Riding on the dusty coattails from the immensely blockbustering Oprah Winfrey post of the week post on How to Set Up a SupperClub, we “completely” “accidentally” “stumbled” on this link a “friend” sent to us and realised that it does sound remarkably like this wikihow site on how to make an amateur pr0rn0 - except maybe that bit about lubricants.
[Dont ask why we were googling that. I did tell you this schupperclub gig makes no money.]
So yes, if you missed the last instalment, we were getting all teary-eyed and sentimental at how plusixfive is all grown up now at a full one year old.
And how we decided that it might be a good idea to pass on some supperclub tips if you ever lost all your marbles, every semblence of sanity, decided sleep was overrated and stress underrated, and inviting possible monsters and ex-murderers into your home, and start a supperclub of sorts, hoping that by someone from national tv might just have you for the next Rachel Khoo (yes we’ve told goz to stop putting on red lipstick…)
This was also catalystasized (?) by couple of emails and forum posts I saw / received all the way from New York to Vietnam sparked by them reading a piece on us in theonlinecitizen and Business Times newspaper. These kids were asking why there wasnt a plusixfive in their countries and were inspired to start one. So this one’s for you kiddo’s. Wherever you are whatever you are doing, I hope you read this, rock out the patriotism, the Majulah Singapura, the DragQueenKumar, the MrBrown, and bring some Singapore food action to wherever you are and kick some tastebuds into action.
(now i eagerly await hatemail from trolls accusing me for being a front for some undercover singapore gahmen / government ministry. Which happens everytime i spit out a little bit of patriotism. Check them out in the comments section here for instance.)
Any comments or queries or if you just need a general kick in the bum to set up your supperclub – drop us (firstname.lastname@example.org) or http://www.edibleexperiences.com/ a line and we’ll sort you guys out!
So ’nuff chat, here’s
FOUR MORE TIPS ON THE ROAD TO ROCKING YOUR OWN SUPPERCLUB HEAVEN!
(7) DISH PLANNING AND TIMING
Ok you wanna sit down one day and list down all the dishes you think you can cook competently and confidently.
Now take that list and split it between (a) what can be done very quickly (salads, cut fruits, gazpacho, oyster shooters) and (b) what needs days of prepping (8 hour ox cheek rendang)
You basically want a good balance between the two. Ideally you want to be able to prep EVERYTHING before hand and then just reheat/ assemble/ or flash fry during service. But unless you are serving nothing but stews, salads, stews and salads, i guess thats gonna be pretty difficult.
Assuming you arent a professional chef with an industrial kitchen and a team of sous chefs and commies, you wanna be able to dish out starters at the beginning which you have prepped before hand and maybe just need some simple assembly. Then whilst people are gobbling that up, you can go on to assemble your next dish. Now time yourself. You basically dont want too much of a lag time between the courses as people absolutely hate waiting for their food. Neither do people like to rushed so dont throw everything on the table in the first 20 mins.
GIVE ME AN EXAMPLE YOU A$$HOLE!
okok pantyface sheesh.. so for example,
7:30pm: Guests arrive.
8pm: I usually serve up three starters which I have prepped before hand and which need minimal reheating or grilling. Then because they are reasonably small portions, these usually go quite quickly, so you have to watch the guests and make sure they dont get too bored.
8:15/8:20pm: Then in the meanwhile, i prep the mains. So I spoon out something I made earlier in the day, or the night before (like my 8 hours ox cheek rendang) or my nonya stir fry vegetable stew or my fish head curry. And serve up the rice. Now these are pretty bigbum dishes so everyones gonna sit back and chillax and pace themselves. Also because there’s rice, everyone’s just gonna chill out and slowly eat it. Well. most of the time anyway. You get sometime to mingle, talk about the dishes. Sometimes people ask for more rice etc etc.
8:45/ 9pm: So theres usually some peace and quiet in the kitchen. So if i can be bothered, I either go about frying an egg dish which is pretty easy or a prawn dish because prawns cook pretty quickly.
