Here at Spoon we’ve been debating all morning which of Anissa Helou’s three supper club menus looks the most delectable. Coinciding with Shubbak – London’s first celebration of contemporary Arab culture – each of the three dates promise a truly special feast.
5th July – Lebanese/Syrian
Musar rosé served with hot maqaneq (spicy Lebanese sausages) and mini za’tar bites
Three beautiful dips: Hommus Khawali (with pepper paste & pomegranate syrup), Baba Ghannuge & beetroot & tahini
A delightfully refreshing salad: white tabbuleh
A satisfying dish cooked in olive oil: courgettes in a tomato and mint sauce
Kibbeh (a crustless pie made of two very thin layers of minced lamb and burghul with a luscious filling of minced lamb, toasted pine nuts and caramelised onion in between) served with a minty yoghurt and cucumber salad.
Anissa’s velvety ice creams in three gorgeous flavours: rose water & pistachios, raspberry & mango
11th July – Emirati Dinner
Musar rosé served with two different types of koftah, one made with yellow split peas & meat and the other with fish.
The Emiratis do not have starters. They serve everything at the same time and here is what the meal will consist of: roast leg of lamb that will have been previously marinated in a mixture of Emirati spices, saffron and rose water, biryani rice, and tharid, the Prophet Muhammad’s favourite dish, which is made up of a layer of wafer thin dry bread topped with a stew of meat and baby vegetables. I will also serve a refreshing green salad.
Red Musar wine
Saffron milk pudding and chickpea biscuits
19th July – Moroccan Dinner
Musar rosé served with briouats, some filled with eggs scrambled with coriander and others with merguez sausages
Three beautiful salads: aubergines in tomato and coriander sauce, broad beans with preserved lemons and sweet and savoury fragrant beetroot.
Quail tagine with herbs, olives and preserved lemons
Seven-vegetables couscous made with baby vegetables
Rice pudding and cornes de gazelle (delicate crescent shaped baked pastries made with the thinnest dough wrapped around almond paste)
Taking place in Anissa’s stunning Shoreditch Loft from 8.30 pm onwards. With the minimum number of guests at six and the maximum at ten the evenings promise to be unforgettable. (With a little pre-warning Anissa will rustle up a bespoke meal for any vegetarians or specific dietry requirements.) The cost of £125 includes the award-winning Musar wines from Lebanon and the possibility of ending the night with a performance from a plump belly dancer! To book get in touch via Anissa’s blog http://www.anissas.com/blog1/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
The only question that remains – which night to go?