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Thursday, 30 August 2012

Russian Revels Supper Club

The Russian revels are two Russian ladies who have embarked on a quest to revolutionise the image of Russian food. They devise dishes which draw on historical Russian roots and grow them into innovative luscious creations, breaking the common stereotype that Russian food is heavy and bland. Not only that, but the Russian Revels supper club is held at different venues throughout London, each night bringing a unique characteristic to the evening.   

This time, the Russian Revels were part of a selection of dinner nights for the Supper Club Summit: "The world's largest convention of supper clubs" . Supper Club hosts from far and wide all came together to celebrate and showcase the wonders of 'underground' dining at the Goethe-Institut in LondonThe Russian Revels hosted two of these dinner nights.
Katrina and Karina introducing the night
We were greeted by cheerful Russian pioneers (scouts) presenting us with trays of watermelon vodka lollipops, prunes stuffed with spicy curd cheese and blinis with authentic soviet Aubergine caviar (a ratatouille of sorts). 

Sitting at one of the long tables we then started with 'zakuski' of Russian Revels pickles, borcsh inspired tarts, Ukranian salo on rye and home made cods liver pate. 
Ukranian salo on rye
Borsch inspired tarts

Let me quickly explain that Salo is made from pig fat that is found directly under the skin of the back and then cured with salt. It's quite lovely and tender and if you like pig fat of any kind (i.e crackling which is cooked) you will generally enjoy this.  It is a very traditional snack, and goes well with vodka. Russian Revels Salo was perfectly cured, however I would have preferred some garlic to go with it, but perhaps this is being too traditional. 

The Cod Liver pate was a highlight, but I would not recommend if you don't like fishy food. Russian Revels really hit the spot with this recipe, it has always been one of my favourite dishes made by my mum. 

Assortment of pickled veggies, Salo and cods liver pate I can definitely remember from my childhood years in Russia, however the Borsch inspired tart is entirely one of those previously mentioned innovation dishes. The tart was perfectly light and had all those important taste nodes of traditional borcsh. 

edible allotments

We had edible allotments on the table made from 'Gribiche' base (mayonnaise style cold egg sauce) and edible soil of olives and rye crisps. A great combination with fresh vegetables, especially radishes.
bloody mary 10 day aged organic beef,  potatoes baked in hay with home made organic curd cheese and georgian lobio
The main event of Bloody Mary 10 day aged organic beef and potatoes baked in hay looked the part and crossed the boundaries with traditional English roasts. The potatoes were tender, buttery and smoky, and while the beef was tasty I did find it slightly tough. The flavours worked well together and made the overall meal very enjoyable. 
pick your own berries
Olympic bear cake inspired by Katrinas mother
Dessert was a scrumptious Napoleon cake (layers of puff pastry alternating with layers of cream). Very sweet as most Russian cakes should be, and perfectly balanced with the slightly sour fresh berries. 

With traditional Russian hospitality of putting on a feast including shots of vodka in between, Russian Revels nights are definitely not to be missed. Do check out their website for more details of future events here

Karina also has a book called "Russia on a plate" - 'a book about Russian way of life through food with a brand new collection of recipes inspired by childhood memories and ingredients from around ex-Soviet Union' - Russian Revels

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