What is Tabl?
I’m always keen on trying out new things, especially when they involve food (obviously!). So I was more than intrigued when I was introduced to Tabl, “new home for pop-up kitchens, ‘secret’ supper clubs and food adventures”. Unlike my first impression, Tabl is not only a platform that lets you book or host food experiences, the team behind this start-up actually gets involved in the creation of the events as well, depending on the needs of the hosts. There are new events each month, some are “sociabl”, others “delectabl”, some even “unpredictabl”; all selling out quickly, from Malaysian Home Cooking with Vi Vian in her own residence to Christabel’s edible art somewhere in N1. As a supper club newbie, I went for the safe option and booked the Japanese Supper Club Monograph London with Emma.
Japanese Supper Club Monograph
So on a Friday evening, Emma and I headed to Monograph London’s current space, an art gallery somewhere in Hackney. It was a totally new experience for me, chatting to your table neighbours, sharing drinks and exchanging funny pictures of dogs. Something I had to get used to at first, but it’s this sociable aspect of supper clubs that draws people in. Before we were served the first course, Monograph London played a little short film, visually and aurally transporting the guests to Japan. In fact, each dish was introduced by a short, which added a unique and fun touch to the evening.
The first course was are refreshing Watercress salad with tofu, katsuoboshi, red shiso and ponzu. Simple and deliciously refreshing, perfect to start the evening. It was followed by a soothing bowl of Udon noodles with smoked mackerel and mixed seaweeds. While I enjoyed the aromatic mackerel in combination with the broth, those small pieces weren’t able to overcome the plainness of the udon noodles. They are just not my favourite type of noodles due to their stodginess. However, the highlight of the evening was the 24h-marinated saikyo-miso salmon that was served with Japanese short-grain rice. The salmon was beautifully tender, it was literally melting in your mouth, releasing its delicate flavours, typical of Japanese cooking (can I have this everyday please?). Lastly, we finished the evening with a selection of Japanese desserts: Matcha dorayaki, chocolate mochi and aka daifuku. A little too safe for my taste (as I’m familiar with Japanese sweets), but shockingly unusual in their texture to others.
Overall, it was a fun evening, definitely a different experience to my usual restaurant visits. Monograph London’s food matched the Japanese culinary heritage of using a few quality ingredients and honing simplicity. It was tasty and filling, though, considering it’s a supper club, food-wise I expected more uniqueness and experimentation. Nonetheless, Monograph London is a great start to ease into the supper club scene, and now I can start discovering the “delectabl” or even the “unpredictabl” choices on Tabl!