Sunday, 2 June 2013

Krazy Korean lunch club

The thing about vegans is that they like to eat. They appreciate good food and lots of it. Alas when eating away from one's home it's often the opposite - a single menu item (which probably involves roasted vegetables). And whether you're eating in a restaurant or at a friend's home there's always the slight fear that your idea of what's vegan friendly and theirs won't quite match.

Happily none of the above apply when attending The Vegan Ronin's underground supper club. My previous experiences of Korean food are somewhat limited, however I'm now inclined to think that it's a cuisine I can really get on with. There was plenty of heat, mushrooms and not a roasted vegetable in sight. I really liked that so much of the food used seasonal ingredients or items that store well (e.g. Dried fruit). And bizarrely in what I have written below I seem to think that many of the dishes are just what my Christmas dinner table needs.

Of course reviews generally are much easier to write if you didn't like something. You can pick at this and that. Instead you get a stream of photo and variations on yummy! If you want to get a proper idea of exactly what food was served I'd suggest reading the Vegan Ronin's write up of the day including the full menu.

I should also say that the atmosphere is fantastic. It was brilliant to meet some other vegans and chat about a whole variety of subjects. Jhenn and Ed were excellent hosts, happy to share their experiences of Japan.
To kick things off, bubble tea. This was my first experience of this beverage. It was slightly odd for the first few mouthfuls and then I decided that it's a drink and snack combined. I'm now wondering if I can make a Christmas pudding flavour version to serve at new year.

We then moved to spicy mushroom soup and fresh tofu. Fresh tofu! I don't think I've tasted tofu so good since I was in Japan and its a definite incentive to percivere with my efforts in this area.
This is apparently a Bibimbap and would usually be served in a fearfully hot stone bowl which would allow all the ingredients to cook together. Happily Jhenn has done some broiling thus removing the need for super hot bowls. The sauce however was wonderfully hot. The kind of heat that clears out your sinuses and makes you long for the next bite.
I absolutely loved the roasted cauliflower with sweet soy. It made my mouth sing in the way that cheddar cheese used to. I tried to express this coherently to the rest of the table but was unable to get much beyond "mmmmm,". I'm imaging serving these at Christmas along with roast potatoes and Brussel sprouts.The hot and spicy wings were fabulous. Something I've always wanted to try but felt my setian making skills just weren't up to it.
And finally dumplings. A definite for the Christmas table as alternative to the more traditional pudding. It was served with warm coconut cream (which reminded me of evaporated milk) and there was brown rice or jasmine tea.
Strangely I seem to have failed to snap any pictures of the Kimchi. This was a central feature of the meal and went with everything (except dessert).

So a fantastic meal, good people and lots of cooking inspiration. I now really want to attend one of the Japanese nights. It might even make onto my 40 for forty list.

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