The fantastic Su-Lin (@sloLondon), who I met by chance at a whiskey tasting, invited us very kindly to try the new Supper Club at Dr.ink of Fulham. D.o.F. is a fantastic beer shop, located unsurprisingly in leafy Fulham, and I’d encourage you to check out their shop andtheir website. I only had a brief time to spend in the shop and saw lots of bottles I would love to buy (as well as a few I did!).
The supper club is a very exciting concept (and novel to me), matching a total of 12 beers against Gujarati food cooked by the owner Shrila’s sisters. As if that wasn’t enough, each beer is introduced by Alex Barlow, renowned beer and flavours expert. Possibly the only time I allow myself a fizzy lager is with a curry, so seeing how an expert paired beers with it was going to be something special.
We arrived at the shop (after an arduous journey across London but I won’t bore you with that) and were led upstairs to Shrila’s house. There were about 12 people sitting around a large coffee table in the lounge, all looking anxious to start and pleased when we arrived. There was a menu describing the five courses and 12 beers we were going to sample, very exciting! I’ll run through each beer interspersed with some food descriptions.
Aperitif: Mort Subite Gueze
A nice start with a (wild yeast) Gueze. Very cider like with a strong sweet and sour taste. Aged hops reduce the bitterness to a subtle undernote with citrus and sweet coming through.
Course 1: Dahi Puri served with Freedom Pilsner and Fruh Kolsch
Wow, what a course to start with. Imagine the most perfect rounded popadum filled with chick peas, spices and chutneys. Amazing!
Curry and lager, there would be no excuse not to pair the two at least once tonight. Freedom is more traditional in that the beer is stored for longer to develop flavours (lager is German for store). It has a touch of bitterness but is pretty light overall, acceptable at least.
The Fruh Kolsch is lovely, sweet and light with a slight vegetal taste. Technically an ale because of the yeast used.
Course 2: Paneer Samosas with Celis White and Saison
Paneer cheese stuffed into delicate spiced samosas with a tomato chutney. Brilliant, more please!
Celis is supposed to more accurately the original Hoegarden beer. For me at least, an overwhelming taste of Juicy Fruit bubblegum that I struggle to get past. Not unpleasant, lots of tropical and sweet flavours with a heavy texture. Wheat beers have lots of protein meaning a good match with cheese.
The Saison is pretty herby and meaty, a tasty beer.
Course 3: Ragdo Pattis with Kernel Citra IPA and William Brothers Ginger
The Ragdo Pattis was a delicious green pea patti topped with chick peas and a tomato salsa. Superb although the raita had a very unusual mustard flavour I had never tasted.
Kernel, certainly my brewer of the moment. Based near Borough market in South East London, they are producing fantastic flavour packed beers. The Citra is unsurprisingly heavily hopped with Citra hops. Loads of tropical fruit, mango, passionfruit and pineapple on the nose. Then a heavy lasting bitterness in taste, delicious.
A “proper” ginger beer, quite light and sweet but with a nice balanced ginger kick.
Course 4: Idli Sambal with Hopback Summer Lightning and Copper Dragon Challenger
A rice and flour dumpling served with lentil dal. Beautifully smooth dal contrasted with the unusual dumpling.
The Hopback has a light sweet smell, quite bitter and with a slightly “damp” finish. Quite a traditional English beer.
Another great classically styled beers. Quite malty and heavy on Challenger hops. Not really an IPA in the usual sense though.
Course 5: Coconut and Fennel Curry with Thornbridge Kipling and Schneider Aventinus
Delicious butternut squash and green bean curry with an initially mild but quickly growing spice. Served with cumin rice.
Kipling are producing some fantastic pale ales at the moment. This one had a smooth balanced taste but didn’t quite have the punch of some of their other offerings.
The one beer I really can’t remember much about, clearly I’d had one too many by that point.
Digestif: Harviestoun Ola Dubh Porter
String whiskey and coffee in this long-aged (in whiskey barrels) beer. Perfect for the end of the night.
A fantastic night was definitely had by all, amazing food complemented by well matched and interesting beers. Even the supposed non-beer fans (including my wife, thanks for the photos by the way) seemed turned by the end.
Why not attend the next one, check out the dates here.