Monday, 30 July 2012

19>25 degrees longitude: Africa by Arno Maasdorp: Global Feast

A plate full of sunshine: carrots cut into daisies, golden beetroot, marigold petals, yellow rose petals, pea shoots, pumpkin seeds, black sesame seeds, roast butternut squash, yellow cherry tomatoes, pineapple vinaigrette, avocado oil.

The fashionably hirsute Arno Maasdorp runs the Saltoun Supper Club in Brixton but he hails from South Africa. Last night he brought his innovative touch to Global Feast. He talked about how South African cuisine often has sweet and fruity flavours in their savoury dishes, and how he served polenta to represent this African staple food.

Raspberry muddled Courvoisier

Set Polenta with semi-dried tomatoes on a stick
Mussels in banana and saffron
Springbok carpaccio 
Meatballs in a cone

Sunshine salad as above 

Main course
Bobotie (a classic South African dish, a version of Shepherd's pie, sometimes cooked with curry spices)
Vegetable sosaties (kebabs) from the braai 
Herb salad
Sultana puree

Malva pudding, Granadilla curd and Melktert cream

It was very interesting to work with Arno, to see his design touches for the place settings, his energy and caustic humour and the flirting that occurred between him and head chef Col who he called "sweaty Betty". Service was tight and precise with very specific instructions going to front of house: "Each of you take one canape so that you know the dish" "Lay the table with the sharp edge of the knife facing inwards""Are you doing sweep service?" (which means you start one end and clear rather than clearing up here and there as people finish). Arno used to be a restaurant manager so we saw a bracing professionalism in attitude towards front of house in particular.
He also greatly enjoyed, as did our guests, the fantastic wine selection sent by Wines of South Africa. There was an intriguing range from minerally whites to heavy rounded reds.
Music was provided by Lanré, a Nigerian singer-songwriter who performed for me at The Underground Farmers' Market. She's a star in the making with her sweet soaring vocals, melodic haunting songs and funny wry stories about Nigerian life.
We also saw the remarkable Helen Parker-Jayne Isibor who performs under the name The Venus Bushfires who played an interesting and unusual metal drum. 
The love that has no name: Arno Maasdorp with his Springbok carpaccio and again with Col Rich, who has made Arno a sourdough loaf as a sweet present.
White chocolate dipped cape gooseberries with chocolate transfers; Arno's version of the table settings; the amazing dessert. I loved it, and I'm not even a cake person.
Sosaties, Boboties; Service; dressing the salad.
Venus Bushfires and Lanré
Fantastic plating and flavours from Arno Maasdorp of The Saltoun Supper Club
Coming up at Global Feast: £45 including alcohol.
Tonight Poland/Eastern Europe with Frank Fforde of the Rodborough supper club. Book here.
Saturday 4th of August: Chinese night with Cherry Smart of FedbyTang and Courtesan Dimsum. Book here.
Thursday 9th of August: North America by United Plates of America. Book here

Go here to see the range of nights Global Feast is offering.

1 comment:

  1. Looks fantastic! Nice to see South Africa's cuisine and wines in the spotlight :)


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