Can I just start by saying that I absolutely love Fernandez & Leluu. I mean LOVE them.
They firstly are seriously talented cooks and secondly, they are also and incredibly lovely and delightful couple.Â All go to their supper club, no excuses! Mind you they are famous, they already made it into the international media so be sure to get there soon, and book early enough in advance.
And let me give you some word of advice beforehand: Come hungry, bring enough booze and try to take the next day off…
I am glad I gave the concept of supper clubs another try after my first not exactly brilliant experience at the Nomad Chef, it was so worth it! I already liked the way you book forÂ Fernandez & Leluu, just by writing them an email and theyÂ don’t require pre-payment, even though they are taking the risk of being canceled on at the last moment.
The dinner was hosted for around 25 people in a pleasantly cluttered, cosy and light dining room with a door opening into a small garden. The decor had a vintage feel to it with non-matching crockery, old-fashioned water jugs and lavender on the table.
I sat on a table with 7 other people, all serious foodies and we had plenty to talk about for the whole evening. I think that’s one good thing about supper clubs – you tend to meet interesting people, because it is still something slightly off the beaten track and you have to kind of like the unexpected.
Simon and Uyen are unexpectedly brilliant cooks. They cook a mixture of European and Vietnamese dishes, some more traditional, some serious fusion (and I mean fusion that actually works!),Â but common to all the dishes that we tasted was the abundance of flavour. And they know how to do sauces, my god!
The food was lovely, it was plenty, it was surprising and everything was delicious. Amazing how 2 people without any formal training as a chef can create food like this. I was seriously impressed with all the courses that they served and most of it was better than what I recently had in oh so fancy restaurants.
We started with Pea Soup & Garlic Bread. Lovely light pea soup of a wonderful colour, topped with shavings of parmesan and pancettaÂ served with warm, fluffy bread covered with fresh garlic. A simple dish but very tasty.
We then proceeded to Octopus Carpaccio. Again a dish with no faults. The octopus was soft, the olive oil flavorsome and the capers gave the dish just this certain kind of edge.
Then Tortilla – usually not my favourite dish but I might now revise my opinion: Their tortilla was made with sweet potatoes and how good was that!Â There was enough flavour in the tortilla already, but the oyster mushrooms and tomato sauce it came with made it even more delicious.
I didn’t believe at this point that things could get much better, but they did with Banh Cuon with pork and Vietnamese ham. Banh Cuon is very similar to the Chinese Cheung Fun and I simply loved it. The gloopy texture of the steamed rice paper sheets with fish sauce, loads of fresh coriander and pieces of roasted pork belly, and (somehow a bit weird but nonetheless very tasty) Vietnamese ham and sausage was an explosion of flavours.
And the food kept coming…
The next dish was a variation of what I like to order at Vietnamese restaurants: Beef & Peanuts In Vine Leaf (instead of the traditional betel leaves) were small roles of perfectly seasoned minced beef with peanuts wrapped in soft wine leaves accompanied by a dipping sauce. Very moreish indeed.
Then we were waiting for the dessert – little did we know that the pinnacle was yet to come in the form of perfect fusion fish and chips.
Light crispy fries with an incredible wasabi mayonnaise were served with tuna sashimi of the highest quality and taste. Again the sauce was so delightful with subtle wasabi flavour that one wanted to lick the plate.
We finished the feast with a lovely Fruit Trifle. (I can’t show you the picture of this – out of respect for Uyen and Simon – because I was at this stage not entirely sober anymore which did not add to my non-existing photographic talent I have to say).
This were perfectly invested 35 pounds for an evening of excellent food with the surprise moment of what the next dish will be adding to the entertainment, interesting company and lovely hosts.
- Food: 9/10
- Ambiance: 7/10 (there was a group of people there that were far too loud, that why I have to down-mark a couple of points)
- Service: 8/10
- Value for money: 9/10
- Chances of returning: What do you think? : )
- Verdict: one of the most pleasant evenings I have had in a long time, thank you Uyen and Simon!