Last month I had the pleasure of attending a supper club at Pettigrew Tearooms hosted by Imran Nathoo, dentist by day and food blogger, supper club creator and ahem..MasterChef finalist by night.
I’ve talked a lot about how supportive the blogging community is as a whole but it is only quite recently that I’ve become more involved with the Welsh blogging gang. There is a fairly tight knit group of food and travel bloggers in Cardiff who have taken me ( a non Cardiffian yet still Welsh blogger ) into the fold.
One of those bloggers is Imran, he has always been one of those supportive online buddies who will share my posts and tweet encouraging comments but it’s wonderful that we have recently had the chance to meet up a few times in person. It is always nice when you meet up with an online friend and they are exactly as you imagine – Imran really is the lovely person he appears to be on social media and the super sweet, well mannered and happy guy that MasterChef showed him as.
On the subject of MasterChef, can you imagine the excitement of the Welsh blogger gang when we discovered one of our own was on the show??! It made watching the show a whole lot more thrilling I can tell you! I think he did so well and should be proud of himself, getting that far is a real achievement. But this is not the end of the food journey for Imran Nathoo..far from it. Since his time at MasterChef ended he has hosted a number of supperclubs, all of which sold out pretty much immediately and continue to do so. The first two raised funds for three charities that are important to Imran and all profits went to the charities.
So who is Imran? A family man, a dentist, a chef? A writer? Certainly obsessed with food and with a real ambition to carve out a career in the food world somewhere.
Imran was born in Nairobi, Kenya and raised in Bristol and Nairobi before studying in Cardiff and has now lived in Cardiff for 17 years. He finds inspiration and draws on experiences from his varied childhood and upbringing.
When he invited myself and my sister to his recent supper club at Pettigrew tea rooms I said yes pretty much without question. Pettigrew is the perfect place for this type of event and we had the ultimate balmy summer weather which meant it was all outdoors in the gorgeous setting of the park. It led to a real holiday vibe. Supper clubs are really great for relaxed dining and you normally end up making new friends..I know I do. This evening was no exception and there was a party like atmosphere by the time dessert was served. You know when you leave somewhere with a bundle of new twitter and instagram followers that it has been a good night right?
But I hear you asking..what was the food like??
Ok ok..I was just getting to it.
The evening started with a boozy mango lassi, a combination of mangoes, yogurt, ground cardamon with a hit of dark rum with the aim to produce sunshine in a glass! It was a delightful way to kick things off.
We had some gorgeous nibbles to accompany our lassi:
Next was the Thali: Potato Curry with a fragrant basmati rice, a restorative daal to add aroma, spice and moisture to the dish. Kale pakoras (or as Imran calls them hipster pakoras) garnished with kale flower. Also pictured below: Green apple kachumber – This has one hell of a kick! And the epic puri bread – a spiced flat bread which is deep fried to puffy perfection. I can’t tell you how good it was, it was like every mouthful was a different flavour sensation and I may have accidentally eaten a whole chill.. but I enjoy the heat! Luckily. I loved the whole concept of the meal, the presentation and the care given to the balance of flavours. He has found his calling I think.
Kheer Brulee – a version of spiced rice pudding dish that Imran grew up eating. Heavy on cardamon, chilled and finished with a brûlée top. It was like a cross between a rice pudding, a creme brûlée and a chai latte… well to me anyway. I thought it would be a little stodgy and too much after such a filling meal but I was wrong. It was the perfect end to the meal.
Bloggers be like…
So all in all a pretty lovely evening with great company and amazing food. It was also really lovely to spend time with fellow bloggers Jamie from Explore With Ed and Hannah from Miss Nicklin as well as my sister Hannah, we had really good fun!
You can find out more about Imran and his future supper clubs here.