I have been following Sabrina on Twitter for some time now and had always been fascinated by the pictures and menus she posted of her supperclub dishes. So I booked myself onto a Persian Kitchen Supper on a weekday evening to find out if her food tasted as good as it looks.
The evening was hosted in Sabrina’s home which is decorated with beautiful family portraits and historical verses in elegant Arabic calligraphy. Sabrina is a welcoming hostess and I arrived to smiles and hugs. The atmosphere was relaxed, informal and candlelit. We sipped a welcome cocktail and got to know each other as Sabrina brought our her starters.
First off Naan-o-Paneer which is feta cheese marinated in lemon zest, shallots and herbs. It was served with hot Lavaash bread. I loved the way the feta had picked up the flavours of the herbs and could feel the olive oil dripping down by chin as I tucked in.
Khashk-e-Bademjan arrived at the same time. This was notably my favourite dish of the evening. A rich and creamy dip made with aubergines and whey, topped with caramelised onions. This will keep me company on many an evening of nibbles.
Another dip was the Maast-o-Khiar. Refreshing yoghurt and cucumber mixed with rose petals, mint and pomegranate. This was perfect with some Potato and Coriander Kotlets.
And finally a very healthy Shirazi Salad of onions, cucumber, tomatoes and pomegranate with a sprinkling of sumac adding a natural lemony flavour.
I was already getting full by this point and as each bowl emptied, Sabrina seemed to be there to replace it. Many of my fellow diners had been before and this is testament to Sabrina’s charming front of house style. She explains the heritage and cooking method of the dishes, answers questions thoroughly and honestly and then leaves you to savour the different flavours at the pace of the slowest eater.
My main course was a wonderfully spiced and perfumed steak of salmon infused with rose petals and Sabrina’s secret Persian spice mix. I could taste cumin but aside from that the blend remains a mystery.
As the others were tucking into poussin, Sabrina had kindly made me some prawns using the same saffron and preserved lemon marinade. They were sweet yet with a welcome sourness that wasn’t overbearing and a very satisfying stickiness leaving fingers in need of being licked. I didn’t care. This was hearty Persian food and I cannot imagine Sabrina’s forefathers eating with forks and knives.
The mains were accompanied by Roasted Butternut Squash drizzled over with Pistachio Pesto, Feta and Barberries. I’d never eaten barberries before and I have since bought them from my local Turkish supermarket. Great sour alternatives to raisins and cheaper than gojiberries.
I didn’t have any room left for dessert but I had a nibble of the rich and spiced Almond, Carrot, Coconut and Pistachio Cake served with Rosewater Cream. I would have preferred something lighter at the end of a very generously portioned meal. So I saved it for breakfast the next day when I was able to properly savour it with a cup of Darjeeling and a dollop of Forage Fine Foods Rosewater Jelly.
Booking with Sabrina is easy. Simply email her at email@example.com to join her mailing list. She’ll keep you posted of supperclubs and pop ups. You then simply pay a deposit via PayPal and top up the rest of the suggested donation on the evening.
Sabrina blogs at www.sabrinaghayour.com and tweets at @SabrinaGhayour.
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