Date visited: 23/6/12

Wild Serai Supper Club

New Malden

Booked through Edible Experiences

££££ – £33 per person for 3 courses, BYO drinks

****

Supper clubs are becoming increasingly popular and understandably so; they offer delicious, home cooked food, unique settings and the chance to meet new people. You know that your experience – the menu, the people you interact with – will be unique. The price is very reasonable for a 3 course meal, and it’s BYO. What’s not to like? And so I found myself at at Wild Serai’s Malaysian Seafood BBQ supperclub, my first foray in to this world of pop up eateries.

We drove to the quiet residential area where Wild Serai lives, and were one of the first to arrive. We were welcomed and chose our seats, and were offered a lychee martini to go with the spicy prawn crackers and mixture on the tables. Our host had clearly gone to some trouble to decorate the tables, which had a Malaysian theme to go with the food for the evening. Although the start time was 7.30pm, it took some time for all the guests to arrive (around 20 in all), and it wasn’t until after 8pm that the first course of food arrived – a tender grilled scallop with fresh curry leaves, crunchy garlic and chilli in a butter sauce served with soft bread to mop up the sauce. This was a good start, and FTT and I were eager to get on to the mains, having heard high praise from our fellow diners who had been to Wild Serai’s previous supper clubs.

We had a gigantic prawn next, simply grilled on the barbecue, with (I think, but my memory may have failed me) a tamarind and red onion sauce, which was really fresh and full of flavour. I haven’t seen a prawn of that size in the UK before – it’s normally a luxury reserved for beach front eating, so I very much enjoyed this.

Prawn disguised with coriander – it was massive, I promise!

This was swiftly followed by huge dishes of Malaysian crab curry being placed in the centre of the table, with separate bowls of curry sauce to accompany the steamed rice. The crab was lovely and a nod to the Indian influence in Malaysian cooking – perfectly cooked, with sweet and juicy meat. I would have liked the curry sauce to have a bit more of a kick to it, but this was provided by the sambal squid – squid served with copious amounts of sweet, tangy and spicy sambal, which complemented the crab perfectly.

Mountains of crab curry

After we’d satiated ourselves with the crab – it is messy business and hard work getting through those shells, so it felt like quite a marathon – we had a break from the seafood with a cucumber and pineapple salad which was very refreshing. This was followed by skate wings – one in a banana leaf and served with the same sauce as the prawn, and the other in the delicious sambal that came with the squid. We had grilled mackerel, also done in a banana leaf.

Barbecued skate wing with sambal

For dessert, we had a traditional Malaysian cendol – a cool sweet coconut milk soup with a green jelly, made from rice flour and colouring derived from pandan leaves. This was refreshing and light, but I think it’s fair to say that those of us unaccustomed to the green jelly blobs found it difficult to finish! This was followed by a milky chai tea to finish the evening, served with banana fritter balls.

There was a lot of food, and had we eaten our normal amounts of rice, FTT and I would have been stuffed. As it was, we were pleasantly full, having focused our efforts on the seafood. The evening was really good fun; we met some lovely people, and had some very tasty food. Perhaps it’s a bit more than you’d pay for a meal out but I think most places in London, you’d easily pay £20-30 per person for a meal.  It’s not fine dining, but at £33 a head, for a very different evening out, it wasn’t bad value at all.

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