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Sunday 29 November 2009

NOOO BODY Expects The Spanish Inquisition

Almendras (Roast Almonds)

Pa Amb Tomàquet con Fuet
(Catalan Tomatoed Bread)

Chorizo en Vino
(Spicy Sausage in Wine)

Garbanzos en Cidra (Roasted Chick Peas In Cider)

Pimientos De Padron (Russian Roulette Peppers)
Ensaladilla Russa (Potato Salad With Cured Tuna & Quails Eggs)

Ajo Blanco (Traditional Garlic Soup)

Tortilla with Salsa Picante (Potato Omlette)

Pescado y Jamón Ibérico con Mandarin & Basil (Monk Fish Wrapped In Serrano Ham W/ Basil & Mandarin Sauce)
Cardinal Fang's Ice Cream

Click Here For Review By Isabella Fiore

Review By LELUU

I have a real love for Italian food and therefore have always had little regard for Spanish food. My friend Thilo and I always say Spanish food is "fried oil". That is until I met Simon who changed my opinion forever! (well, lets say I will only chose to eat Simon's Spanish food)

Simon's native food is his real passion and had worked on his menu for weeks previous. I kept hearing, "Almendras, which are roasted almonds, Pa Amb Tomàquet  Con Fuet which is a beautiful Catalan rubbed on tomatoed bread...."

We even went to Barcelona to buy some ingredients, did some research and a test run on friends and family. Simon's food is incredibly fresh and balanced and I love it. Mind is changed.

The tortilla is the best I have ever tasted, he used sweet potatoes instead which gave it just the perfect complexion, sweet and eggy flavour. My favourite dish on the menu  is the Russian Salad with Quails Eggs & Cured Tuna which he used Maris Piper cooked for 7 mins and mixed in delicately so that it does not all fall apart and remains fluffy and velvety, gelling all the other ingredients together like hands being held. My favourite!! 

...Until I think of the Black Squid Ink Rice with Parma Ham (we decided that Serrano is too salty) Wrapped Monkfish. I don't think anyone managed to take a picture as they just saw it and had to devour it! The black rice, the pink ham and the white fish flesh inside with the greens made you fall in love at first sight. Biting into the different textures of rice, meat, fish, crunchy sugar snaps and the wonderful madarin gravy was like being lucky enough to find your soul mate. We should definately be repeating this dish!

My least favourite and the only ever unsuccessful dish was the cold Garlic Soup. I didn't like this but thats because I don't usually like cold soups and need to acquire. But this was the first time we had a lot of unfinished items to clear. Booo... The mistake being, Simon did not have time to test this soup out and he will blame me because I wouldn't let him go home to get the ingredients list for it when we did a test run in Barcelona because I wanted to eat lots of tapas (and stupid me thought the ingredient is just garlic)! So we didn't test it til the day! We have learned to never do that again!

O, I just remembered the Cardinal Fang Ice Cream he made! OMG... Cardamon & Pineapple - what a great combination we found in Barcelona - made by my friend Julia. Ever so cleansing and fresh. Each mouthful is like opening out into a beautiful Spring day into a blossoming garden. I am not exaggerating! However, we should have made the ice cream over night as was a bit runny. Sorry everyone.
We also should have served coffee to half our guests who decided to stay on leisurely.

Overall, a great night! Another success with many thanks to my beautiful friend Anja who came over from Berlin just to help out, taught me how to carry more than 2 plates, took some nice photos and helped us decide things that needed to be decided in the kitchen - saved us!

It was also really nice to know how some people really enjoyed meeting other guests and became friends. We are already getting a lot of repeat diners which is really nice to see faces we know and to place them with people we think they will get on with.
For once, I didn't do any shopping or cooking which is great! Thanks Simon! x

Sunday 15 November 2009

British Bonfire

-English Breakfast: Sunny Side Up Quail Eggs, Enokitake Mushrooms Wrapped With Bacon, Ferdie Baked Beans And Crusty Toast
-Pea And Basil Soup

-Fish And Chips: Tuna Sashimi And Ferdie Chips With Wasabi Mayo And Pickled Shallots
-Sake & Mirin Argentinian Fillet Beef Salad With Satsuma & Mashed Up Sweet Potatoes


 -Rosemary, Mustard, Soy & Lemon Roast Chicken With Cous Cous & Roasted Vegetables

-Apple Pie With Rose Cream

Wednesday 11 November 2009

Fernandez & Leluu In Barcelona

We started the supper club in hope to build a kitty to travel to places around the world where we would like to eat our favourite dishes. Since then, (its only been 6 weeks) we spent all our donations on new kitchenware equipment, crockery etc to make the supper club run more efficiently.

