Eating at Meet & 3Veg

On Thursday evening, we headed to No. 67 in Peckham where Meet & 3 Veg had their first ever vegan supperclub. Our friend, Richard is the brain child behind this new project. As mentioned previously, Richard works in the hospitality industry and those who have visited his restaurant, or perhaps dined at his house, would be familiar with his great attentiveness. The level of finesse that Richard brings to the menu and wine selection is top notch.

I have attended a couple of supper clubs so knew what I was getting into. The common share plates, sitting beside strangers and getting positively stuffed by the end of it all. Meet & 3Veg delivered all that in an amazing setting, and proved that the healthy and sustainable way of vegan food can also be delicious.

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We started with canapés which included ajo blanco, chicory with mustard and toasted peanuts and spiced sweet potato with tahini dressing. My favourite of the lot was the chicory where the slight bitterness was well balanced out by the toasted nuttiness.

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By the time we sat down, we were welcomed by candy beetroot, fennel, celeriac with a chilli and orange dressing for starters. This dish reminded me of a thai papaya salad dressed with fish sauce. However, there is definitely NO fish sauce in this dish. I am not much of a fennel fan but this starter was something else. I loved the acidity from the orange with the slight spiciness of the chilli.

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Our mains consisted of crunchy cumin cauliflower, toasted almonds, pomegranate salad, spiced beetroot and coconut cream, cardamom pilaf and date fudge as well as smoked aubergine and roasted garlic sabzi. For some of the meat eaters in the crowd, the spiced beetroot and coconut cream reminded them of a lamb curry. My favourite was the cardamom pilaf rice which was so fragrant, a reminder of my favourite ‘hainanese chicken rice’. I am normally not a fan of sweets in mains but the date fudge was a great complement to the pilaf rice. Out of the lot, I didn’t quite enjoy the smoked aubergine as it turned out a little too bitter for my liking.

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The evening ended with chocolate sorbet, blackberry syrup accompanied by candied pecans. It was a strong finish and even though people complained that they could not finish it all, everyone was seen slurping the last of the sorbet.

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We left Peckham full and extremely satisfied. The stomach was beyond holding any more food. It is amazing the difference one feels after consuming a big meat heavy meal compared to a vegan meal. There was no bloating sensation. It was a very successful evening and I definitely hope that Meet & 3Veg will continue on with this project.

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The Bah Kut Teh Challenge – Wild Serai vs Plusixfive

Just over two weeks ago, we headed to “The Battle of the Bak Kut Tehs – For Action Against Hunger” – it was a Singapore vs Malaysia Bah Kut Teh challenge. For those who don’t know what Bah Kut Teh is, it is a Chinese soup dish and it directly translate to ‘meat bone tea’. This dish is widely know in Singapore and Malaysia and it usually consists of meaty pork ribs simmered in a complex broth of herbs and spices for hours.

My mum makes an excellent Bah Kut Teh, according to my best friend, my brother and my dude. As for me, I am never a big fan of the peppery soup which my mum makes. I much prefer the Malaysian version which I often have whenever I head over to Johor Bahru.

The “Olympigs” challenge was held at the Singapore pop up house near Marylebone. When we were walking along the street looking for the place, we followed a strong smell of pork and got to the doorstep easy. We were greeted by Wen of Edible Experiences and after a quick chat with Goz, we were seated and given our first bowl of Bah Kut Teh.

We were told that Goz has been boiling the Bah Kut Teh for weeks. Obviously Singaporean (kiasu huh! hehe) but boy it was worth it!

After having our first bowl of Bah Kut Teh by the Plusixfive, the dude and I were pretty impressed. The pork meat just melted in our mouths and I must say that it tasted better than my mum’s Bah Kut Teh! My only criticism was that I got a really ultra small bowl of soup and the dough stick wasn’t the best.

All around, you could hear people dissecting the two bowls of soup and hungry for more!

The Malaysian bowl of Bah Kut Teh by Wild Serai came next and we gulped it down in no time. The soup had the herbal touch albeit a little too light for me.

I came with the thought that I would much prefer the Malaysian version but was surprised by Goz’s version.
So guess who won in the end? Gozgozgoz from Plusixfive! I think both Wild Serai and Plusixfive put up a great culinary experience for just £5. Voting was also done via our donation to Action Against Hunger. Quite a nice afternoon lunch I must say!

The first of the supper clubs…

Having only been in London for eleven months, it wasn’t long before I went looking for authentic Asian food. The usual Asian buffets that lined chinatown definitely did not fool the Singaporean in me. I actively read up on London food blogs, in hope of finding an authentic plate of hainanese chicken rice, a reliable Sunday yumcha restaurant and perhaps even a good bowl of heart warming pho. I needed to locate the MUST-TRY places in London in search of that familiar taste in my mouth. The key was to find a few reliable food blogs who have the same taste palette as me.

