Middle Eastern pop-up
The chefs behind the super cool Bubala supper club have arrived in Surrey - and there's still time to catch their pop-up at Fego in Banstead.
We love a pop-up supper club at Muddy – so when Fego announced they were hosting a Middle Eastern dinner at their Cobham and Banstead restaurants, we signed ourselves up quicker than you can say shish-kebab! The Cobham pop-ups were last week, but the Banstead restaurant ones are on Wed 17 and Thurs 18 July.
Guest chefs are Helen Graham and Marc Summers who run the super-cool Bubala supper clubs in and around east London. Between them they’ve got a pretty impressive CV: Marc is the former head honcho at Berber and Q, while Helen has had stints at The Palomar, The Barbary, and The Good Egg. Oh la la! We’re in for a treat.
Fego in Cobham is on Anyards Road in the centre of town. Park is an easy five minute walk away, at the Hollyhedge Road Car Park which is free after 7pm. By day, it’s a relaxed café offering breakfast, brunch and lunch. The restaurant has some pretty close connections to South Africa, and this is reflected in the menu and the decor.
It was a Tuesday night! But the sun was out, the music pumped up and the drinks were flowing. Fego has recently had a spruce up, and it’s looking pretty spiffy – but the café vibe was definitely put on hold for this evening shindig. There are floor to ceiling bi-fold doors at the front which open up to an outside dining area, and as the summer party vibe was in full swing they were open wide.
SCOFF & QUAFF
Ahh. The food. With the drinks coming round at a steady pace, I almost forgot we were here to eat. Almost! The spicy aromas wafting from part-open kitchen at the back were pretty darn lovely, and with a tapas-style menu that promised three starters and five mains – we weren’t going to go hungry.
I went for the veggie mezze and my friend Priscila went for the meat and fish one – so we had all culinary bases covered. Starters came out – but not before our Persian Sours cocktail a mix of Haymans Gin, saffron and cardamom syrup, egg white and lemon zest – and it was a very nice selection indeed: hummus with bine nuts and burnt butter and Baba Ghanoush with grated walnut and pomegranate, plus a Baharat spiced sweet potato falafel for the veggies and a beef kofte with tahini and a herb salad for the carnivores. Pri said the kofte was divine, and I was pretty impressed with the sweet potato felafel.
Another cocktail before the mains – this one a Lady Marmalade (Malibu, orange marmalade and lemon zest). It was refreshing and zesty – a great drink for a warm summer’s eve.
But onto mains: crispy chicken thighs with sumac onion ragout and amba yoghurt and a seafood chraime with preserved lemon for the meaty ones, and blackened sweet potato with sumac onion ragout and amba yoghurt, roasted cauliflower chraime with preserved lemon for the veggies – plus a selection of sides. OMG! I was in foodie heaven. I do love a mezze meal – so it suited me very well – but there was nothing at all not to like here!
Cardamom chocolate mousse with creme fraiche was the pudding – and despite the huge amounts of food I’d already consumed, I somehow found room for it. Good thing too – because it was gorgeous. I don’t often go for a choc fest for pud, but this was the perfect end to a lovely dinner, accompanied with wine.
The Middle Eastern pop-up had a strong party vibe, so I’d leave the kids at home. But during the day Fego is much more sedate relaxed café offering breakfast, lunch and everything in between. There’s a kids’ menu, breakfast and brunch menus and menus for low gluten, vegan and vegetarian diets – so everyone is catered for.
THE MUDDY VERDICT
Good for: If you love Middle Eastern food, you’re in for a treat.
Not for: If you’re a xx meat and three veg type, this probably isn’t the pop-up for you.
The damage: The pop-up supper club is £30 a head. Cocktails are around £8 each.
Fego Cobham, 14 Anyards Road Cobham Surrey, KT11 2JZ.
The Middle Eastern pop-up supper club is on Wed 17 and Thurs 18 July at Fego Banstead. Click here to book.