Last week I was really excited to learn that some local Austin chefs started a vegan supper club right here in our own fair city. I read about these places all the time in other places and have even heard of some meat centric ones in Austin. A lot of us have been hoping that a vegan one would pop up for some time. Some of us even thought about starting our own but not every body has the attitude and wherewithal to finish projects and do things so I’m super excited to report that professionally trained Chef Elizabeth & Kris have their act together and made us a fantastic seasonal meal last Saturday night.
Their site describes their approach as: “A vegan supper club in Austin, Texas. Some folks are into “nose-to-tail” cuisine. We’re into “leaves-to-roots” cuisine and real sustainability.” My friend Kristen and I got there a little late (my bad!) and already there were about 10 people there talking and enjoying appetizers. The first course “cucumber, mint & ume boshi maki roll with saffron orange “roe” & shiso” was very fruity and minty and perfect for the temperature since it is about a thousand degrees out these days.I dug the faux roe especially, I don’t think I have ever had it before.
After the appetizer we moved right on to the main course which was also my favorite part “smoked tofu and japanese (white) sweet potato gnocchi with bok choy, napa cabbage,chrysanthemum leaves, shitake & beech mushrooms”This dish was so hearty that I really didn’t need anything else. I thought the plating was super cute, it kind of looked like those wee mushrooms were growing out of the center of dish which is just the kind of thing that I get ridiculously excited about. The gnocchi mixed with the other mushrooms and bok choy was so hearty and delicious, in fact, I probably didn’t even need the tofu because everything else was so filling. The pasta was perfect and I ate every last little bit on the dish.
Then we had the salad course “arugala with daikon spirals, watermelon radishes, green apple, strawberries, opal basil & strawberry ume dressing”. It was another beautiful presentation and I loved the fresh strawberries, apples and radishes.
Even though I had a lot to eat, at this point in the meal I really wanted ice cream because, like I mentioned it was a little warm and I just thought Chef Elizabeth would have made a terrific one. Instead we had lemon almond amasake custard with lavender blueberry sauce & sesame lace cookies, which by the way was gluten free. I loved the sesame cookie mixed with the blueberry sauce, it was a really unusual but delightful flavor combination. The custard was a little too heavy for me and I really wanted to lay down afterwords. They had a hammock in their backyard calling my name but I persevered and remained upright for the rest of the evening.
Overall it was a huge success. I can’t wait to see what they come up with next!