Going Underground

Underground restaurants are everywhere right now. Every blog, magazine, newspaper and television channel has been underground restaurant crazy this past year and I thought I'd join the party before the clock struck midnight. One of the things I set out to do this year was to hold an underground restaurant (or supper club) event in my living room and this past Saturday (26th September) I did just that! I'd been planning the event for a month but being part of the Google generation my ability to concentrate was severely tested. Luckily I managed to get my stuff together and hold a pretty successful event (no one was poisoned; no expensive plates were broken).

This, being my first foray into the underground restaurant game, was limited to friends who were keen and supportive of the idea (and looking forward to getting a 3 course meal for less than the price of a mojito). This was me testing the water; I needed to challenge myself and this was the perfect environment. Having friends over made the atmosphere comfortable and I think overall it was a very good night. I'll be publishing the recipes for each course right here for you lovely people but to tide you over until then, here is the menu:

Olive Fig Grape
Menu 26/09/09

Warak Einab and Labneh
Stuffed Vine Leaves with a Thick Yoghurt

Saffron and Orange Lamb Shanks
Served with 'Robuchon' Mash

Rose and Pistachio Pots
Rose Jelly and a Pistachio Cream

I went for a Lebanese theme to tie-in with my blog and one of the courses was a reworking of an old recipe I'd already published. We had Fairuz playing in the background and plenty of Jalab drink to go round to push some of the Middle-Eastern vibe. The atmosphere created by sharing with friends and interacting between meals made this a distinctly social event and for me this was one of the best food-related experiences of my life. I'll definitely be doing this again. Thanks to everyone who came! And a special thanks to Sam for taking the pics :-)


29 September 2009 at 17:15 Phoo-D said...

Hmm...I posted a comment yesterday but it didn't show up?
This sounds like such a fun dinner. I've been daydreaming of throwing one of these for a while. The lamb shanks sound marvelous and I hope you share the recipe! Do you have a grain size of bulgur to recommend for the labneh? I only just realized there are different sizes!

30 September 2009 at 14:56 M. A. Salha said...

That's quite strange. I guess something is wrong with the layout...

You should do it. I really really enjoyed it. I think to stuff the vine leaves a finer type of bulghur wheat would make for a better texture. But then again I quite like the bigger variety (the ones used as a like-for-like substitute for rice in some Lebanese dishes).

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