Written by Shona ODonnell
My recent immersion into the world of Supper Clubs has been nothing short of joyous. I love sitting at a table of strangers and walking away friends. If you haven’t tried one, then I really do urge you to give it a shot and if going solo makes you nervous, then go with a pal. Perhaps my greatest joy has been introducing friends to them. In the past month, I have taken three Supper Club virgins and they have all left utterly in love with the format and have spent the next morning searching for their next hit.
Papa L is Lawrence Gomez who takes his inspiration from his Gambian home and honed his trade at some of the most recognisable venues in the city. Notably, he spent his formative years at the Ivy, back when there only was THE Ivy; let’s be very honest, there will always only be one Ivy.
It’s interesting to see that almost everyone here has eaten Lawrence’s food before, and they are all back for more, raving about the ribs and prawns in particular. As a host he is warm, encouraging everyone to move around the table to make friends and to really share in the experience.
This was the menu for the evening.
The asparagus was beautifully cooked, complimented by the citrus and herb dressing. As lovely as this was, we were all waiting for the next course.
The short rib, sadly just a single one, was something special and, for me, it was the stand out dish of the evening. The smell wafting across the table certainly awakened all of my senses. It fell apart, sweet, sticky and sumptuous. There were a lot of complaints about this course, namely, that there wasn’t nearly enough. It’s the type of dish you could eat all night long and produced sighs of delight all down the table.
I loved the chickpea relish. It reminded me very much of a chasni, with its balance of sweet and sour. It came with a flakey flatbread which DonDon, my dinner date, scoured the table looking for leftovers, she wasn’t the only one.
Smoked salmon and avocado missed the mark for me. I’m really fussy about my smoked salmon, I like it very smokey and I found the avocado a little bland.
Then the prawns that my new dining companions, Susan and her daughter, raved about. They were charred and smokey, with a warm, intense spice kick. The heat level was firey but fabulous. We sucked the heads and felt sad when not everyone else did, the flavours were rich and sultry. I believe these were described as orgasmic.
Avocado salad with mango salsa combined smooth avocado and sharp, sweet mango. Compared to the flavours in some of the other dishes, it didn’t make me excited.
Our final savoury dish was a lamb burger which was juicy and tender, with a relish that reminded me of excited childhood trips to the Back Alley, a Glasgow burger restaurant, now long gone.
We finished, searching for the last bottles of wine, with an excellent, sharp, palate cleansing lemon and honey posset, served with a crisp, cinnamon sugar dusted brioche.
As we left, we exchanged numbers and LinkedIn, promising to find ourselves round another Wefifo table soon. I am definitely planning a trip to The Gojk, where Lawrence is currently cooking, for a feast of ribs and prawns.
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