Our first trip was to Barcelona. We had the romantic idea of buying local ingredients for our guests who would come to our supper club on Friday 13th November to eat our Spanish menu. And in between, we would eat tapas, stroll the markets, have coffee, walk a long the beach - that kind of thing! Unfortunately, there is no great story to tell, we did just that. And a test run of the menu with close friends and family and had a great time!

A nice place for coffee and breakfast. Always pop into this place whenever in Barcelona.

Contemporary Tapas. We were really excited about these, even though they were 2.80 Euro each. Each one was an exciting bite as we didn't really know what it was. We were disappointed a bit later on, we found another place who did these - and exactly the same. Just different name.

The purple paste turned out to be red onion and crab - very nice. Lots of cheeses, the one on the right is a very light cream cheese that has the texture of tofu.

Supper Club at Julia's. We should have been kinder and made Vietnamese food (as there is no Vietnamese restaurants on Barcelona) but we did a test run of The Spanish Inquisition Menu. It was so nice to eat with everyone. We always get terribly jealous when we see how much fun people are having at our supper club. Sometimes, we hear roars of laughter from the kitchen and we instantly turn green wishing we can join our guests. But at the same time, great big smiles appear on our faces - hearing and seeing the atmosphere created by our guests makes it all very worthwhile.

It was lovely to see my best friend Fatima. We met when we were 5 years old in our PE kits. We went to the same secondary school, did A Level Art and went to Central St Martins together. But now Fatima lives in Barcelona and so does Christian - Simon's brother.

Our friend Julia also moved to Barcelona. She has always dreamed of having a supper club in her beautiful home and hope that when her little angels grow older she may be able to. London is at a loss with both these wonderful women missing. Come home....

Tuesday 3 November 2009

Review Of Eastern Halloween Night By Thomas W, The Londonist, Alexandra English & flibbertygibbet

Excellent Review By Wonderful Thomas W (5*) of TomEatsJenCooks

This review starts off with an admission of faulty judgement and ends with drunken meal joy.

A picky Parisian friend was bringing his new girlfriend over to London for the weekend so my girlfriend (a picky New Yorker) and I offered to arrange the meals for them. It began with a standardly brilliant breakfast at The Modern Pantry at which I found out his girlfriend was (i) Parisian (ii) liked champagne (iii) wanted to go clubbing in West London and (iv) liked champagne. At this stage I got nervous as for Saturday night I had booked Fernandez & Leluu's supper club in London Fields.

On re examining the menu they posted online I started to get really nervous; frogs' legs (for French people?!?), a Vietnamese inspired menu with pineapple and catfish thrown together. Was this going to be an unholy mess? Was the new girlfriend going to demand champagne and the soothing (boring) streets of West London?

Fortunately for me, I was completely and utterly wrong. It transpires that Fernandez & Leluu are both far better cooks than me (and most venues in London) and far far better at considering innovative flavour pairings than I (oh, and can cook frogs' legs well enough to wow a French person).

In a true over reviewing style, I'll start at the beginning and fade out towards the end (as that is when my enjoyment of the meal interfered with my memory).

Course 1 - Hot Sweet Sour Soup With Catfish, Tomatoes, Pineapple & Beansprouts. As soon as I tasted this I relaxed. Not only could L&F cook, they could cook with a leftfield bent and still pull it off. As good as many of the equivalents I have had in Vietnam.

Course 2 - Frogs Legs Terriyaki w/ Vietnamese Parsley & Sweet Basil Seed Cocktail. This is when you realised that F&L had a visual background in photography. The sweet basil seed cocktail made you squirm with how akin it was to frog spawn.

Course 3 - Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Pork, King Prawns, Black Fungus & Glass Noodles. Have you ever tried to make spring rolls? I have, I failed brutally. So do most restaurants and they ship them in frozen. These were nearly as good as Song Que's on Kingsland Road. Apparently they stayed up until 1 or 2 am the night before making them.

Course 4 - Cubed Tuna Sashimi With Soya Sauce, Ginger & Spring Onions & Ferdie Chips. I cannot overstate how good the chips were. Indeed, I could get histrionic about them. Combine that with sashimi from Steve Hatt and you know not only can these guys cook, they can source (as Steve Hatt is one of only two places you can properly get sashimi grade fish in London). You also realise this is an endeavour of love, as Steve Hatt is the gold leaf and ultramarine of quality fish and comes at the same price.

Course 5 - Seared Peppered Fillet Of Beef With Sugar Snap Peas, Cucumber Salad & Kabocha Squash Salad With Satsuma, Sake, Soya & Mirin Dressing. Perfectly seared, perfectly seasoned, perfectly dressed.

Course 6 - Red Curry With Chicken & Butternut Squash Served w/ Steamed Rice. This was the point my Parisian friend glazed over and after 6 courses still asked for more.

Course 7 - Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream With Ginger Biscuits. Sublime.

Well what can I say, when we stumbled out of there at 12:30/ 1:00 we were converts. I am organising my next visit right now. The only thing I regret is not bringing enough money for a bigger tip as though they don't ask for a tip (in fact I think they actually seemed to forget to ask most people for their "donation" for the super club at all) food like this deserves praise and reward. Indeed, food like this with an atmosphere of such charm, warmth and friendliness almost makes you want to give the hostess a bottle of champagne on walking in (which my Parisian friends would have no doubt agreed with).

To not appear like a fanboy I have to pick out the "bad" bits of the meal. Well... there were a few delays so it was a leisurely meal (not something that matters to me and I would rather that than a curtailed kerplow of an experience) and there was, by the end, a rather loud drunk person at my table. Unfortunately that turned out to be me.

Price - £not quite sure but between 20 and 30 but it deserves more

Underground Restaurant Review: Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club

By The Londonist (

For most home cooks, catering for your average dinner party is still quite a test: menu planning, shopping, preparation, cooking, hosting and serving. The thought of opening one's home to eighteen strangers would certainly be beyond most people, but thankfully Simon and Yuen of Fernandez and Leluu in Hackney are more than up for the challenge.
Their home is filled with curios and talking-point pieces: stacked vintage leather cases, antique typewriters, a flatbed editing table. In the upstairs bathroom, guests are encouraged to write to them on the mirror using a chinagraph pencil - and the overwhelming gist of the messages is ‘Can I move in? Will you cook for me forever?’ and ‘We’ll be back!’
For their fourth Supper Club night, they offered a seven course east-west fusion menu. It’s difficult to identify a highlight, as it was all utterly moreish, but the Frogs Legs Teriyaki with Vietnamese parsley was something Londonist wouldn’t necessarily have ordered in a restaurant, and yet we loved it. The Sweet Basil Seed Cocktail - or ‘tadpoles’, as Yuen jokingly called it - was equally unexpected but refreshing. The Hot Sweet and Sour Soup with Catfish is something we might even consider making at home. Fitting in dessert seemed incomprehensible, but the Macha Green tea ice cream, served with ginger shortbread, disappeared in seconds.
Fernandez and Leluu try to make their menus seasonal and source ingredients locally where possible, and though they bill themselves as enthusiastic foodies rather than gourmet cooks, it was a remarkable meal, especially for the suggested donation of £30 (tips are welcome, and bring your own wine.) Next week is Great British cuisine, for Bonfire Night and further dates are on their website. Book quickly - they will definitely sell out.
Fernandez and Leluu - the menu changes weekly, and address details are emailed to you once bookings are confirmed.
Fernandez and Leluu:
Hot Sweet and Sour soup:

Written by Gail Haslam/ Photography By Gail Hassam Copyright 2009
Wonderful Review By Lovely Alexandra English
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Fernandez & Leluu

F&L soup
Underground restaurants are definitely the latest big thing, although the trend actually hit British shores over 9 months ago when the mysterious MsMarmiteLover started her supper club in Kilburn. The scene seems to have really captured the media's imagination recently. Whether it be incompetent restauranteurs making a meal of it in their own homes or in front of Raymond Blanc, duff amateur cooking seems to be too good a TV opportunity to pass up. But what would be the reality of underground dining - great food at bargain prices in a relaxed environment or incompetent fame-seekers jumping on the latest bandwagon?

Deciding we had gone long enough without trying this new craze, and with some trepidation after watching last week's The Restaurant, we set off on the journey from rural Surrey to trendy Hackney.

