Taste of the Carribean Supperclub with Jason Howard @ The Open Kitchen Hoxton

image (4)I’m not going to lie, taking my mate who is proper scared of East London to Shoreditch on a night out gives me great joy. Nooo I’m not some sadistic weirdo, it’s because East is my fave new hangout.

But I thought this time I would prove East could do refined, so I dragged her along kicking and screaming (well not quite) to a supperclub at the squeaky clean Open Kitchen. Not a shabby chic brick in sight.

Waiting for us there was an evening of Caribbean cuisine bliss wrapped in Australian paper and decorated with French finesse.

The ringleader of this operation was none other than top chef Jason Howard who trained in the French culinary arts, applied these skills to his home cuisine. He explained to us with real zeal about the flavours from his childhood, and how money isn’t a consideration any more he just wants to give pure Caribbean cuisine a great start in London. None of this fusion food malarkey.

image (3)Welcome to the Taste of the Caribbean supperclub.

We were seated and bought an appetiser of fish cakes seasoned with parsley and coriander. Coriander I would say is my food hell, however this was like no coriander I had ever tasted before, but this fishcake was liked none I have ever tasted before either. I was pleasantly surprised.

Time for the the chaps to rustle up our first course, the pre-appetiser of chicken lollipops with a coconut dumpling and roasted veg consommé. The coconut dumpling added a sweet twist to the dish which was delightful.

Next stop on the food train, appetiser. Never having chosen salt fish from a menu I was excited to find the ravioli was awesome. It was accompanied by green apple segments which I expected to be tart, yet instead they were surprisingly sweet. This dish was teamed with what I can only describe as froth (in my technical foody lingo). We were to find out the team were rather fond of froth. However this was the best froth I’d ever tasted! It was delicately seasoned, which to look at I would never have known.

Our next course the pre-main was a traditional Caribbean dish of Barbadian Christmas pudding with souse. The sweet sweet potato balanced the spicy pulled pork in a mouth-watering mix. Delish.

image (9)Next the stand out highlight of both our evening, curried goat with homemade poppadums. Oh my goodness spicy and sweet it was divine. Jason’s secret? Malibu rum. It was outstanding. The only downside was I wished I could swap the rice on my plate for more curry!

My mates forte is savoury, and mine is the sweet. So the soursop based pre dessert had me intrigued. It was explained to us that soursop is similar to a jack fruit and when combined with condensed milk makes a scrummy desert. Laced with vanilla doodad, and complimented with a brandy snap the dish refreshed my palate.

image (7) image (6)Finally the dessert. Marshmallow dollops covering a line of strawberry jam paired with a tart encasing coconut ganache and lime moelieux. All topped off with two thin merengue sticks. It was lush. The zesty lime really cut through the sweetness and balanced the dish.

I feel that due to the nine courses this review would be an essay if I truly expressed the numerous elements and complex flavours of each dish. I’m no food connoisseur but I know excellent fine dining when I taste it!

The evening would have been made perfect if the supperclubbers could have been made to interact more with each other. However Jason was well aware of this, and is excitedly planning his next venture cooking for about 15 people in a more intimate permanent setting.

We left feeling comfortably full and having expanded our knowledge of finessed Caribbean cooking and the passion that goes into it



Chef Jason Howard is always popping up with his Caribbean culinary delights! Click here to check out his events or here for The Open Kitchen, additionally follow him at @ChefJasonHoward