Definitely NOT just another popup – Fodder at Brewery Below:
At the moment I am travelling a lot and eating out in London a little less. But, an invitation to try Fodder was one not to pass up. Fodder is headed up by ex-Fera chef Michael Thompson joined by fellow Fera alumna Ollie Downey. The pair of them seem to have worked their way around most of the great restaurants in London and the South, including Pollen Street Social and Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons.
But, with a view to perhaps starting their own restaurant one day, they are running a series of popup events across London, including the one currently in full swing at Brewery Below Borough Wines where they are in residence from 7th -30th September. Running Thursday – Saturday each week, for £45 you can enjoy seven courses of wild, seasonal, and locally-sourced food. And of course, there’s an excellent drinks menu, with wine and beer flights that perfectly complement the food, including natural and organic wines as well as a limited edition foraged-ingredient beer created especially for the occasion.
I was particularly taken by the welcome drink, an English Rosehip Spritz made with Sacred English Rosehip cup and Nyetimber Classic Cuvée. The perfect level of acidity for me, it was just the right thing to welcome in Autumn.
We also enjoyed the paired wine flight, starting with a delicious Domaine de l’Ausseil Papillon Blanc white wine, minerally with notes of cooking apple and green citrus fruits.
That pairing was designed to work with the sweet corn and mushroom snack, full of umami flavour. We learnt that the mushrooms were sourced from Elephant and that they get their unique flavour from being grown on coffee grounds.
Next up for me, and still paired with the Domaine de l’Ausseil, was a plate of lamb sweetbreads with rosehip ketchup and fermented turnip mayonnaise. I was astonished by the sweetbreads which I normally don’t particularly rate. These were perfectly tender and in their crisp crumb coating, made for a delicious mouthful.
My pescatarian companion was offered chickpea nuggets, which looked identical and which I am sure would have worked very well with the acidic sweet rosehip ketchup.
The fish course was my personal favourite of the evening. A delicious bowl of Cornish cod poached in seaweed butter (wakame and nori) with sea vegetables (rock samphire and aster) buttermilk and apple marigold. I’ll probably try to make this one at home and fail dismally – its the sort of effortlessly elegant dish that looks as if it can be knocked up in minutes but which actually relies on a perfect palate.
For this, we were offered a glass of The Saboteur from Luddite wines, a South African white blend, rich in the mouth with an oily finish.
I’d been watching the beef slow cooking when I arrived and was really looking forward to the dish of Beef and Nasturtium. I actually found the meat a little chewier than I would have liked although it was perfectly pink in the middle. The nasturtium accompaniment though was both beautiful on the plate and delicious in the mouth.
My pescatarian companion enjoyed his rissole like bread grain dish served with the same garnish.
Domaine des Bois Vaudons, a 2015 Loire Valley red, made a great accompaniment, light enough not to overwhelm the nasturtium, fruity and smooth.
There were three desserts still to come. Blackberry, sour cream and fig leaf comprised a scoop of blackberry sorbet with fig leaf oil and sour cream – a beautifully balanced pre-dessert. Another perfect pairing with Mas Bêcha, Rivesaltes a delicious red wine with notes of liquorice and blackberry and a strawberry finish
Next, a sticky honey cake with meadowsweet and sour crab apple, paired with an unusual and very delicious Domaine Pinnacle Ice Cider – something I’d never heard of before but which was something like an appley ice wine.
Finally, the mysterious T-Cakes – which looked for all the world like the kind of thing my grandma would have served on Sundays – but which were filled with a light elderberry mousse on the most delicate biscuit base.
We really liked the attention to detail at fodder. From the vegetables, foraged from the wild or sourced from Good Earth Growers to the specially hand-crafted ceramics from Kane London, Salutations Studio, Common.Objects Studio, Victoria Bridal, Anna Beam and Lazy Glaze. It is quite clear that the chefs have a respect for the food they are preparing and a passion for what they are doing. And where else would you get a michelin quality tasting menu for just £45?
The next chef residency at Borough Wines will be Oded Oren running Thursdays to Saturdays 12-21st October.