Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Review: A Lost Society

You may remember me going along to 6/8 Kafe in Millennium Point last year for a few pop ups by En Place. Chefs Josh and Mike served up modern, stylish and creative food to small groups of diners.

Flash forward a few months, and this time it's Josh doing the cooking solo, with girlfriend Jade front of house. They actually met at one of the En Place pop ups. Amazing story.

Anyway, they are now called A Lost Society and are serving up food inspired by the past (particularly the 1920s) with modern presentation.

They'd already hosted a couple of successful evenings by the time Edd and I made it down. The menu was full of things I like to eat (egg, salmon, asparagus) and I love how the table had been set up with lovely glassware and hand written menus.

It's BYOB at these events, so Edd and I had popped into M&S to pick up a couple of bottles of their pre-mixed cocktails. I'm avoiding too much wine as it makes me sneeze! The first we tried, the Cucumber Martini was in a beautiful art deco inspired bottle and suited the theme of the evening rather well. The cucumber taste was quite strong and got a little syrupy towards the end- perhaps it wasn't cool enough.

We were surprised with a welcome drink of a Gimlet (gin and lime) which was a refreshing start to the evening.

While sipping on these, we were brought a snack to start. A red pepper and chorizo crostini was a nice appetizer.

Next, the first item on the menu. Watercress veloute was poured over an egg yolk, lovely soft goats cheese and greens. I loved that it was served from a beautiful glass tea pot too.

This was a light and vibrant start. The parmesan crisp was pretty top notch too. 

I was excited for the fish course of gin cured salmon, served with cucumber three ways (pickled, cured, raw) and wasabi. The salmon had been cured in gin and then cooked at 60 degrees to give it an interesting texture. You could cut through it like butter but it didn't melt away boringly in your mouth. The gin brought out the lovely flavour of the salmon.

I loved this dish but would have liked more of the cucumber and less of the wasabi.

The main course sensibly used seasonal asparagus, cooking it gently and allowing this great ingredient to shine, rather than doing anything fancy with it.

Tender chicken was topped with an interesting caramel sauce, which wasn't too sweet and worked well with the roasted onion. Crispy chicken skin ensured no ingredients went to waste.

With just the sweet course left, we opened our second bottle, which Jade had kindly chilled for us. This was gin infused with tea and containing gold flakes for some reason. Again the bottle was beautiful. We preferred the savoury edge that the tea lent to this one.

For pudding, we had a twist on apple pie, which was massively popular in the 20's. This isn't a pudding I would usually pick (I'd chosen this meal based on the rest of the menu which is exactly what I like) and I'm not a pastry fan so this pudding would have to do a lot to win me over.

The pastry wasn't for me- it's just not something I enjoy. The tastes of cinnamon and gin soaked raisins were a tad wintry for me too but the apple sorbet was delightfully sour and refreshing in equal measures. I could have eaten a bowl of that.

At the end, another surprise of macarons. They weren't the most refined macarons I've ever had but they certainly tasted good- plenty of rich almond.

The food by A Lost Society was delightfully comforting and, at times, really interesting. I loved the way the salmon was cooked, the caramel sauce on the chicken was new without being too different and the apple sorbet was a perfect palate cleanser. Being in a small room makes the experience very intimate and gives you the chance to chat to the hosts without feeling like you're in the way.

The meal was £35 each for a set tasting menu comprised of four courses, snacks and a welcome drink. Keep an eye on A Lost Society on twitter to see when their next pop up will be.

You can book tickets for this Saturday's menu which involves oxtail, asparagus and hazelnut and finishes with tea and cake. Book tickets for A Lost Society here.

Feeling cheerful and well fed, we popped into one of my favourite cocktail bars, Bourne and Co on the way home. We've now been there so many times that one of the staff asks if we want our usual order of Manhattans (perfect for Edd, sweet for me.)

Similar to 40 St Pauls in that they offer non-pretentious table service and that they know their stuff, Bourne and Co is dark and moody with a discrete sign on the door. They're going for a cool New York vibe and it certainly has a chilled out atmosphere- you can have plenty of secret chats over cocktails here.

They even made a shot for us when Edd asked if that was possible.  A lovely end to a sophisticated evening.

All food and drink paid for ourselves.

Photos by me and Edd.

No comments: