Vegan Ronin Underground Supper Club

Vegan Ronin presents:

Vegan Ronin Underground Supper Club

Before we arrived I knew we were in for a treat. I’d been trying to get to the Vegan Ronin Japanese Supper Club for ages. If it wasn’t one thing, it was something else and before you knew it all the places would have sold out. But not this time, even before the event had gone live, I was on the case pestering Jhenn aka The Vegan Ronin via twitter to get the 411.

On a Tuesday evening in June we made our way to Barnet. At first we planned to cycle all the way there, but the weather had been so iffy and we figured that we’d be so ravenous that we’d forget our manners and the guests would think we were weird. So we cycled to Camden Town and took the train the rest of the way.

When we arrived one guest was already there and a couple arrived shortly after us. Jhenn and Ed, who was also hosting and cooking, offered us a number of drinks. I chose the umeshu, Jhenn’s homemade plum wine to start. What an amazing scent and refreshing taste… I vowed to try making some myself. While we waited for the last guest to arrive we seated ourselves at the table that opened onto the garden. We felt so lucky to experience dinning al fresco as the weather had been so crappy as of late. We began to speculate about what had happened to the remaining guest as he did not call, text or tweet. While we chatted we polished off the edamame and continued to imbibe. It wasn’t long before the gyoza were served and the last guest arrived. It was lucky for him as we would have gladly polished off this plateful of loveliness without him, just kidding.

 

Gyoza

Gyoza

 

Yakitori

Yakitori

Okonomiyaki

Okonomiyaki

After the gyoza, we tucked into a plate of yakitori, grilled “chicken” with teriyaki glaze (I must say creatively making use of Fry’s Pops); potato sarada which reminded me of an American-German style potato salad that has the addition of pickle or sweet relish; and inari zushi, sweet tofu pockets. This was a meal all by itself, but Jhenn and Ed didn’t stop there. The okonomiyaki, cabbage savoury pancakes, were a real treat. There is Abento in Covent Garden and the street food stall  and residency in Clapton by Sho Foo Doh that specialise in making this dish, but neither offer a vegan option. My favourite dish was the takayaki, octopus-less konnyaku balls. Last year, I saw a lady making these at #R3D Market; I was memerised by her agile handiwork as she turned out these orbs of spherical perfection. Traditionally, this street food is filled with diced octopus and served with pickled ginger and spring onions. Takayaki are very tricky to make so props again to Jhenn and Ed. They got me thinking about so many delicious ways this dish could be appropriated. I’m gonna have to spring for a special takoyaki pan now. For dessert, we had ohagi, sweet bean and rice balls; maha keki, green tea steamed cake; daigaku imo, candied sweet potatoes; organic ichigo strawberries; and mugicha, barley tea.

Ohagi

Ohagi

If you have not made your way to the The Vegan Ronin Supper Club, what are you waiting for?

The Lovely Jhenn

The Lovely Jhenn

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