Monday, 4 July 2011

The Launch of Grazing Asia

Grazing Asia is a new and unique supper club. It's a Pan Asian concept where the menu is created, sourced and cooked by four successful and well-loved London based food bloggers. They bring their distinctive flavour from different corners of Asia and each one of them contribute with a complementary dish to the final menu. The idea started when the four friends, who have cooked together in different occasions, decided to launch a supper club with all profits going to various charities. 

The first event took place on the 19th June at Jamie Oliver’s  Fifteen test kitchen above the restaurant of the same name in Shoreditch. Jamie Oliver’s website editor Danny McCubbin orchestrated the move and made it possible. This particular event’s proceeds went to the Jamie Oliver’s Foundation to fund the Fifteen charity running team at the New York marathon this November.  The Grazing Asia team successfully got donations of all ingredients. The generous donors were: fishmonger Fin & Flounder,  supermarket Wai Yee Hong  (Bristol), Naked Wines, Eurofrutta  and Japan Centre.
 
Grazing Asia team:



Luiz Hara,  aka  The London Foodie, with whom I am friends with and who I met through his fabulous blog, was born in Brazil to Japanese and Italian parents and just like me he has been living in the United Kingdom for the last twenty years.  Luiz also hosts the London cooking club once a month at his house. Luiz is a very accomplished cook.  Uyen Luu  was born in Vietnam and hosts the supper club Fernandez and Leluu Supper Club, with some 'singles themed nights' in East London. Uyen also writes the blog Leluu , organises and sets up events. She is trained in Fine Art Film & Video and has been involved in the fashion and retail scene designing her own clothing and jewelery brand – ‘Leluu’.  MiMi originally from Burma, writes  Meemalee’s Kitchen blog, South East Asian recipes for Channel 4  and is currently working on her Burmese cookbook. A fan of Slow Food Movement, May is an expert in Malaysian food and writes the Slow Food Kitchen blog. Food obsessed,  recipe tester, gadget fanatic and restaurant reviewer. There’s no end to this lady's talents!


Luiz introducing his dish

The Menu

Seared Tuna with Yuzu Ponzu & Sesame Dressing by Luiz Hara

Four generous pieces of seared fresh tuna served on a bed of  watercress and rocket salad with the most marvelous citrusy dressing.  This is a recipe by Reiko, who holds a Japanese cookery course in London and helped Luiz out on the day. The textures, the freshness of the produce and the dressing struck the right note with everyone. Divine!

Spicy Burmese Fishball Salad aka Nga- Thoh(k) by MiMi

I am not familiar with Burmese cooking but looking forward to learning more about it. This salad was vibrant, bursting with different textures and freshness.

Baked Crispy Pork Belly with Banh Cuon, Pickled and Fried Shallots with Vietnamese Cured Ham, Thai Basil and Coriander  by Uyen
 Lovely plate with a selection of meat. The pork was tender - extra points for that! and the Banh Cuon was tasty.

Malaysian Curry Laksa by May
Tasted better than it looked. I had seconds and that says it all!

Green Tea Pannacotta with Summer Berries by Fifteen head pastry chef.
It was served in a rather deep glass so lots of it - no complaints from me.  Delicious!
 I swear I only ate one!
This particular event was by invitation and aimed mainly to press and food bloggers. We were asked to contribute £35 each for five courses meal including wine donated by Naked Wines. Some of the guests, mainly the wine experts, brought some more lovely wines. The team raised £1,290 for the marathon charity fund.
The location, Fifteen test kitchen, a former warehouse, is airy, bright and surrounded by big windows.  A big theater kitchen area faces the windows and the three tables which accommodated the 35+ guests. There is another kitchen with a brick wall off this room where some of the dishes were prepared.
Before each course each cook introduced his or her respective dish.  The food was expertly cooked, an explosion of tastes and textures in our mouths, created by the exotic ingredients. 
small cooking pot
I am rather picky when it comes to table setting. However, in this occasion it did not matter: the mismatched crockery, cutlery and the fact that some of the napkins were, in fact, clean tea towels added to the quirkiness.  In my opinion, the execution, the menu and amount of food were perfectly balanced. Some of the guests, including yours truly,  had seconds of the delicious laksaThe atmosphere was buzzing and loud, you could hear the noise from the street, a sign of a good party!  The dynamics between food, hosts, guests and location worked brilliantly. It was lovely to see some familiar faces and to meet new wine and food bloggers. I would happily go back for more!
the lovely guests


End of service for now... - Bravo!

2 comments:

The London Foodie said...

What a lovely review with some great pictures! Thank you very much for this Rosana, hope to feed you again soon at our next Grazing Asia event.

Luiz @ The London Foodie

meemalee said...

Lovely to meet you Rosana - so pleased you enjoyed it and thank you for coming!

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