I'd never considered private dining. Firstly I don't really host people for dinner though I am great at providing snacks and cocktails. Secondly I assumed it was expensive and just not for normal folks like me.
Luckily the food blogger community was there to surprise me yet again. Emily of Good Girl Gone Brum hosted a dinner party through La Belle Assiette recently. It was all done very cleverly through the website, where we could agree to attend, check out the menu and review the chef afterwards.
We were there to try food from chef Monica Sawhney Haldar, who creates beautiful, light and tasty North Indian dishes. Emily is pescetarian so our meal was veggie and fish based which was lovely.
Monica arrived at Emily's house a while before we got there, to prepare all the food in Emily's kitchen. She brought her own utensils and plates and even washed up afterwards! When each dish was ready she brought it out to us and explained it.
The first dish we sampled was sweet basil lassi sho. This was a refreshing, creamy drink which was a great palate cleanser.
Here's me telling an interesting anecdote probably. And there's Elizabeth humouring me.
The starter was Samosa Chaat. I loved the sharpness of the pomegranate and the rich samosa.
Onto the mains: what a feast! I was excited to try the okra as it is difficult to cook and can be slimy. Happily, the okra was cooked perfectly and the addition of the panneer cheese was a treat.
The courgette kofka curry was light and fresh with a good kick of flavour.
My favourite dish was Malai Chingri, a king prawn and coconut curry. The prawns were huge, glorious things; perfectly cooked and tasty. The hot coconut sauce matched the prawns perfectly.
Naturally there was rice, plenty of naan and a splendid pomegranate raita.
But it wasn't over yet as there was a lovely pudding to come.
Dessert was a beautiful cardamom and rose pudding with mango sorbet. EXACTLY the sort of thing I like for pudding. Floral but not overpowering; the mango sorbet cut through perfectly.
This was such a fun evening and made having a private chef for the evening seem a lot less intimidating. Check out La Belle Assiette using the link below and give one of their chefs a go for your next/first dinner party!
Food was complimentary but I was not required to write a blog- just a review of Monica on the La Belle Assiette website.
Photos by Helen and Edd.