Sunday 22 August 2010

Croatia Nights

Thanks to Qype and holidays, we won a holiday. (Read here and here and watch here). They have asked us to bring our holiday back to London and share it others. This is something we would do anyway. When traveling, our mission is always to discover the local cuisine aswell as laying on the beach. Neither Simon nor I have ever had any formal training in cheffing/ cooking/ restaurating but we love learning and discovering ways to make food.
To be honest, we didn’t eat the most amazing food in Croatia – that’s only because we went spontaneously and had no time to do any research previous to our trip and that’s to be expected going to holiday. touristy towns! However, it is always really exciting to go to a new destination. Walking around, discovering and seeking out places and judging them by how many people are inside, what the menu looks like, the prices, the room temperature, the atmosphere, the smell, the front of house, the location, the type of people inside and what is on the menu. It’s all a balancing act and on many levels, its judging a book by its cover as well as relying on your previous experiences to not fall into the tourist trap.
The Dalmation part of Croatia rely heavily on tourism, so it was a challenge! Even though we ate in the back alleys and low key restaurants sometimes, we were ripped to shreds with the poor quality and badly made food. Despite eating out 3 times a day, we only found a handful of wonderful places recommended to us by locals as well as the ones we gambled on. It gave us such inspiration and we bought it back to the supper club over three nights.

Here is the menu we devised:
Croatia Nights

Mackerel Pate w/ Garlic Bread

Black Squid Ink Risotto

Parma Ham With Melon & Prawn Cocktail

Tuna & Chips
Octopus Carpaccio w/ Capers
Pulled Lamb w/ Cold New Potato Salad
Orange Pannacotta With Vodka & Blueberries

We got some lovely reactions, here are some blog posts from our guests – The Food Archive & The Reluctant Londoner.
We had one of the best nights at Fernandez & Leluu, when one of our guests, Jody Wade, a professional pianist played the piano that had been left untouched since third grade piano lessons two decades ago! The house sparked, breathing, living electricity flowed through all our veins as Mia, our brilliant singer waitress sang, whilst Jody played and one of our loyal 5 timmer guest Nathan improvised beats – everything from Lady Gaga, Bon Jovi to Frank Sinatra. It was amazing!
Jody’s father, Jeff had come to visit all the way from Kentucky, USA, spoke to all our guests and wrote a poem about everyone within the song, ‘Making Whoppee’

“…and in the corner, there was {so and so}, they came from Texas, and loved the risotto; she had a friend she called her lover and in the garden, they made whoppee!”

This week's crowd was very international, from the US, to Sweden to Clapham! My best friend Fatima came for the first time, she now lives in Barcelona and we had a surprise guest, my lovely old friends from Zurich bought their Ayno, the little Hungarian Countess.

Having friends at the supper club is a very special thing especially because they traveled all the way, and that they are simply just friends coming to see a friend.


  1. Looks wonderful and fun. I really do love the concept of the Supper Club. One day we will make it, I hope.

  2. Hi Elizabeth
    We hope you get here soon - we love your blog! : )

  3. Looks fantastic - brings back great memories from the time i was there. Reminds me to get another date booked in :)


  4. Our croatian night in london at Fernandez & Leluu was fantastic! Thank you very much. I still dream of that black squid risotto... It was a lovely evening and I loved to see you again sweet Uyen. We will come again!
    Ayno regrets she hasn't eaten more.

  5. @Sasha
    Yes - we need you back at the supper club! You are one of those guests we just adore!! : )

    It was so lovely to see you and your beautiful family. You are always welcome back and stay over too as I would love to babysit Ayno! Love to you, Ayno & Sacha xxx

  6. It's a shame about the food in Croatia, but like you said, when you are in a Tourist spot it can be difficult to get good food. We visited Croatia on 2007 and the most consistent food we had was on the island of Vis, out in the middle of the Adriatic. Your black squid ink risotto brought it right back to mind and tongue. We ate it on a picnic table abutting a beach, surrounded by inquisitive cats, very memorable.

    I think it's great how you have taken the essence of your holiday and used it to infuse your suppers. The Croatian menu looks fabulous, and was obviously buoyed by a great set of guests.

  7. @TheGrubworm - thank you ! x
    Would have loved to have gone to Vis and visited the place you recommended but we didn't have enough time. Croatia is beautiful so I am sure we will be back. Love black squid risotto and re-creating it back home to look like a Mars Attack dish.


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