Supperclubs, what have you done to me! Just when I thought I was settled into my fine dining regime and complete ignorance to jumping on every new trend, I now seem to not be able to stop myself attending these culinary pop-up experiences. I’m not entirely sure what draws me in but I guess it’s probably a mixture of discovering talented chefs before a restaurant does, eating food you won’t find in a restaurant, meeting a range of people through shared dining and of course, BYOB – the beauty of bringing your own alcohol. After all, who doesn’t want to bring as much wine as they can possible carry to dinner? I know I do.
The latest supperclub antics had led us just over the bridge from our residence to visit Marlon’s Kitchen at the fabulous London Cooking Project in Battersea one evening to see just what this new chef instalment had in store for us, and what a treat it was. Compared to a lot of other supperclubs I’ve visited at The London Cooking Project this is certainly the most slick in terms of service, presentation and table preparation that I’ve experienced at this site and the people behind it are incredibly passionate. The evening which was created by head chef Marlon was in collaboration with MarchaVale, a food blog run by Javi V.Regas who is the head chef of the acclaimed The Little Taperia in Tooting. We started our experience here with some incredible mini bites in the form of playful air baguettes wrapped with Iberico ham and some very intriguing spherical olives with a texture that none of us were expecting as they exploded in the mouth.
The food here is served to share and there was rather a lot of it. For £30 you get more than your moneys worth in my opinion and Marlon’s Kitchen could easily take one course off the menu, saving themselves a few pennies too. My favourite dish during the entire evening here was these gorgeous patatas bravas with an aioli and brava sauce. I’ve had similar to these before at a Spanish restaurant in Kensington yet these were even better. Light, crunchy full of flavour and extremely moorish, especially with a side of golden coated croquettes. This is serious comfort food from the heart. A guava and smoked cheese soufflé looked the part, served in a mini flower-pot but I wasn’t particularly sold on the guava – infused with something like chorizo would have been much better. One thing Marlon’s Kitchen need to remember is not to over complicate things, sometimes traditional and simple flavours are the best.
We found that the best dishes here at Marlon’s Kitchen were those that were familiar or not over complicated. I say my best dish was those delicious little patas bravas but these morcilla scotch eggs with piquillo pepper chutney were unbelievably good. Warm, succulent, screaming flavour and each bite had so many textures to it, from soft to crunchy and with a good balance of sweet to sour. Brown shrimp cocktail in green plantain fritter was another favourite amongst not just us, but the rest of the table. If Marlon’s Kitchen catered by birthday these beauties would be high up on my serving list. The traditional empanadilla followed shortly after and was served deconstructed. Honestly I really would have just prefered a traditional empanadilla as the deconstructed version didn’t quite work, but I respect them for giving it a good go as it was an interesting dish to eat.
Talking of deconstruction, a deconstructed Spanish tortilla was up next and while I thought it wasn’t going to work it surprisingly did, it was certainly a risk worth taking as it really paid off. All of the flavours you’d be expecting was served as a sort of trifle in style which worked perfectly. Given its punchy flavours I’d have served this right at the start of the meal to get everyone’s palates tingling and excited for the rest of the dishes. It really was very good. A dish which caused a bit of controversy over the meal with diners was the steamed bun with pig cheeks, pickled cucumber and hoisin sauce. Most people, including me thought it was a little strange to serve something so Japanese during a very Spanish meal and I couldn’t agree more. However that saying, they were incredible. Soft pillows steamed to perfection and filled with succulent pig (that’s the Spanish element I assume) and a really good hoisin sauce. If only Marlon’s Kitchen was Marlon’s Japanese Kitchen! Sadly we missed dessert and had to continue into the night, but I’ve no doubt it was probably delicious.
As far as supperclubs go they are certainly hit and miss these days but that’s that surely part of the fun of it. Priced at just £30 for mountains of food, good company, passion people behind it all and the option to BYOB with no extra corkage charge makes these dining experiences incredibly attractive. Marlon’s Kitchen isn’t perfect, but it has so much potential and will only get even better with good feedback. I can’t wait to return and see what they have up their sleeves for the future.