Spiced Pear Prosecco
Slow roasted pork loin enveloped in caraway and mustard
•Coffee and Melomakarona - Greek honey & spice Christmas biscuits
Cost: $380 (without matched wines) , $520 (including generous glasses or matched wines)
These were the ingredients for Once Upon A Table’s second event: Passionately Paired.
“Passionately Paired” was inspired by a book my good friend Matt gave me for my birthday called the “Flavour Thesaurus” . The book cleverly works through 99 flavours grouping them into unique pairings and combinations each described in a quirky write up. It’s a great read.
The food for the evening was prepared by a trio of ladies united by their passion to cook, eat, laugh, talk and share ideas.
To add a twist to the theme we decided not to limit pairing to flavours and textures, but to include people pairing too. We therefore only invited singles to the secret supper – 5 eligible guys and 5 gorgeous gals. A bit of a chemistry experiment perhaps, but fun.
The secret dinner was held in the gorgeous home of a very dear friend who generously gave up his space for a day and night so that we could do our thing.
Upon arrival guests were welcomed with prosecco and pomegranate cocktails in the living room of the apartment. One guest told me that this was a brilliant way to “warm everyone up, and get them feeling relaxed”. To be honest, the 3 cooks needed “warming up” too –we were not sure how the pairing of people part was going to work out!
But the bubbly helped and the canapés were snapped up: Asparagus parcels wrapped in salty prosciutto, drizzled with a sweet balsamic glaze, pungent gorgonzola paired with caramelised red-onion, fig slivers and walnut crostini, watermelon dipped in honey and homemade dukkah, and dates enveloped in bacon (a twist on pigs in blankets).
After the chit chat we invited our guests to the dinner table for the first course – a cold pea soup flavoured subtly with a splash of fresh lemon and garlic served with chunky homemade croutons.
To ensure that the guys and girls all got to speak to one another we asked the gents to move to the next seat on their left after each course. They all politely agreed and did as they were told.
After the first round of musical chairs we served Shreya’s refreshing salad of rocket, caramelised beetroot and fresh goat’s cheese dressed in a tangy mustard vinaigrette.
Before the main dish tiny glasses of homemade lemon, lime and mint sorbet were served to guests giving them a moment to refresh and take a breather (in hindsight perhaps a bit too much food?!)
And then the main dish – fresh summer cherry & port sauce over duck breasts served on a bed of herbed polenta alongside braised bok-choi.
Looking across the table as everyone was tucking in was encouraging. We didn’t expect the conversation to flow so easily. People genuinely felt at home. Of course the wine helped, but more importantly the surrounding comforts - being in a real home (albeit a complete stranger’s to our guests), eating genuine, unadulterated home-made food and chatting with likeminded souls gives this type of evening an unmatched ambiance that you cannot buy in a restaurant, bar or club.
The three of us cooks eventually joined guests at the table for the final highlight of the evening: Toni’s dark cocoa torte topped with a dollop of homemade chocolate mousse, almond ice cream and raspberry coulis. This was the perfect way to round off the meal and to ensure guests were not left unsatisfied!
In the wee ours of the morning we handed guests their gifts - jars filled with Sofia's home made Dukkah. New friends left the apartment to continue the merriment…apparently they all got home at 3am.
The evening left us feeling warm, happy and rewarded. We’re looking forward to the 3rd Once Upon a Table secret supper in October – so watch this space!
The table is set.
What's dinner without fleurs!?
Guests mingling in the lounge area
Watermelon dipped in honey & home made dukkah
Iranian dates wrapped in bacon
Caramelised onion, pungent gorgonzola, delicate fig and walnut topped on home made crostini
The fresh, summer cherry and port sauce
Spicy rocket, sweet beets and goat's cheese salad
The canard served on home made herbed polenta draped in the cherry port sauce
Hanging out with our guest, Elisa
There’s nothing better than a perfect pairing. Like Bonnie & Clyde, warm toast and butter, sunshine and ice-cream; some things are better together.
Once Upon A Table’s second secret supper - “Passionately Paired” - invites 10 single Hong Kongers - 5 gents & 5 ladies - to indulge in a 5 course feast. Each dish couples complimentary flavours that will tickle your taste buds and unleash your inner flirt. Click here for menu.
As always, the evening will be hosted in an intimate apartment. But that’s a secret we’ll reveal the night before via sms.
Merriment will begin on Saturday the 28th of August at 19h30 .
Cost per head $450, please bring your own alcohol.
If you would like to join us, please drop an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Space is limited so hurry!
A Tale of Two Cities captures what lies at the heart of Hong Kong – an intense merging of people from different backgrounds, cultures, languages, countries and cities who have one thing in common: they like to eat.
Hong Kong’s first secret supper club, Once Upon A Table, will host A Tale of Two Cities
on the 5 June, 2010 at 7.30pm.
Dinner will be served at a private apartment in the heart of Sheung Wan.
Here, 4 Hong Kongers will introduce you to a feast that narrates their story of the two cities that have influenced the way they cook, share and experience food.
Click here for the menu
To be invited, please send a photograph or tell us in one sentence what "A Tale of Two Cities" means to you by replying to this email address: email@example.com
The first 10 responses received will be invited. If you are successful, you will be notified immediately. Apartment address will be sent to you via text message the night before the supper so make sure you send us your mobile number too.
Cost per head: $380 / BYOB
Once Upon A Table is Hong Kong’s first secret Supper Club held bi-monthly at a secret location. Our aim is to put homecooking back on the menu, served up in the homes of Hong Kongers - no matter how big or small.
Each event centers around a theme that tells a story through the menu and atmosphere.
Each course is a collaborative effort delivered by ordinary Hong Kong citizens. We are not professional chefs, but rather people who like to create, cook, dream, entertain and eat.