Jun 10, 2013
On June, 6th last week I received this email from Alfredo:
Yes, here we are again, doing another Alfredito’s pop up (and like last time this is not a Sesamo pop up meaning no veggie options) for that you’ll have to come to Barcelona!
It’s a surprise Anti-fuzzy people tasting menu, spices, nuts and fish, probably tongue as well etc will be served, so no excuses…..if you come, you eat!
And don’t you worry alcohol is included, and water (in case you don’t drink) errr fukc it if you don’t drink don’t come! Unless you are a nice, hot, beautiful single lady that will be telling me repeatedly how gorgeous and handsome I look with my chef hat on! If you’re a bloke that don’t drink, you have no excuse! “Shame on you” me says!!
Ohhhh one more thing, Pets, Babies and annoying friends….. Try to loose then on the way! 😉
Anyhow its this coming Monday 10th, yes in 5 days, and will be held in the same place as last time, at Leila’s shop in Shoreditch!!! Aperitif time between 7:15 and 7:45pm for dinner to start at 8pm.
Due to the huge Spanish crisis and inflation in Argentina…. ….On this occasion the 5 (maybe 8 courses) tasting menu will be 42,37 pounds
Unfortunately as most of you know we have a limited space, just 28 places so if you’re up for it please let me know ASAP and I’ll send you an email with the account number and the rest of the details!
Besos y abrazos
Ps: Amandita’s best wines selection will be paring the entire evening!!!! So come hungry and ready to try some exclusive and yet not discovered nectaries.
I know Alfredo from Barcelona, where he has a highly regarded vegetarian restaurant called Sésamo. I’ve been to a few parties and openings with him and know he can also do incredible things with meat. Anyway, this was a pop up I couldn’t miss!
You’ll notice that the final menu contained 9 courses!
As the menu says, on arrival we were handed an aperitif of gin and fennel lemonade – a sharp, home made thirst quencher, with a hint of gin.
What the menu doesn’t mention, is that sitting on top of the lemonade (in true Spanish style), was a tapa of chorizo de bellota and salami on a piece of crusty bread. Tapa comes from the Spanish verb to cover, tapar. Originally, tapas were small pieces of crusty bread used as covers for glasses of sherry or wine to keep the flies out. Bartenders realised that adding something salty to the top of the bread helped make their customers thirsty, so they drank more. Tapas were originally small free snacks, eaten with a pre supper drink. I’d arrived early and was given two drinks with tapas – I was careful that there were enough to go round though – I wouldn’t want to have deprived anyone.
Our first real course on the menu was a delicate watermelon gazpacho. Gazpacho is a typical soup from Andaluzia, made of tomatoes, almonds, bread, garlic and other vegetables – served cold. Alfredo’s gazpacho was a subtle blend of watermelon and tomato, with a sprig of thyme on top.
Chistorra (typical of the Basque Country and northern Spain) are small pork sausages containing garlic and pimentón (which gives them their red colour), normally baked, fried or grilled. Cooking chistorra in cider and or accompanying them with cider is quite popular, particularly since a considerable amount of cider is produced in País Vasco and North Western Spain.
The asparagus, goats cheese and pistachio focaccia arrived on large round wooden boards. Focaccia comes from the Latin word focacia – hearth or fireside, so it’s a hearthside flat bread, which dates back to the time of the Etruscans or even the Ancient Greeks. Here Alfredo topped the focaccia with goat’s cheese (from Neal’s Yard) and griddled asparagus, with a sprinkling of pistachio nuts.
Mole (pronounced molé) is the Mexican name for many types of sauce. Outside of Mexico though most people think mole is Mole Poblano, a dark sauce containing chilli and bitter chocolate (recipe), which is what we have here. Alfredo cooked the chicken with tarragon in a chocolate mole, served in a crispy corn taco with cheese. This was a savoury delight and a million miles away from Cadbury’s.
The mushroom and foie gras slider (small hamburger or sandwich) was probably my favourite course on the menu, which is ironic since I normally have no time for hamburgers, preferring the texture of steak to ground beef. However, the introduction of mushrooms and foie gras gave the meat a phenomenal burst of flavour. I also liked the home-made basil and chilli mayonnaise topping which had a wonderful hot earthy after taste. For me this was the fitting peak to the savoury courses.
The finalé was a Stichelton and rhubarb torrija. Torrija is a Spanish eggy bread, normally eaten at Easter. The bread here came from Quo Vadis, by way of the Soho Food Feast. The rhubarb was cooked as a compote, spooned onto the egg fried bread, with crumbled Stichelton (from Neal’s Yard, of course) sprinkled on top.
As an after dinner digestive, we were served a hot lemon and mint tea.
Amandita served up copious quantities of excellent wine (my glass was never dry) – all sourced from Aubert and Mascoli:
Rose: Ottavio Rube Rosso 2010, organic Dolcetto from Valle Unite in Piedmont
White: Ottavio Rube Bianco 2010, organic Cortese from Valle Unite in Piedmont
Red: Les Terrasses 2011, Pascal Lambert, Chinon
Sparkling (Petillant naturel): Piege a Filles Blanc 2011, Les Capriades, Vin de France
This was probably the best meal I’ve ever eaten!