On Thursday I was the guest of Alex Claridge, head chef of Bistro 1847, for the launch of their new Supper Club. My photos cannot do justice to the thoughtful and delicious five course menu, which blew me away.
A pretty starter of edible bouquet edible flowers, garden herbs, goats curd and candied beetroot held a little surprise. The star ingredient of this dish was the ‘soil’ which consisted of specks of black olives that had been dehydrated for 36 hours. Alex is nothing if not a patient man when it comes to creating a dish.
He could not reveal his sources, but the rich, earthy, lovage and herb soup was a special treat, as Alex had acquired the plants a week before they come into season. Also known as sea parsley, the leaves and stem of the lovage plant add an intense celery-like flavour to soups.
Taking one ingredient and exploring the ways to cook and present it is one of Alex’s specialities. After cracking the caramelised onion topping of the savoury crème caramel, the melted blue cheese oozed out and was handy to dip the tempura fennel strip into. We also had hay and honey-roasted potato with fennel encased in naan bread to enjoy. The whisky infused yoghurt dressing also gave us a hint to what was next on the menu.
Smoke and whisky was the point where Alex went all Willy Wonka on us.
Each table was given a cigar box, which when opened smoke billowed out to reveal individually wrapped pieces of fudge! Even the wrappers were edible as awed guests savoured the smooth sweets with a mellow glass of Laphraig single malt whisky. This was inspired by Alex’s visit to the Isle of Arran and penchant for a good whisky, so you can expect more whisky flavoured dishes in the future.
Our final course was a rhubarb and ginger bakewell tart, where the zest of forced rhubarb was offset by the brown bread ice cream that topped this dessert off beautifully.
There will be more supper club events to follow. Alex is already thinking about cheese and gluten- free menus so keep checking the website for updates. At £35 per head they will be an experience that you do not want to miss.
26 Great Western Arcade Birmingham
0121 236 2313