon was the lightest sushi I’ve ever had. The homesmoked salmon (complete with smoke filled closh) was deep, earthy and almost spicy from the delicious smoke. Every mouthful was a joy – a starter to make the other diners very jealous indeed.
My main was a sous vide venison, cinnamon charcoal and game sausage. If I’m honest I did feel that the venison was a little on the tough side and the sausage a bit dry. However it wasn’t until the end that I started to use the cinnamon charcoal as a condiment and I wish I’d tried it earlier. It looked beautiful gleaming away on my plate but I had no idea whether to dare eat it. When I did it gave the meat a lovely sweet and soft flavour and so I started piling it on! I’ve no idea if I was meant to be eating it but it really did transform the dish into something very wonderful.
Wine-wise we wanted a bottle of British Columbian merlot. Now Canada isn’t the most famous wine producer and the wines we did get to try on our travels were not punchy showstoppers but more of the easy drinking variety. The Canadians don’t make enough wine to export lots of it, which is why we don’t see much this side of the Atlantic. They also did not make enough for us to enjoy with our dinner that night! And so we disappointingly opted for a consistent Argentinian Malbec. Lovely all the same but not with the provenance that we wanted for our meal! At least it was from the right continent I guess.
Moving onto dessert I kept it simple with a cocktail glass full of maple ice cream with a shot of maple whiskey poured on top, yum! The whiskey in Canada is a lot cleaner and sweeter than its Scottish smoky counterpart. The addition of maple syrup turned it into a very pleasant liqueur – delicious with the ice cream.
Our waitress was very efficient and non-intrusive, which is a massive skill in the Americas when usually they are working overtime to get their tips from you. This was appreciated as we could just get on with our meal and enjoy it. Richard did manage to get locked in the toilet just as the main courses arrived! In Canada I swear that no door locks worked. They were either broken, non existent or scary and confusing mechanisms! Very stressful in a toilet going situation! Anyway in this case he was ejected quickly with little embarrassment which was a relief!
Overall this was a delicious slap up meal that felt very special indeed, and what’s more it was a mere two second stroll back to our cabin afterwards – perfect! We left the dining room with our present of an artistically doodled tablecloth which I am sure they will treasure. It was a great idea as it made a potentially stuffy venue much more informal and fun. For a bit of unexpected luxury in the rugged, isolated Rockies do check this lovely little gem out.
On Saturday Dan and I hosted eleven wonderful guests at the Manor for an afternoon of Mediterranean teatime treats. Taking inspiration from our our friends across the water, including Spain and Italy, we created some unique bold tastes for our guests to enjoy that would take them to warmer climes, at least for a couple of hours!
The welcome cocktail was an elderflower fizz to tingle the tastebuds before the savouries, this was concocted using Dan’s homemade elderflower cordial. First up were a number of Spanish inspired delights. My Gallician Chicken Empandas were filled with lightly poached chicken, spiked with paprika, peppers and tomato, encased in crisp, lightly flaked homemade pastry. Continue reading
Fancy coming to our supperclub? Well now you can as we’re pleased to announce three new dates. You can book onto any of the events below!
Saturday 4th October 2014 – 3rd Birthday, Beer and Meat!
To celebrate our third birthday we’re using two of our favourite things to help us celebrate. Your ticket price will include several delicious beers paired to your canapes, starter and main course, hand selected by us from one of our favourite breweries, which has been confirmed as…Brewdog! Strong ales with flavour and bite! We’re really looking forward to pairing these beers to our food.
The food will all have a street foodie ,meaty theme from ribs, burgers, slow cooked treats – perhaps we’ll even get our smoker back out?! Unfortunately this is probably not one for the veggies, we promise to make it up to you in the new year when we’ve got the new Ottolenghi book! Tickets will be £40pp and include paired beers plus a few extra Manor treats!
Saturday 8th November 2014 – Autumnal Afternoon Tea
We love the changing of the seasons and what better way to celebrate Autumn than an infamous Manor Afternoon tea. We can guarantee that our sweets and savouries will be crammed full of comforting, warming treats and surprises. You won’t leave hungry! Tickets will be £20pp and include a welcome cocktail on arrival.
Saturday 6th December 2014 – A Chilli Christmas
Our favourite time of year! To date we’ve celebrated Christmas in style with Delia, Nigella, Scandilicious and now it’s the turn of Thomasina Miers. Using her ‘Chilli Notes’ book as inspiration, we’ll be spiking festive treats with our favourite capsicum. If you fancy a bit of heat to warm up on the chilly winter nights, then why not join us?! Tickets will be £33 each and include a welcome cocktail on arrival.
