I love to learn about different cultures and their cuisine. One that is quite alien to me is Syrian food until recently. I was invited along to a supperclub hosted by a newcomer to the supperclub scene, Yasmine.
This evening was held at her elegant family home in Holland Park. Yasmine Syrian heritage comes from her mum and the food we had is what they would cook at home.
In their beautifully decorated dining room hung with a lot of original art, she had laid out all the dishes she had spend the whole day cooking. Unlike other supperclubs I have been to, this one was done buffet style and more like a dinner party at a friends. It was very casual and very friendly as we all sat around the living room, chatting like old friends.
On the dining table was a colourful array of dishes, from swordfish, prawns, stuffed vine leaves (with the secret ingredient -dill), a very unusual orange, beetroot and pomegranate salad, a delicious smokey aubergine dip (baba ghanoush), lots of stuffed baby vegetables.
The flavours were very fresh and even though there was so much food (everyone had seconds) it wasn’t heavy. Nice contrast of sharp flavours in the salads, with the contrast of the creamy and smokey aubergine dip (my favourite dish of the night).
For pudding we had a very sweet pumpkin cake with ice cream.
We learnt that Syrian food takes a lot of influence from Turkish food being once part of the Ottoman empire. Over the years, Syrian cuisine has taken a lot of influence from the cultures that settled in Syria. The food is not dissimilar to that of Lebanon and other Mediterranean neighbours.
My friends and I felt like we had been invited to a family dinner with friends, it was so casual and the food was plentiful and delicious. Yasmine had even made some fabulous florentines with specks of lavender and hidden bites of crystallised ginger to go with little glasses of mint tea.
For her first attempt at hosting a supperclub, I think Yasmine did a grand job. The food was fabulous, the other guests were all very friendly, chatty foodies and she was a very gracious host. A total success and if she does some more, this is a supperclub not to miss.
Eat Cook Explore was a guest Yasmine’s supperclub courtesy of Melba, a new website that brings together new culinary talent to host foodie events at supperclubs and pop ups around London. It’s only a few months old and has already attracted a very impressive group of cooks and hosts. You can find more supperclubs like Yasmine’s on their platform.