Wednesday, May 4, 2016
A Swedish Seafood Feast With the Founders of EatAbout: The New Way to Eat Out
Last week, I went to a stranger's flat for dinner, ate fresh crab caught the day before, got locked in the bathroom, didn't get home until midnight - and had the best time I'd had in a long while. The event? A seafood feast hosted by the co-founders of EatAbout, Philip Kallberg and Felix Braberg.
But wait! Before you yawn and say, "Been there, done that. Isn't this just another supperclub?" EatAbout isn't your average supperclub. Instead of being shoved into a room with randoms and forced to make awkward conversation on the edge of a communal table, EatAbout is ideal for enjoying a private dinner in a chef's home with a bunch of your closest friends or family. And that's exactly what Thursday night felt like: sitting around the table with six foodie friends I hadn't seen in ages and chatting up a storm over Chef Felix's delicious family recipes.
Instead of going to a noisy restaurant or pub, we treated the flat as if it were our own for the next few hours, plonking our bags down on the couch, mistaking the closet for a bathroom (me), getting accidentally locked in the bathroom (me, again) until Felix's reassuring voice called out, "Don't worry - this happens ALL the time!" as everyone else laughed at me when I returned to the table, red-faced.
The menu that evening was inspired by Philip's and Felix's Swedish heritage, though we started the three-course meal with a Peruvian ceviche amuse bouche and a glass of champagne. It was so delicious, I kept going back for seconds. And thirds. And fourths. Plus, Philip and Felix were so easy going and welcoming, I'd forgotten that we only just met and started chatting to them like they were good friends!
Between courses, Felix emerged from the kitchen to tell us a little bit about the next course and we were able to ask him anything. When he and Philip first started EatAbout, they used to stand outside their flat inviting passerbys upstairs for a £5 steak lunch! We laughed. Some people took them up on their offer, but I'm not sure I would have - would you? It sounded way too good to be true!
But back to the food. Our starter was an impressive platter of dressed crabs with three different seasonal dressings, including melted butter (which always tastes amazing with seafood) and a refreshing cucumber and vinegar dressing, which was my favorite.
The main course was a fragrant, creamy saffron fish soup which is the perfect kind of soup to curl up on a couch with - plus, it was so cold outside that day, we needed something to warm our stomachs!
Just when I thought I couldn't fit anything else in, Felix appeared from the kitchen with a recipe he found from his grandma's attic: caramelized apples with rosemary (magical combination, if you haven't tried it before!) and a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream. It was the perfect dessert to end the evening with. And when I looked down at my watch, I was shocked by the time: 10:30 pm! I'd had so much fun, I didn't notice that the sun had long disappeared and the sky was now pitch black.
I left Philip's and Felix's flat with a small box of homemade sweets and this adorable, personalized stone, which had been used as a place setting.
I loved all the personalised aspects of the evening - each menu had a sweet poem printed on the back written for each of us, and it was clear that Philip and Felix had visited our blogs before meeting us in person. It all felt very inclusive, laid back, and fun. We brought our own drinks (Felix recommended wines that would complement his menu) and we refilled our glasses as we chatted late into the night. There's even an option to customize the menus if you wish! I'd be eager to try another dinner at a different chef's home - I can see it being something my friends and I would love to do together.
Great news! EatAbout is offering Angloyankophile readers a £10 discount off any booking - just use the code GOEATABOUT. I'm thinking that this would be fun for a birthday or a spring/summer get-together with friends.
Huge thanks to EatAbout, Philip and Felix for hosting me. All opinions are my own.