Ferdie’s Foodlab

Ferdie’s Foodlab – going solo to a Supper Club

 

Dear Reader

Sometimes I get a bit distracted by life and forget to make decent notes, take photos and write up events properly.  It happens most often when things are fabulous.  Which is a shame, because then I put off posting anything at all!

Ferdie’s Foodlab was such an event.  I went along last Saturday to the first public supper club and was treated to an out of this world menu.   It was a Bank Holiday weekend.  I didn’t want to leave London because I hate the holiday traffic to get back.  But most of my friends were away. So I went by myself.  And despite or perhaps BECAUSE of that, I got totally caught up in conversation for the evening.   I’m quite shy and I was really a little apprehensive about going alone, but having done it I can now recommend this kind of supper-club, where the seating is banquet style rather than on smaller tables for single people.  And, the food at Ferdie’s Foodlab was sublime.  I met a couple of other bloggers and a charming family from Australia.  I ate far too much.  I drank far too much.  I staggered home and slept through half of Sunday.

Ferdie’s Foodlab is held in the rather fantastic panelled Toynbee Hall, a Grade II listed building in the Arts and Crafts style.  We were greeted with a glass of fizz and the most wonderful smell of food.  Then ushered into the main hall for our meal.

 

Here’s what we ate.

To start – Liquorice Dusted Fillet Steak Cubes with White Tomato Emulsion, Baby Peppers and Rosemary infused crusty bread.  Well, I could have eaten this all night.  Tender strips (rather than cubes) of steak served with a lovely dressing.  I even managed to take a picture!

Liquorice dusted fillet steak

This was followed by champagne poached pears with Prosciutto on a bed of green leaf.  The pears were served in preserving jars on the side and I’d already got too carried away to remember to take the kind of foodie photograph this banquet deserved.  But it was a great combination of flavours.

Proscuitto on a bed of Green Leaf

 

Then, a platter of Barents Sea King Crab with Samphire.  Yummy stuff…you can tell I was really enjoying myself because I completely forgot to photograph ANYTHING at this stage.  And it was very, very pretty too…the crab was served in its shell, broken up into manageable chunks.

The final savoury dish was Slow Roast Lamb with Roast Potatoes.  By now, any chance of a sensible photo had gone.  But, the meat was tender and succulent and the Roast Potatoes nicely crispy.

Now according to the menu, we should then have eaten Micro Banana Tatins with Passion Fruit and Passion Fruit Sorbet.  This part didn’t seem to happen.  Or was I just too engrossed in conversation and eating the lamb to notice?  It didn’t matter because for me it would have needed to be a VERY micro dish to stand any chance of getting eaten!

I did enjoy the Seville Zebras and Black Olive Ganache that we had to round off the meal.  I think the Zebras had some kind of popping candy in them while the black olive ganache was very chocolaty and moreish!

Sweeties at Ferdies Foodlab

I even managed a photo – albeit rather a blurry one!!

 

Ferdie’s Foodlab has more events coming up.  If you want to go, you can find contact details on their Website

Or more information here


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Comments

  1. Thanks for this lovely post, I can say that the micro tatins (w/ whitechocolate and whisky sauce) definitely went out! :) and none came back!! Which always a nice compliment!

    Thanks again, love Simon of ferdiesfoodlab

  2. Went to this on Friday and all in all a shambles with a great level of cheek, to present succinctly;
    -Left us out in the cold until getting to 8pm, where he had in the first instance asked we come at 7.30 and will be seated at 7.50
    -the seating plan was stuck the wall which confused a lot of the 26 people there, but when he came marching in, he showed a rather obnoxious side and great rudeness to his guests.
    -food was late time and time again
    -waiters didn’t know anything about the menu and managed to serve pork to Muslims, which they ate even though it had been firmly stipulated beforehand that they didnt eat pork.
    -main lamb was dry and the gravy/jus arrived after the main meal was finished.
    -dessert was a slap dash couple of biscuits clumped together with a bit of ice cream, a great disappointment
    – we were shown a lot of cheek by one waitress
    – mismatched groups were seated together and there was no intermingling
    -the hall bounced off a lot of sound which led to people shouting in the room
    -Simon tried to make a joke of the whole Pork instance which was highly offensive
    -a lot of people let annoyed and remarked how they would never attend another supperclub.
    -So the remarks about minimum 45 pound donations and 10-20% level of service was a gross level of cheek to say the least.

  3. I can’t really comment on your particular experience as I went about 4 months earlier, although I would say that we had no problems with noise in the room for the event I went to last year. I’m sorry you had a bad time though, I haven’t been to a ‘bad’ supper club – although the four or five I’ve tried have all been of varied quality. I have to say of those I have been to, Ferdies was quite the best so it’s sad if the quality has dropped.

  4. Its not for you to be sorry at all. But really I have never been so utterly disappointed when I had been looking forward to such an event for some time.
    And so I think he has now ended my supperclub journey.

    • well some of your comments suprise me, no one was served anything specific at the event I went to; if you didn’t eat seafood, you didn’t eat the crab, if you didn’t eat pork, you didn’t eat the ham. I was under the impression there was very little catering for specific diets and that was made clear to me when I booked. Also, can’t understand why you were all left outside – we were not allowed into the main room but did have use of a lobby area where we had drinks. That would have annoyed me. Ferdies is very large for a supperclub though. Maybe I’ll go again so I can actually see if it’s changed.

  5. With regards to the Pork issue, yes, ham , bacon and some such are all overtly pork and non pork eaters would automatically abstain. On this occasion, he had served a Morcillo tart, which on several questions where told was black pudding. We aren’t really au fait with the various types of back pudding, but on a Google search it was revealed as cattle substance. So the two people tucked in , and later Simon revealed in his own words ‘its pig’s bum. Now I had written to him to make him aware of the religious reasons of abstinence, but this failed on many counts ;
    a) the waiters didn’t have a clue on what was being served
    b) on querying they were most unhelpful
    c) I suspect the seating plan was there for a reason, but non pork eaters were not taken into account.
    Despite all this, on our departure, Simon tried to laugh it off. No it wasn’t a joke.
    We didnt have access to the lobby, people kept sounding the buzzer, but no one came until it was fine to come into the main hall.By which point some people had been waiting about 1/2 hour in the cold.
    Yes, indeed, its very large for a supperclub and so makes it a bit impersonal and more of a canteen where slap dash food is served. He didnt come out until a) the pork had been mistakenly served
    b) it was time to collect his donations.
    Understandably, he was busy cooking. But brilliant isnt it, then one puts on a smile and comes to sit with you when its time to count the money.

    • I enjoyed the size of the event, the ‘party’, but I might not have done if it had been cold. It was if anything, rather busier. And, we all found where we were supposed to be from the seating plan, but again, we were not kept out of the hall so long.. I think a lot sounds like problems with front of house?

      I’ve had a similar experience trying to take a pescatarian friend to a supper club that claimed to cater for non-meat eaters only to be told that ‘they couldn’t accommodate us’. As it happens, I went with someone else and the food WAS very good but I was a bit grumpy that the marketing said ‘open to everyone’ and the reality was not.

  6. Yes indeed, it was problems with the front house in large, but certainly the air of arrogance exuded by Simon didnt really help the matters. Regardless, lesson learnt.
    Anyway, I have said my piece on this matter and good luck to him trying to churn £45 /head and adding recommendation links to his emails suggesting that 10-20% should be given for service. There was no service.

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