Amba Chefs are a foursome of ladies from around the world who have used their love of food to create friendships together and launch their catering business. But not content with that the women, Angela, Monica, Beth, Alison have recently branched out into hosting supper club parties.
We visited their most recent dinner which was bringing New England fare to the plates of ticket holders. I must admit, I’m sure like many, when I think of American food I think hot dogs, fried chicken and hamburgers, but this experience turned that on its head and made me think that maybe the American dining scene still has some nuggets of gold to offer after all.
The setting for this exploration of the North-East’s best recipes was The London Cooking Project’s for-hire kitchen hidden in an estate in Battersea. The location was bright and spacious with dainty lighting, artworks and flowers all distracting from an impressive industrial open-plan kitchen at the back.
A welcome cocktail of Cape Codder Cranberry Prosecco was laid out for arriving guests, and as is the nature with supperclubs we all chatted and mingled as the evening kicked off. Name cards pointed us to our places at the table when the food was due to arrive and the lovely Monica generously topped up glasses with prosecco.
The sitting began with Classic New England Clam Chowder, served with homemade oyster crackers and corn bread, and looked the most appealing I’ve ever seen, and tasted twice as good with surprising chunks of bacon. New England-style coleslaw (with red cabbage), Sweetcorn succotash and Corn on the cob all came out in turn to accompany the coolest presentation of a dish I’ve seen in a long time: Lobster Rolls.
Nothing like the Chinese staple spring roll I was expecting, the Lobster rolls revealed themselves to be impressive mini brioche bread loaves, split down the middle and stuffed abundantly with the clawed crustacean. This was such an amazing combination and I was so impressed I really want to give this a go myself at home. While the lobster roll was a highlight, there’s no denying the quality of the paired food. Blue cheese vinaigrette added much needed pizazz to Iceberg salad, and the morish Sweetcorn succotash was a hot combination of sweetcorn and cranberries that secured a second helping to my plate!
Dessert, as always, brings about the reappearance of that “second stomach” and Blueberry pie with Amba’s very own Vanilla ice cream kept standards high to the very end. Retaining a slight bitterness the blueberry compote sat chunkily atop a crumbly pastry case, decorated with a star and looking like New England’s (better) version of a mince pie.
Looking after us right to the very end, the Amba Chefs evoked New England hospitality one would associate with a Martha Stewart dinner party. A cute highlight for me, and a pointed characteristic of the ladies was that a polaroid camera was left to our own devices, to allow us to take snapshots with new friends made and other halves, and a guest book was laid out for the pics to be stuck down alongside our comments of the night, all to create memories for Amba Chefs of each of their dinner parties. With individual whoopee pies gifted to diners on departure, getting snap happy, and helping to create the memory book was the least we could do to say thanks to the fabulous foursome for a fantastic feast!
Visit: 1 Ethelburga St, London SW11 4AG – Location may be subject to change