We hope you can join us! Please remember to look at our T&Cs before booking
In a few of weeks we’ll be hosting another afternoon tea. We really do love donning our aprons and baking delicious morsels for our guests. Given the glorious weather we’re having we’ve decided to take inspiration from sunnier climes, with all of the offerings inspired by the Mediterranean.
Bold flavours with the usual Manor twist. We’d love to know what you think!
What do you get when two of your favourite drinky / foodie establishments get together? A frikkin amazing lovechild that’s what! Yes, it’s finally here, Bundobust, the much anticipated mash up of Bradford born establishment the Sparrow and Prashad.
Craft beer? Tick. Indian street food? Tick. One of our new favourite Leeds drinking holes? Tick! We were invited to a sneaky peek of Bundobust prior to it’s official opening and it didn’t disappoint!
With a quirky, eclectic interior – reclaimed doors decorate the walls, stuffed rice bags for cushions and oh so hot right now low slung, exposed cable lighting, we wandered over to the bar to check out the very impressive ale choices. Twelve on tap no less, from brewers such as Northern Monk, Kirkstall, and Magic Rock. Plus, yes, get this, a dedicated Mikkeller tap!! The brewery I fell in love with whilst in Copenhagen can now find it’s place regularly in my belly.
Obviously Dan and I chose the Mikkeller Green Gold to start off with and it didn’t disappoint. An American IPA, this smacks you with hops and isn’t sorry about it. My kind of beer!
We settled down in anticipation to try the tasty morsels on the menu. First up was the Spice and Rice. A beautifully spiced mung bean daal, warm and comforting served atop steamed rice. Gobbled up in seconds, we turned our attentions to the Behl Puri, a street food snack consisting of puffed rice, and tomatoes spiked with a spicy sour tamarind sauce. Delicious!
Our second poison of the evening was Magic Rock’s Cannonball, one my my favourite beers and 7.4% to boot! Always a good thing. We had a quick chat with Mark, co-owner of Bundosbust, about the food, which will range from about £3 -£6 (I think!), ordering a few dishes per person tapas style. Anyone who has eaten at Prashad before will know that their offerings are delicious (Pethis!? YES PLEASE!) so I cannot wait to go and sample everything!!
All in all, this is a great bar. A brilliant selection of beers and beautiful, tasty food. Tasty vegetarian food, which in this zeitgeist of the burger is a wonderful breath of fresh air. Upon publishing this post, Bundobust will have been open now for about a week. If you haven’t already made it down there already, then you really should, You won’t forget it. Now pass me another Mikkeller!!
We brought some Latin sun and flavour to the Manor this weekend. South American food is big business at the moment and we found lots to inspire us from the likes of Thomasina Miers’ hit Wahaca books, Martin Morales’ Ceviche and the huge Latin American food compendium that is Gran Cocina Latina by American Maricel Presilla. So many recipes to choose from that we just decided to cook them all!
Guests were welcomed with a glass of ‘Latin KIss’ a fragrant concoction of aged tequila, homemade elderflower cordial and sparkling water – a light, floral take on a classic Margarita. Nibbles came in the form of crunchy corn kernels flavoured with chilli and lemon, a crunchy delight!
We did away with our classic canapes and starters and instead offered up a series of small plates to give guests a wide range of flavours and taste experiences. First up was a shot of spicy red bean soup inspired by Presilla’s Puerto Rican recipe. I have to say I found her book ever so slightly overwhelming (and no pictures!) but doing the supperclub made me properly trawl through and test things out, which I am glad of. The spicy thick soup was freshened up with a sofrito which is basically a sauce you add at the last minute. Full of freshness from lime, peppers, chillis, coriander and red onion it gives the soup a real fresh bite.
Next up were my favourites- little potato cakes filled with cheese and spring onion and fried in bright orange achiote oil. They were served up with a sweet and spicy peanut mole and fresh salad. Comforting and very moreish!
It wouldn’t be a latin American event without a classic empanada. I experimented with two fillings. The first, a veggie option, was sweet potato, black bean and chipotle all bound up in a butter based pastry. The second was beef shin slowly braised in beer, coriander, Amarillo chilli and lime – which you may remember from our Peruvian event earlier this year. This came in a lard based pastry for the meat eaters! Both pastries were lovely to work with – very soft, flexible and compliant! However I felt the butter based pastry gave the best result. The beef filling, for me, was by far the winner – complex flavours of sour heat combined with comforting soft beef, yum!
