Tag Archives: underground restaurants in Wales

The full menu for the BIG weekend warm up party

Cocktails on sticks….(maybe Pina Colada….good old Barry Manilow!!) and milkshake lollies
Homemade Vegemite bread sticks

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Either a lobster, snapper or mussel starter….something with  Caribbean flavour in keeping with the next course….

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It had to be chicken with all the references out there, so it will be Jerk chicken with Jamaican rice and black eye peas (authentic recipe sent, interestingly, by a previous ‘death row’ prisoner…who was given a reprieve (eventually) although he is still in prison starting his 24 year. He is also a working artist who has regularly collaborated with one of our own local artists (www.rkart.co.uk/index.cgi) She has brought his images, and the colours and vibes of the Caribbean to Wales.

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Gin and tonic sorbet
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Cheese and Crackers

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Carrot cake and coffee (and even ice cream if we can fit anything else in!!!) and a bottle of Jack

Hope this tempts you

Denise xx

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A vegan, south-east asia inspired lunch menu

Somewhat daunted at cooking a vegan birthday lunch for Emma, local vegan cook from earth kitchen I thought that the best way round it was to experiment a bit and embark on a slightly different menu to my usual theme of modern British and European cooking.

I’d also recently been inspired by Steve Parles South-east Asian menu at the Dock kitchen, where I was taken for my birthday in March. Fabulous food, my only criticism was that it was what I call ‘London potions’ i.e. not large enough to feed a rat, let alone a country girl with a healthy appetite. I do have to give him a big thank you for the Tamarind sorbet recipe….I collared him at the end of the meal. He’d made it up himself, so I was dying to give it a go….the other half said mine was better, less sickly sweet and pairing it with the mango coconut cream broke down the sharpness of it…having said this it was probably more than his life’s worth to say it wasn’t!!

My variation of Steve’s menu ran as follows;

Blood orange and Pomegranate Bellini

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Green Papaya, cucumber and carrot salad with palm sugar, ginger, lime and coriander root

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Squash with red chilli, lemongrass, lime leaves, coconut and sweet basil

Thai fragrant rice or white quinoa

Beetroot and mint salad

Fried bean curd with chilli

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Frozen mango and coconut cream with Tamarind sorbet and sesame caramel

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Coffee, tea and Emma’s vegan chocolate truffle cake with Goji berries

I have to admit I misjudged portions on the starters, so it was smaller than intended (more London than mountain sized) but the flavour was superb. This was primarily because it was impossible to get green Papaya. Not seasonal granted, but mixed beautifully with local shredded carrot, cucumber and coriander root.  I ended up serving the fried bean curd, which I’d bought from the Garden Hotel Chinese shop in Bangor, with the salad as I could only use half of each Papaya as they were just too ripe. They felt hard enough but you can never tell I guess.

Unfortunately like many small shops, the Chinese shop in the Garden Hotel has been hit by the supermarket and lack of use has brought its demise. It’s a case of use it or lose it. The girl who worked there told me it would be closing down soon.

It was also here that I got hold of the semi-dried Tamarind, palm sugar and lemon grass. I know some of these things are available in Tesco’s but I’d prefer to spend my money elsewhere!!

Again, I know squash isn’t seasonal but on this occasion I broke the rules!!

The lunch was a success and Emma very generously sent me a message saying

“Denise***Thank you for a fine dining experience.  Exactly what eating out should be all about.  I haven’t had a cooked vegan meal as good as that possibly ever!”

which pretty much made my day xx

Emma and friends with Pomegranate and blood orange Bellini'

toasted sesame caramel looking like a weird sticky mess. It did break up well once it had hardened

serving out the salad and bean curd starter...too damn small for my liking!!

beetroot and mint salad on pretty plates

squash with coconut, rice, beetroot mint salad...lovely contrasting colours and tastes

Mango coconut cream, Tamarind sorbet and shards of sesame caramel

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May Bank holiday lunch

Here is a round-up of the lunch in pictures.

English early season asparagus laid out in a roasting tin with lemon wedges and sprinkled with salt and pepper. roasted for about 8 to 10 minutes and served with Anglesey Sea Bream fish cakes, wild garlic and watercress salad and little bowls of fresh herb and yogurt sauce (below)

making individual Black beef and wild mushroom pies…what transpired to be the most time-consuming job ever!! It took me an hour and a half to make about 10 small pies!!!

Rhubarb, roasted with orange rind and juice and split vanilla pods

Pudding, mash and PSB

Rosie the teen waitress

JoJo the excitable supper club dog

Rhubarb and Cointreau Cranachan. The baked rhubarb was mixed with toasted oatmeal, Cointreau and whipped cream.

Me with home-made crackers (left) and Hilly, my kitchen helper warning me not to bring her any more washing up!!

Finally, I have managed to get some time to update the blog. Its fantastic having so many private dinners, but what with trying to get on with life and all the other things I seem to fit in, I find myself with so much to write, but never the time to do it!!

Our last dinner took place on Bank holiday Monday. A lunch for what turned out to be seven in the end (their teens dumped dinner for a climbing course). I was intrigued. I didn’t know much about my prospective guests other than that they were staying in Wales for the week, that they varied in age and there were no vegetarians.

The menu was devised to make full use of all the seasonal local produce possible, while still keeping it exciting (which is hard in spring when we still seem to be ploughing through the end of season root veg, while the new crops are still growing). It was as follows

Citrus blush cocktails – using my own home-made Limoncello

Anglesey Sea Bream fish cakes with baked early season English Asparagus, wild garlic and watercress and fresh herb dressing

Welsh Black Beef and wild mushroom pudding, creamed potatoes with leeks and purple sprouting broccoli

Rhubarb and Cointreau Cranachan

Local cheeses, home made Rowan and Damson and Crab Apple Jelly. coffee and tea

For the main bulk of the produce I didn’t even have to venture out of my village. Leeks, purple sprouting, carrots and potatoes were all from the local farm. Herbs and wild garlic were from my garden and my neighbours, rhubarb was from another friends garden.

The beef came from the local butcher and the cheese from my usual suppliers (mild Seriol goats cheese from Cwt Caws, Camembert from Rhyd y Delyn Farm and Smoked Brie from Dave at Derimon, whose smoked mature cheddar was this week featured on the Great British Menu (http://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/episode/b00sbqrt/Great_British_Menu_Series_5_Wales_Judging/

The wild mushrooms were from Cynan, who is similarly tipped for celebrity, as he has just been filmed for Country file!!

As I believe I’ve mentioned before, we do have some FANTASTIC food producers around here, and I only hope my dinner guests enjoyed sampling the food. It transpired that they were up from London (Hackney being the home of the couple that booked) and they had spotted my details in ELLE Decoration magazine. They hadn’t yet managed to get to a supper club on home turf….so travelled 300 miles to visit me!!!…well not quite, but I like to think they did. Lunch was fab, with lots of interesting conversation and a very excited dog, who I think had become giddy on country air. Even the sun shone for our visitors. We couldn’t have asked for more!!

Denise xx

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Moel Faban secret supper club in the Western Mail today

www.walesonline.co.uk/showbiz-and-lifestyle/food-in-wales/eating-out-in-wales/2009/12/05/dining-out-goes-underground-in-wales-91466-25324709/

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