I’ve been reeeally lucky to be invited to some ace events recently, most of which have included some pretty incredible meals.
Last night I was down at the Miele kitchen gallery on Regent Street to test out their Creative Living Nordic Cuisine experience.
Miele is a German-based domestic appliance company who hold regular dinner events and cooking classes in their Kitchen Gallery in London.
For their dinner parties, they invite awesome chefs to come in and use their kitchen appliances to create fabulous meals for paying guests.
Once we were seated, we were served a canapé of fresh oyster drizzled in lime juice.
I’ve never had an oyster before and it was surprisingly yummy!
I always thought they were quite fishy and slimy, so it put me off trying them. But this one was gorgeous.
We were then introduced to Martyn Meid, our chef for the evening.
He’s head chef at INK and specialises in fresh, simple dishes using super-high-quality ingredients.
All of our dishes (seven courses!) were served either raw or cooked very, very slowly, to help preserve all the flavours and goodness, and everything was beautifully garnished with fresh flowers and herbs.
After the oyster came (I think) turbot cured in apple vinegar and lime juice.
I say “think” because I attempted to take notes but I was also very concerned in downing my delicious Pisco sour.
So yeah. Sorrynotsorry.
That bad boy was freaking delicious!
Next course was a bit of a weird one: herring in rapeseed oil with cucumber shoots, chopped gherkin, salmon caviar and whole quail’s eggs.
Yep. Whole. As in, we ate egg shell.
It wasn’t too bad. I don’t think Erica liked it, but I thought it was OK. Crunchy, but not totally hard like chicken’s eggs.
And apparently, the shell if full of calcium. So there’s that…
I also established myself as the classy bird, when my first line after tasting this was: “gherkins taste like McDonalds”.
And then again by pulling THIS face when I did my shot of gin.
(Because yes, this course’s accompanying beverage was A SHOT OF GIN.)
The next course was goose meat that had been cured for 48 hours in a Nordic vodka made from caraway seeds, accompanied by steamed beetroot and a glass of fruity red wine.
I’ve never actually had goose before, but it was really nice!
Then we moved on to my favourite two dishes of the night:
Caramelised pork belly (English and organic obvs), with mashed potato and leafy green cabbage.
Oh my. That pork. THAT PORK.
I could literally have eaten a whole joint of it. It’s quite possibly the best pork belly I’ve ever had. Sweet and smokey and tender and just falling apart at the touch of a fork.
Ooh and I ate all my cabbage Mum. Even the stalks!
Apparently all the nutritional goodness of cabbage is stored in the stalks.
There you go. Fact of the Day.
After the pork came salted cod served on a bed of steamed leeks and avocado puree.
Not quite as good as the pork, but it came pretty close!
The fish was flaky and perfectly cooked, with a rainbow-sheen to it that Martyn said was the mark of it being super-fresh.
It was VERY salty (it’s salted cod, duh) but the creamy avocado puree perfectly balanced it out.
I loved it!
We had red wine with both these dishes, and when we questioned the wine guy about it (cos usually you have white wine with fish, right?) he said that white wine is too delicate, as it gets lost in all the salt.
And finally: a sheep’s milk creme brulee, infused with vanilla and accompanied by a super-sweet Hungarian dessert wine.
Nice, but kind of an anti-climax after the pork and cod!
Overall, I had a great night, but I have to say that that had more to do with the girls’ company than anything else.
There was 8 of us at the event, us four bloggers and then two separate couples who were there as regular customers. And, I have to be honest, the ambience was just a little bit awkward.
I mean, they were lovely! But it felt a bit strange with no host to introduce people or help start conversations or anything.
I’d thought it was going to be a small group, all of us sat round an island or something, actually watching the chef cook our meals and being able to chat to him about his cooking techniques and tips. Martyn was nice enough, and the food was undoubtedly FABULOUS, but he literally just told us what each dish was and then disappeared to prepare the next one.
It just felt a bit disconnected, and not quite what I’d imagined.
Again though, the food was incredible!
If nothing else, this has made me want to visit Martyn Meid’s actual restaurant, INK.
Even if it’s just to get my hands on that pork belly again!
*We were invited to try out the Nordic Cuisine experience for review purposes.
As always, this doesn’t affect my opinion! :)