When I was younger and it came down to food, I was the complete opposite of who I am today. I was the fussiest eater on the planet and I hated trying new things. Colourful foods scared me and I would use my sense of smell to judge the dish. A few weeks ago, Chef Norman Musa, a renowned Malaysian chef who I met last September was hosting a supper club. The set menu for the night included a few dishes that pushed me slightly out of my comfort zone. I would never have tried these dishes when I was younger, but being the more experimental twenty-year-old that I am today, I was really keen to try them.
I have never been to a supper club before, mainly because I do not come across many that are halal. So when I found out about this one and the delicious five-course menu being served (including a pre-dessert AND dessert :D), I jumped at the opportunity!
The event was held at Ekachai in Liverpool St, a cute rustic restaurant tucked away in the hustle and bustle of the City. We were first to arrive and were immediately seated and asked which drinks we would like.
These arrived quickly, so I am not sure how fresh they were, but they did taste delicious and we both ended up ordering another one each.
Pan-fried duck with hoisin, black pepper and sesame served with crispy crackers, greens & sushi rolls
Tasty, halal duck is a rarity in London, so I was thrilled to see it on the menu! The duck was really tender and moist (unlike the usual dry texture that I’ve had before), and the additional condiments like the hoisin sauce and sesame seeds complemented it well. I also really loved the Malaysian style sushi roll! The use of coconut and dried shrimp filling was unique and really delicious.
Prawns with marmite, tamarind and mild chilli served with salted duck egg on top of vermicelli noodle salad
Marmite – you either love it or you hate it. I’m one of the latter… or so I thought! Sorry marmite, I was wrong about you! With the addition of the chilli, the prawns had an intense flavour and were juicy and delicious. Everything about this dish was lovely, with the exception of the “salted duck egg”, which was definitely way too salty for my liking.
Creamy chicken, roasted butternut squash & sweet potato curry
Since I am from an Indian background, having butternut squash, sweet potato as well as lemongrass and pistachios in a curry is not a familiar concoction. The curry was velvety and mildly spicy and the butternut squash and sweet potato added a subtle creamy and sweet taste. I did find the lemongrass to be slightly overpowering; however I do also know that this is one of many key ingredients in Malaysian cooking. This was served with bottomless rice (woo)!
Aromatic seafood – calamari, scallop, prawns & mussels
By now I could feel my jeans getting tighter and I really didn’t want to ruin my appetite for dessert (because I LOVE Malaysian desserts… or any dessert for that matter)! A variety of tasty seafood was served with the rice. This dish was really flavoursome and I loved the variety of spices added.
Pre-Dessert – Malaysian flavoured ice lollies
Unfortunately, these Malaysian ice-lollies didn’t set completely in time for the supper club. However, I am glad I decided to take mine home to enjoy mine later.
Bowl of Malaysian sweets
Pandan is a Malaysian flavour that I absolutely love! Its distinct green colour is what attracted me when I tried it for the very first time in a form of a pancake. Since then, I have been obsessed. Chef Norman Musa made a really delicious pandan chocolate brownie and as if that wasn’t good enough…. It was served with pandan flavoured ice cream! Alongside this was rose jelly with lychee, rose petals and crushed pistachios, which was not only tasty, but also very aesthetically pleasing.
Overall, the evening was a success! The atmosphere was fun, I met new people, made new friends and even got to see the Malaysian princess! One thing that applied to all of Chef Norman Musa’s dishes was that each dish had beautiful textures! Take the duck salad for example – the tender duck, crunchy sesame seeds, and crispy dried shrimp all packed together in one dish. Or the dessert – the chewy brownie, creamy ice cream and the soft jelly, all made each bite exciting and fun. The only main criticism I have is that some of the dishes were unfortunately cold and would have been more enjoyable if they were warmer. Regardless, the food was delicious and I would definitely go back again!
In my opinion, the unique dining experience and delicious five course meal justified the £39pp price tag.
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