New? Vintage Salt (formerly The Fish and Chip Shop) opened back in 2013 however the supper clubs only started last month.
Where? Vintage Salt, 189 Upper Street, Islington N1 1RQ, www.vintagesalt.co.uk
On the Menu: The three course menu changes weekly but will showcase some of Lee’s favourite dishes from across the Caprice Holdings group including The Ivy, Le Caprice and Scott’s. When we visited dishes included roasted cod with razor clam thermidor and shellfish dressing and roasted foie gras with apricot Gallette and bitter leaves.
First Impressions: As with all supper clubs everyone was getting to know each other before they sat down and Lee came out to speak to everyone, enthusing over the menu and telling us all about their plans to have guest chefs in.
The Look: As the name,Vintage Salt (and its former name of The Fish and Chip Shop) suggests it’s all about the sea, with ties to Cornwall – the website says it has a Cornish village look and atmosphere and it does, albeit a very London, very Islington take on Cornwall, because having been to Cornwall for the last 18 years of my life I am yet to find somewhere quite like Vintage Salt. Burnt orange, caramel leather banquettes are joined by muted green panels, wooden floors, a green tiled bar and nautical nods, rope snakes around beams and oars and buoys line the walls. It’s a mix of wooden floors, leather, mix lighting and vintage posters in frames – it’s busy, but not cluttered.
What We Ate: To start, thick slices of seared salmon decorated with fish roe arrived on top tea smoked salmon ‘hummus’ (rather like a grainier salmon mousse) and was finished with a quail’s egg.
Next up was a generous portion of fried chicken, the batter thick and crunchy but thankfully not greasy with a sticky- sweet hoisin sauce and a fresh, crunchy, Asian slaw – real comfort food.
To finish was a Cornish custard tart – beautifully, smooth, thick custard finished with a pineberry, like a white strawberry that tastes of pineapple. I also stole a mouthful or two (well maybe half) of the cherry mess, a cherry twist on the classic Eton Mess.
What We Drank: It was one of those awful days where the sun and the clouds were competing, that stifling heat which leaves you sticking to a leather chair and having to ungraciously peel yourself fearing that you’ve left half your thighs stuck to the seat. So in light of that after a refreshing watermelon bellini we stuck to icy water.
Go With: The supper clubs are perfect for a mid-week catch up, take a group of friends or go with just one and make new ones by talking to the people on your table.
Final Word: Wednesdays are a tricky one, you’re still mid-way through the week but you’re also on the homeward stretch to the weekend. These supper clubs make for the perfect Wednesday evening.