'Ask for Janice' forages for your delight in their latest supper club.
Supper clubs are big in London. Foodies delight in their interactive, inquisitive and information nature. Considerably varied sometimes they can be a bit of a let-down due to their dodgy locations and unreliable quality but when they are executed well they can be a real delight. Urban Edibles, the latest supper club from the seasonal menu at Ask for Janice did not disappoint.
Ask for Janice describes itself as modern British all day restaurant and bar. Looking onto Smithfield Market it sits amongst restaurant heavyweights such as Michelin stared Club Gascon and a number of busy after work crowded pubs.
The first of a series called Urban Edibles started last Wednesday and was a great way to liven things up mid-week. Hosted through a secret door to their basement bar Urban Edibles focuses on small tasting plates with locally foraged twists.
I know what your thinking- foraging in London?! I would rather not eat fox! But here they used clever combinations to make you think differently about the hedgerows and open spaces in London. At the bar there were samples of the raw ingredients with a guess the ingredient challenge to keep you occupied as you ate. The tiny tasting morsels were all created using foraged vegetables, herbs and flowers by Head Chef Ivan Provenzano and were handed round by an enthusiastic team.
The firstto sample were the cocktails: The Rowan Martini and Clapton Plum Fizz. Both were fresh, fruity and nicely chilled. Then it was on to the first of 6 small items starting with a baked feta with Lea Valley pickled elderberries and mallow. The tangy pickled elderberries went perfectly with feta and tasted a bit like capers. A few of the dished didn’t quite get the flavours balanced and were a bit strong from some. One of the standout dishes was wood pigeon served on deep fried bread sauce with rowanberry and chickweed foraged from Highgate. The contrast of sweet, salty and rich flavours with expertly cooked pigeon was incredibly moreish. One mouthful was not enough! The menu also featured cods cheeks with Stoke Newington fennel, flank steak with pickled walnuts and blue cheese, a horseradish soup with plenty of kick and a sharp cherry crumble to finish things off.
What made the experience most enjoyable aside from the food was the knowledge of the staff who talked you though how things were made. They guys behind the bar knew their stuff about craft beers and gin (their speciality). After showing some interest in their gin selection one of the friendly bar staff started talking us through their impressive gin selection giving us a whiff of their best sellers. In case you wondered they had their favourite down to Ophir and Gin Mare, both of which featured some unique botanical combinations and were served with perfectly complemented garnishes.
At the end of the evening everyone got to take away recipe cards explaining how to recreate some of the dishes at home as well as where to forage for the ingredients. The message we left with was that London really can be your larder.
Oh and if you’re wondering who Janice is so did we. Apparently it’s some obscure reference from a beastie boy’s video.
Keep your eye out on their website for the next addition.
Address: 50-52 LONG LANE, FARRINGDON, LONDON EC1A 9EJ
Phone Number: 0207 6002255