For my next starter I looked to Peru, land of quinoa, for a super healthy but tasty salad. Quinoa was dressed in a uchucuta sauce made from cheese, herbs, corn and Amarillo chilli. I added some sunflower seeds for texture, orange segments for sweetness and dressed the plates with watercress, asparagus and yet more uchucuta sauce. Lots of lovely green in what was quite a brown meal overall!
Finally, to freshen up everybody’s palates I put together an intriguing ceviche. Essentially this is raw fish ‘cooked’ in citrus juice that is not everyone’s cup of tea! For the fish phobics I presented a brightly coloured and fresh tasting mango and chilli ceviche. For the more adventurous it was mackerel and gooseberry – two ingredients at their seasonal peak at present. I’ve only made this twice and first time I couldn’t get mackerel, the second time I struggled to get the gooseberries! Anyway oily, flaky fresh mackerel was ‘cooked’ in a tigers milk of lime, Amarillo chilli, orange juice and gooseberry puree. The result is a fresh, fruity, sour, invigorating flavour. It is a most bizarre mouthful which really confuses the brain when you get fruity freshness combined with almost smoky fishiness!
Following a small gap Susie laid on the main event – BEEF! Freshly sourced from Keelham Hall Farm Shop, this was very good beef indeed and got everybody talking. Skirt was the cut of the day, which was flash fried, rested and then thinly sliced. It was dressed in a gorgeously tangy, earthy and firey chimmichurri. Argentinian inspired, this is a marinade that goes onto food after cooking. I really like it as a steak accompaniment as it lets the meat really sing and come to life. The smells coming from the dining room at this point were amazing, and the room went totally silent which is always a good sign. We kept the sides fresh and light given the food enslaught there had been! One of these was a Cuban avocado salad – a bit of a deconstructed guacamole. Secondly was a classic Mexican red rice, spiked with tomatos, garlic and chilli.
And so now on to the weather… a beautiful, hot summers day, which would have been a delight had we not been sweltering and melting away in an extremely hot kitchen! The dining room was equally balmy and so we offered up some icy mango sorbet to refresh plates and cool people down. Seconds later and the heavens opened with a torrential downpour that lasted until the small hours – not ideal for guests who had come in shorts and sandals!
Dessert was a homage to chocolate, caramel and passion fruit – surely the three best things in the world?! This dainty trio came in the form of a white chocolate and passion fruit mousse topped with dark chocolate mousse. This clever little pud creates its own sauce when the passionfruit syrup collects in the bottom as the mousse sets. This came with a crumbly cinnamon shortbread biscuit sandwiched together with a rich chocolate ganache. Finally it wouldn’t be a Manor celebration without some of our now famous salted caramel ice cream, so full of sugar and salt that it barely sets, particularly on a hot day! Still tastes fit though.
For petit fours I made some marshmallows, which I have been obsessed with making for ages but have always been too scared to do. Want to know the gossip?… They’re dead easy! Yes, admittedly they do involve sugar thermometers, hot syrup and a lot of whisking. But if you can see past that then do give them a go. Mine were mocha flavoured – subtly rippled with coffee and chocolate and dusted with cocoa. They seemed an apt nod to the Aztecs and were perfectly light to finish off such a huge meal!
Because we really wanted to finish our guests off, Susie made some delicious take home cupcakes, of the chocolate orange variety. Hope our guests had them for breakfast this morning!
Our guests were mainly newbies which was lovely! We loved talking to Jan from Ambleside who is thinking of setting of her own supperclub venture and we look forward to the invite when it’s launched in the next few months! It was a shame that, for various reasons, there were NO taxis available come home time. It was a lesson to us, and so we’ll ask guests to prebook taxis in future to facilitate an easy night. You’d think that in a city the size of Leeds that transport wouldn’t be an issue, but anyway!
So, all in all it was lovely getting the Manor back together again after a three month break. Renovations are still ongoing so we will be doing some adhoc dinners and teas to fit around this for the rest of the year. Dates will be going up over the coming weeks so keep an eye out. In the meantime if you fancy some delicious cakes, bakes and savouries courtesy of me and Sticky Pinny then why not book onto our Mediterranean Afternoon Tea on August 16th. We still have a couple of spaces left so be quick and grab them!