Whilst Lizzie and I were away earlier this month, our good friend and fellow foodie Helen got the chance to check out the Eight Day Cafe Supper Club. After the last sell-out Supper Club, Eighth Day hosted the 3rd in the series, this time a 100% Vegan expedition of South American food! The Supper Club was a great opportunity to experience the ethnic food fusion only found in South American.
Here is what she had to say!
It was an interesting experience to go to the homely downstairs café of 8th Day on a Saturday night. We were welcomed at the door by friendly staff and our details taken, and shown to our table, beautifully decorated with exotic fresh flowers and chillies. The cafe was set out slightly differently to how it is during daytime and as groups came in and were seated, it felt like a special event.
Having chosen our menu selection in advance, we were left to peruse the well-stocked vegan drinks menu, featuring a pleasing wine list. I decided on a small bottle of Natural Star Shiraz. It was as described – indeed a juicy fruity smooth red, and two small glasses were plenty.
My dining buddy went for one of the Sudamerica specials – a non-alcoholic Caipirinha. It was minty, light and refreshing, although it could have been displayed more attractively in the glass.
After getting comfortable with our drinks, our sharing starter arrived – A soft taco platter with a variety of colourful south America cold salads and vegetable-based dishes. The highlight for me was the avocado and pineapple salsa. A lighter, more vibrant variation of guacamole; I’d never considered putting pineapple with avocado and it was a total game changer. My future dinner party guests are in for a treat!
Aside from this, the rest of the platter was tasty. Full of interesting flavours, mopped up with a few tortillas. The roasted cauliflower in green herb sauce was also delicious and the bite of it worked well with predominantly softer textures.
Onto the main! We decided to share and went for the Roasted Aubergine and Sweet Potato baked in coconut sauce, and the Brazilian Fried Dumplings (Coxinha) and nutty sauce. The Coxinha dumplings turned out to be a large circular suet-pudding type dish, surrounded by a pretty mixture of sauces. Stuffed with spinach and mushroom and a delicious mixture of South American spices, it was the highlight of the meal so far; pleasantly stodgy and perfect for the cold weather outside. It came with super-crispy pale straw-coloured chips, which we originally thought were a wonderfully light type of potato. They were actually cassava, a new taste experience for us, and were polished off in record time, dunked into the surrounding sauces.
The roasted aubergine and sweet potato were nice enough but nothing special. There was a faint fishy taste to some of the aubergine that I wasn’t keen on, but the coconut sauce was great – I wished there was more. The accompanying rice and peas, and greens were a welcome addition but overall, the dumpling were the real winner.
After mains, we did have a rather long wait for the dessert. After questioning our helpful waitress, they assured us that the chef was just preparing the desserts and they would be out shortly. Then finally, they arrived!
I went with the grilled cinnamon pineapple, arriving hot and caramelised, with a delicious coconut rum sorbet. A knife and fork would have been preferable, and it proved somewhat slippery and tricky to eat, but the flavours were strong and well matched.
My dining partner went for the Peruvian chocolate chilli sponge, it was light and airy, with a slight hint of heat from the chilli. We would’ve liked more of a chilli kick, but it was demolished down to the crumbs in minutes. After such a long wait for desserts, we were hungry!
All in all, we had a lovely experience. I enjoyed seeing the café in a different light (and at night) and the dishes were well thought out, and unusual. For future events, I’d recommend The 8th Day work on the speed of food production and service, and maybe rework the dining times, but that said, the table service was friendly, approachable and courteous. We’d certainly go back, hopefully, to experience other far-flung flavours.
It was a very pleasant change to have a completely vegan meal, accompanied by drinks and not have to question ingredients, and when we go back, we’ll be taking our vegan buddies with us.
We will keep you posted with more upcoming events as they are announced!