Having never heard of supper clubs, I was intrigued when I came across Plusixfive. Gozgozgoz, the guy behind Plusixfive (dialling code for Singapore actually…) holds a supper club at his home in Islington serving:

“badass Singaporean street food cooked the good ol’ way, presented with minimum fuss and maximum taste.”

It didn’t take me long to make a booking after I heard about the “FISH HEAD CURRY” that he was wanting to serve. My fellow Dishpiglet, Celia, was a little intimidated by the fish head namesake so I took the dude along instead.

We were amongst the first few to arrive. We exchanged a few awkward “hellos” to several others who were behind us and found ourselves in a living room filled with 2 tables (of about 8 seats each). Our eyes wandered to the cleverly set tables with old school milk bottles and chinese calendar paper folded into boats – filled with bitternut crackers and spicy tapioca chips. The memories of my 12 year old childhood flooded back when I bit into the spicy tapioca chips. Gone were the good ol’ days when I was able to share a packet with a few friends in the school canteen and savour this as an afternoon snack.

Shortly after 7.30pm, most of the guests arrived and we shared a few more hellos with those who mustered the courage to accept the challenge of the fish head curry. Funnily enough, there weren’t many Singaporeans/ Malaysians in the crowd and I was quite impressed. We proceeded to take our seats and were served our first course of deep fried fish skins and bones. The crunch of the fish bones was pretty impressive and extremely tasty. Goz presented it with a tangy kaffir lime mayo-like sauce to go with the fish bones and it was quite a good match. As for the fish skin, I found mine quite chewy but still tasty all the same. It was interesting to hear the others on the table describing it as pork scratchings. As for the dude, he couldn’t get enough. (Note: This was his first time trying the fish bones & skin)

Next up, we had spicy sardine puffs served to us by Shuhan (MummyIcancook), a special guest for the evening. The buttery puff pastry melted in my mouth only to reveal a spicy sardine filling inside. The only criticism I had was that there wasn’t enough around for seconds! Totally digged the sardine puffs… Recipe please????

The dude’s favourite ‘chwee kueh’ came served a la Singapore brown paper hawker style complete with toothpicks. It was finger lickin’ good ‘rice cake’ with substantial oil and preserved turnip toppings. A little chilli accompaniment would be great but who’s complaining? Everything was spot on so far and the corner where we were seated polished the food off faster than everyone else. It clearly showed that we were a hungry bunch with an appetite for more of Goz’s creations!

Having lived in Australia for ten years and now, London… I never understood the curry powdered vermicelli which they call Singapore fried noodles… To tell you the truth, there is no such thing as Singapore fried noodles! The fried vermicelli we have back home is pictured below and as served by Goz, complete with spam, belachan chilli and fish cake. None of the curry powder stuff!

The main dish – Fish head curry was served next, complete with free flow steamed rice. The aroma of the curry was a delight to my senses. By this time, you could hear the room go quiet. It is always a good sign when people stop chatting and get on with their eating. It tells you simply that everyone was enjoying their authentic fish head curry. I was practically stuffing my face by this time… and I am hoping that no one took a photo of me.

Shuhan from Mummyicancook served her ‘spicy deep fried sambal eggs‘ soon after the fish head curry. I advised the dude to scrape the sambal clean from the bowl as it was extremely delicious and little did I know… that it packed a PUNCH! The dude’s mouth was flamin’ but he thought that the eggs brought out the flavours of the fish head curry. (Realised that I didn’t have any photos of the eggs!!! I was so engrossed with the curry and the eggs that I didn’t even take my camera out!)

Just when we thought we couldn’t eat anymore… the crunchy cereal prawns were placed in front of us, served on authentic banana leaf. The nestum cereal and curry leaves complemented the prawns and gave it crunch and fragrance, fulfilling both the sensation of bite and smell. We couldn’t ask for more, really.

As for those who haven’t heard of milo ‘dinosaur’, it is a simple milo drink which we get from our local 24 hour mamak store back in Asia, topped with a whole lot of milo powder, to give the drink some crunch. Goz presented his version in ice-cream form, complete with condensed milk and a surprise element of corn flakes. When I finished the last of the dishes, I wanted to stand up and give a standing ovation but I kept my cool and continued chatting with fellow food bloggers and lovers.

The night was a roaring success and we had the best time. We came not knowing what to expect and left with happy and extremely full tummies, stuffed with the night’s goodness. Not forgetting our doggy bag with the leftover fish head curry, courtesy of Goz…

If you are Singaporean and missing out on some home cooked food, you HAVE to get yourself down to Plusixfive‘s supper club. Even if you aren’t but have a love for Asian delights, forget about Chinatown and just come along for a night of great cuisine with fellow food lovers. It is an experience not to be missed.

We will be back!

To get yourself a seat at the next Plusixfive supper club, you can sign yourself up at Goz’s website.


Read more about Fish Head Curry Supper on Edible Experiences