Fernandez & Leluu is run by Uyen and Simon from a secret location about a mile from Bethnal Green tube. As we arrived at 7.30, our coats were taken by the smiley Uyen, we were plied with wine and shown to our table. There were twenty of us in the room, which was decked out beautifully with twinkly little tealights, charmingly mismatched crockery and flowers.

At 8pm we started our 6 courses with a hot and sour soup of catfish, tomato and pineapple. Uyen warned us to watch the bones, which was certainly good advice. The soup was fragrant and light, with lashings of coriander. We settled in, feeling relieved that Simon obviously could cook.

Terriyaki frogs legs came with a shot of basil seed in sugar water (frog spawn). The meat was perfectly tender and lightly marinaded in a sticky umami-rich coating. The frog spawn was all looks and no flavour, but we appreciated the halloweeny touch.

F&L frog legs
It was now 9.30, and we were served with beautifully presented spring rolls, which were quite simply the best I have ever had. Apparently the virtuous Simon and Uyen had been up til 1.30am the previous night making them, and their efforts had clearly paid off. The wrappings were crisp and the interior was absolutely stuffed with sweet prawns, pork, black fungus and glass noodles.
F&L spring rolls
Next was tuna sashimi, served with chips in a witty take on the British classic. The fish was fantastic quality, served in juicy cubes with a light soy marinade. The chips were Hind's Head worthy, well seasoned and perfectly crispy.
F&L sashimi & chips
Sashimi swallowed, and we were served with some delicious seared beef and sugarsnap peas. The meat was top quality and melted in the mouth.
F&L beef
By 11pm we were tucking into red chicken & squash curry with rice - this was less spectacular but still very tasty. So tasty in fact, that I forgot to take a photo until I had almost finished!
F&L remainder of curry

F&L waitress & green tea

We finally finished course number six, green tea ice cream with a crunchy ginger shortbread, at 12.20am, 5 hours after we had arrived. Fernandez & Leluu is by no means fast food, so be prepared to take your time (and plan your transport accordingly). The quality of cooking is fantastic though, and as they say, good things come to those who wait.

As it was we hailed a cab to Victoria, ran for the 1am train and were safely back to the 'burbs and tucked up in bed by 2am. Fernandez & Leluu has certainly won me over to underground dining, and if only I lived a little closer I would definitely be a regular.

Fernandez & Leluu
Somewhere in Hackney

Suggested donation £30
k The Princess & The Recipe
Photography on this post is by Alexander English Copyright 2009


Going underground - Supper Club

By Gorgeous flibbertygibbet

I love food.
I love my neighbourhood.
I really love finding good food in my neighbourhood. So I was quietly giddy when I heard about a new local supper club - essentially it's when someone opens their home to guests (in return for a 'donation' as of course not being a real restaurant they can't have paying customers) and lets loose their culinary imagination - and as much talent as they can muster - on their menu.
We really, really hit it lucky.
Simon and Yuen of Fernandez and Leluu are avid foodies and wonderful hosts - frankly, they seem almost surprised by the overwhelmingly positive reaction they seem to be receiving, but they shouldn't be. From their blog you can see how much time, patience and passion they invest in this project - in addition to fulltime jobs.
I coveted their vintage typewriters. I adored the napkins and crockery.
Hot Sweet Sour Soup With Catfish, Tomatoes, Pineapple & Beansprouts
Frogs Legs Teriyaki w/ Vietnamese Parsley & Sweet Basil Seed Cocktail
Vietnamese Spring Rolls With Pork, King Prawns, Black Fungus & Glass Noodles
Cubed Tuna Sashimi With Soya Sauce, Ginger & Spring Onions & Ferdie Chips
Seared Peppered Fillet Of Beef With Sugar Snap Peas, Cucumber Salad & Kabocha Squash Salad With Satsuma, Sake, Soya & Mirin Dressing
Red Curry With Chicken & Butternut Squash Served w/ Steamed Rice
Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream With Ginger Biscuits
Yeah, by the end my photography skills had gone by the wayside. Too busy concentrating on food. Marvelling at how we could possibly fit in the ice cream and ginger to-die-for shortbread. Wanting to move in. That sort of thing.

How To Book / Attend

How To Book / Attend
Fancy getting stuck in? Click on the image above and to see how : ) . . . hope to see you soon.

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes

More Techniques, Basics and Corker Recipes
If there's something you've tried at ferdiesfoodlab or a technique you want to know about drop us a line at and I'll put up a post about it!!


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