Sunday, August 1, 2010

Event for Table of Plenty Dukkah Range @ Souk in the City

        When I received an invitation from Mark Communications to attend an event for Table of Plenty held at Souk in the City I thought why not. I'd heard plenty of good things about Souk in the City and I havn't really experienced Moroccan food before and the story behind Table of Plenty sounded quite interesting so I thought I would give it a go and take on a new experience. I love the fact that starting this blog has given me so many opportunties to learn so much about all things food related, not to mention all the cool people I get to meet.
        The actual main event was during lunchtime however due to work I couldn't attend but there was also an evening session on offer which is the one I went to. It was an intimate setting with Kate Weiss (of Table of Plenty), Mary Jane from Mark and three other bloggers, Daphne and her partner Harry from foodie-central, and Mark (sorry but I didn't catch the blog as we were sitting on opposite ends of the table and didn't get a chance to talk during the night).
        Kate Weiss tells us her story, about her background and how she came about forming the company and it's products. It's such an inspirational story and Kate was just so lovely as she interacted with us throughout the night. The purpose of the night was to relaunch her range of dukkah and to raise more awareness of the product. Dukkah is pretty much a blend of ground nuts and spices and sesame seeds. She wanted to show us that there was much more that could be done with dukkah, other than the traditional method of it being used for dipping bread and oil into.

        The menu that we have for the evening is the same as the one that was on offer during lunch and has been designed to incorporate the range of dukkahs. We do miss out on the belly dancing, henna tattoos and cooking demonstrations though.

Pumpkin dip with dukkah (can't seem to remember which one).

Hummous with dukkah.

Our customised menus.

        First Entree - Grilled Haloumi, poached sweet & sour figs, sherry, vinegar, rocket and Macadamia Dukkah. Enjoyed this very much, all the different flavours and textures worked well together. The dukkah gave the salad another dimension. This dish is actually part of the regular menu minus the addition of the dukkah of course.

        Second Entree - Almond Dukkah Lamb Brochettes, with smoked eggplant and pistachio and argan oil. This was voted the favourite of the night, best dish and also best use of the dukkah. The lamb was cooked beautifully and encrusted with the dukkah. The eggplant was creamy and paired well with the lamb. This is also a regular menu item which has been adapted.

        Third Entree - Pistachio Dukkah crusted Prawns with sour tomato, mint and preserved lemon mayonnaise. So tasty, the prawns were well cooked and the tomato sauce was not overly sour at all. Regular version also available on the menu. We were all getting full already and were only half way through our meal.

        First Main item - Vegetarian cous cous, steamed in a couscoussier with chickpeas, glazed Moroccan spiced vegetables. This unfortately remained mostly untouched. I think it was more to cater for the vegetarians but we were all happy to eat our meat.

        Second Main item - Moorish Lamb meat balls with rich tomato chermoula, crispy carrots, coriander & tomato chechouka. This was a favourite of the mains, the meat balls were juicey and the sauce was so flavourful, and balanced well. (This is a also regular menu item).

        Third Main item - Corn fed chicken Tajine, cooked with saffron, preserved olives and crispy Dukkah potatoes. Another regular menu item adapted for the event. The chicken was lovely and tender, loved the potatoes coated in Dukkah.

        To accompany our mains we had a choice of saffron rice and fluffy steamed cous cous with raisens and almonds, had to try both of course. The cous cous was indeed fluffy and the raisens were a lovely contrast in flavour and texture. There was just so much food on offer that we couldn't finish it all, Kate happily asks for a Doggy bag so that the food doesn't go to waste.

        The finale, the one we have been waiting for, dessert tasting plate with Dukkah Ice Cream! Yes you heard right, dukkah ice cream! Dessert tasting plate included a banana crumble, dukkah ice cream (not sure which one though), lavender milk jelly, chocolate truffle and a moroccan pudding with date and figs. Loved them all!

        I think the base of the ice cream was honey flavoured, and the addition of the dukkah gave it a whole new dimension with the nuts and spices. We were all quite amazed at how tasty it was. This will be a must try at home.

        At the end of dinner Omar (the restaurant owner) serves us some minted tea. He puts on a little bit of a spectacle with the whole process of pouring and cooling the tea. He is an absolute gem, making me feel welcome from the minute I stumble through the door from the wet pavement, througout dinner, until I walk back out the door again.
        He will definately be seeing my face back there again, when,  I'm not entirely sure but definately a must visit again soon place. The food was great, even though it was tailored for a specific event and the service throughout the night was absolutely spot on without being too overbearing which is exactly how all restaurants should be. He also tells us a little story of how he got the name for the restaurant, it's quite cute, you should ask him ;)

        At the end we're all given goodie bags to take home. There's one each of the dukkah range, some recipe cards, a jar of preserved lemon which leaked into my bag and also a box of something quite special.

        We all receive a set of the same glasses which were used to serve tea at the restaurant, they're just so pretty. I've already used two of the 3 different dukkahs to make dinner on the weekend so look out for the post soon. Thank you so much to Kate and Mark Communications for a wonderful dinner.

Souk in the City on Urbanspoon


Helen (Grab Your Fork) said...

Dukkah ice cream sounds very intriguing and I love Moroccan mint tea and their beautiful gold glasses.

chocolatesuze said...

ooh i like the sound of dukkah ice cream!

john@heneedsfood said...

Dukkah icecream is a first for me, sounds great. The lamb dishes and those prawns look divine! I love Moroccan food but never seem to have it. I need to start cooking it again!

Sara @ Belly Rumbles said...

I love the sound of Dukkah ice-cream. I think I may have to have a play with that :)

Richard Elliot said...

It's brining back memories of my trip to Morocco a few years. Wonderful food as long as you escaped the tourist restaurants!

Ladybird said...

The bag of goodies was a lovely touch, wasn't it? I can't wait to use the preserved lemons :)

Anonymous said...

Lovely event!!

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Wht a great post Angie! And those glasses are just gorgeous. I have some pink and green glasses and just love using them :)

Angie Lives to Eat (and Cook)! said...

Hi Helen: Yeah we were all slightly raising our eyebrows at the sound of dukkah ice cream but it was the loviest ice cream I've tasted.

Hi Suze: Yup yup yup! =D

Hi John: Thanks! We actually have a Moroccan cookbook that has not been cooked from yet, will have to pick one out soon.

Hi Sara: Yeah sounds so cool hey? Hehe definately a challenge for me, gotta freeze my tub first though.

Hi Richard: Glad to help you relive your memories =)

Hi Ladybird: I absolutely loved the bag but still have no idea what to do with the preserved lemons

Hi Ellie: Thanks =)

Hi Lorraine: Thanks! The glasses are just too pretty though, I'm scared to take them out of the box.