We arrived at the smart and very white apartment that was spotless and incredibly neat. There were two long tables and in the living room area which over looked a local park. Very beautiful. There were around 20 people who came either as couples or as individuals (surprisingly there were mostly singletons looking to make new friends.) We were introduced and were offered some spiced cider punch, which was very sweet (you will soon see this will become a theme) by the host Claudia and enjoyed the canapés that were going around which were prunes marinate in port and wrapped in bacon and bacon and cheese swirls. The prunes were delightful, sticky and sweet with the saltiness of the bacon and cheese swirls were tasty.
After nibbles and socializing we were asked to take our seats which were unmarked so we had a choice of who to sit with. Now this was a very important moment as we had had the chance to speak to a few people and could see who we thought we may click with etc, and strategically had to move to ensure we sat together without looking like we were excluding the others. I think I was less subtle than I had originally thought, especially after a few of the spiced cider punch. We brought wine which was stored away and our glasses were topped up by the hosts helper.
As we sat down on the crisp white table and chairs, we were served with the first dish of cod ceviche with pomegranate which was served on a large– you guessed it – white oriental spoon. This was, unbeknown to me, the least sweet dishe on the menu despite having the sweet yet dry pomegranate pips throughout. The cod was juicy although a little watery making the subtle taste slightly diluted but it was fresh and light, a nice starter to the hefty feast ahead of us.
Our wine glasses were topped up and were served potatoes soup with sweet mustard, dill and salmon. This was served with homemade bread which the host had made earlier that day. While a valiant attempt it just didn’t work as it was far too sweet with the mustard incorporated into it. At the bottom of the soup were flakes of salmon and dill which again felt strange on the tongue. The bread was a little dense but was homemade which was nice.
Again our wines were topped by the very observant helper, who also by the way was the photographer for the evening. Both hosts cleaned our plates and served the next dish, chicken terrine on chocolate brioche. Again this didn’t work for a savory dish as it didn’t have the right sweet/savory balance. It would have been delicious without the sticky chocolate icing. The chicken terrine although more like a pate was delicious; smooth and creamy however this combination with the incredibly sweet brioche over powered the light chicken terrine which in itself was rich.
As we geared up for the main course we hoped for a more balanced offering even though we knew the dish was served with a chocolatey sauce. This was venison with cardamom chocolate sauce, hazelnut spaetzle & sprouts – again as you can see very sweet. This was thirsty business and we were drinking the wine quickly to freshen our sticky mouths. The venison was delicious, very tender and served medium to suit the general diners preference. The chocolate sauce went well with the venison loin but added with the heavy hazelnut spatzle (a type of German dough) and the previous other sweet courses it was a little hard to handle. Again if the sauce had not been there, served with a savory jus the balance would have been fine. We were now very woozy with the amount of wine we had slugged down to slacken our mouths but at least we had dessert to look forward to for a reprise – oh wait it was dessert so maybe not then.
We were served backed apple parfait which was served with a baked apple with amarettini. Funnily enough these were less sweet than some of the other courses despite being a dessert. I loved the frozen apple parfait that was still served as a large slice and melted deliciously in the mouth. The baked apple had a caramelized crumb mix inside but the apple was a little too thick to cook properly throughout, however the mix inside was tasty and worked well with the fresh baked apple.
The last of the bottles of wine were finished off and we were served coffee and homemade cookies , which were all gone by the end of the evening. As the end of the evening we were handed a photo of ourselves at the start of the night. Unfortunately these were just photos of our faces in conversation with people we had met only a few moments ago so were not particularly flattering or a souvenir as the room, decor or food were not in any of the shots – it was literally a close up of faces.
This place is very popular and I think we maybe went on a wrong day for our sweet tastes as it was a festive meal. I would like to state that we both prefer savory meals and that we should have paid more attention to the menu beforehand. I really enjoyed that we could talk to a range of people from all backgrounds that came here to meet other like minded people and I really liked the hosts stunning white apartment.
Food Atmosphere Service