Taking place in her charming apartment in Hoxton, Elisavet will wow you with her delicious Greek dishes including Greek-style Russian salad, lamb kleftiko and baklava.
Elisavet Sotiaradou, part-time music journalist raised in Sweden with Greek heritage, runs a successful Greek cookery school in East London. She teaches keen cooks to make popular Greek dishes such as dolmades, souvlaki and baklava. More recently she launched the Greek foodlover’s supper club out of her apartment in Hoxton.
What is a supper club? A supper club is basically a pop-up restaurant which is either set up in someone’s home or a location which is revealed shortly before an impending soirée. They are normally BYOB and take on the decorum of a dinner party with all guests sitting around the same table. Other clubs which are hosted in larger spaces set up several smaller tables, so the vibe is more akin to a restaurant. The supper club menu is usually set ahead of time.
On this occasion, our host Elisavet split her time between cooking in the kitchen and serving her guests, while occasionally pausing to explain the dishes. She also responded graciously to any inquisitive questions her guests like myself posed. (She was recently on ITV, who wouldn’t want to know more about that!). Everyone listened intently as Elisavet spoke, and you could tell she was sensitive about taking the limelight. The flow of banter was momentarily broken, and she made a conscientious effort to keep those interludes brief.
The table had been set with crisp white linen and to start, we nibbled on some lovely kalamata olives and tzatziki which contained a generous amount of dill. Our fellow table companions were a international melange of people, including some Greeks living in London, an Australian-Greek couple living in London, and a Danish couple who were in London on holiday.
The first warm starter was the prawn saganaki and its sauce was made from tomatoes and feta cheese. It combined well with the Lagana flat bread to make a tasty comforting starter. The crispy fried courgettes and the Greek-style Russian salad were the highlights. The courgettes had been very thinly sliced, carpaccio-style, and covered with a delicate flour coating before being fried. It tasted delicious together with a dollop of tzatziki. The Russian salad was not too heavy on the mayonnaise, and the peas, carrots and potato had been cooked perfectly al dente.
The main course was lamb kleftiko served with roast potatoes, bulgur and green salad and it was terrific. Elisavet had marinated the lamb overnight and then popped it into the oven early that morning on low heat to slow roast. A few hours before we arrived, she added the potatoes into the same roasting pan. The lamb was deliciously tender and the potatoes were also very flavoursome, having soaked up some of the juices from the lamb. She also made a stunner of a gravy using the juices in the pan. We were all served up humungous “Greek sized” portions and with dessert still to come, I was glad I had a long cycle home.
We were served an assortment of 4 desserts, baklava, revani, sesame snaps and yoghurt with berries and nuts. After the heavy meal, I enjoyed the simplicity of the yoghurt dish, but the Greeks at the table were all over the sweet baklava and revani. Made out of semolina flour and tasting like sponge cake soaked in syrup, revani is only for those who have a serious sweet tooth. Interestingly, I felt obliged to finish off my plate, because it felt more like a friend had cooked for me. I would probably have left my plate half full had I been in a restaurant as I felt like I was bursting at the seams.
The Greek Foodlover’s Supper Club was £35 per person and included coffee or Greek herbal tea. Elisavet is a great host who clearly has a passion for Greek food. I am planning on signing up for one of her cooking classes because I have to learn how to make that kleftiko.