But usually i mostly just do this:
9:30pm: Then i leisurely full of relaxation from my dance routine serve up my desserts and coffee, thank my lucky stars no one stabbed themselves in the face with chopsticks or choked on a fishbone and i dont have to give CPR to that disgusting fatbumface in the room (whew).
In a nutshell, PLAN DISHES YOU CAN COOK AND SERVE IN A REASONABLY QUICK TURNAROUND. You might wanna show off all your crazy cooking skills and people might appreciate the effort but people will also curse you and your family vehemently when they leave at 3am.
This is worse in a supperclub because if its taking too long in a resto, you just tell the waiter to cancel and up and leave. But in a supperclub, generally nice human beings wont leave, or they feel its too awkward to leave, British people are such nice stiff upper lipped people, they’ll probably never ever leave or say a bad word even if you made them wait for hours and serve burnt toast i reckon.
Now when you got your reasonably awesome dishes in your head…figure out how many plates you will be needing. Or how many change of plates you will be needing and…………………
(8) CUPS AND CHOPSTICKS
Ok it sounds stupidly obvious but for the love of God have enough plates/ spoons/ forks/ chopsticks/ napkins/ placemats etc. In fact have more than enough. Without presuming what your supperclub is (it could be a “eat with your hands off the floor supperclub” or “BYOchairsplatesutensilsSupperclub” in that case, good luck and Godspeed), you should ideally make sure that:
(a) everyone has a clean set of plates, cups and there are sufficient utensils and serving spoons and carving knives etc; and
(b) there are spares lying around in case one breaks or if someone drops a spoon and lucks on on the 5 second rule. And there will inevitably always be that one person who keeps losing his cup and coming round to asking you for another cup. Or that dude who needs three different glasses to drink three different beverage from.
Reason for this is because no one, not you nor your guests wanna you be stressing out washing and drying plates halfway through dinner. It slows everything down and you lose the momentum, your guests get bored, they cant leave cos its awkward, they’re obliged to stay, you stress out even more, serve bad burnt undercooked food, they wanna leave even more but cant cos its awkward… … everything is just thrown out of whack and your world explodes you lose self-esteem, turn to crystal meth, evanescence and gothic eyeshadow.
Unless you regularly have such large numbers of people in your house or your buttocks have a burning desire to sit on a different seat everyday, chances are, no regular house would have that many seats. I recommend these foldable stools from ARGOS.
Cheap and functional and when your supperclub is over, you can fold them away and hide these anti-design monstrosities out of sight. My only tip is go to ARGOS to pick it up. I had it sent to me once on the morning of a supperclub. It must have been Send Broken Stuff to the Asian Person Day at ARGOS Warehouse or something but they arrived broken. All four of them. *cue panic mode*
Lesson: NEVER LEAVE ANYTHING TO THE LAST MINUTE. DUH.
Utensils and crockery wise, you could hit IKEA where they do some seriously simple and clean Scandi looking plates.
I get all my utensils and crockery from charity shops or antique fairs in the bargain bin. Most if not all of my plates are from people who leave London and give them to me, or Camden Passage – theres a shop with a lady with the OMFGCUTESTEVERsmallfatwhitefurrylildog, she has bargain bins where she sells odds and ends for just about nothing.
(10) GUESTS? PRICING?
Dont be an idiot and charge stupid amounts for your supperclub especially if you arent a well known chef or supperclub. Most amateur ones range from £25 to £35. If you go above that, you better justify it by serving potlots of seafood or are just plain freaking amazing like thelondonfoodiesupperclub or the defunct Tudor Road Supperclub by BenGreeno of Seiobo Momofuku (which incidentally was the first supperclub i ever went to).
How to get your word out and guests in?
(A) Go read point (7) of part one of this post on Social Media
(B) Invite some seriously hip and cool social media peeps
(BONUS TIP!) And lastly ENJOY YOURSELF AND ROCK HARD.
Your guests vibe off you.
So if you arent vibing.
They arent vibing.
So like Adrock said, you gotta “rock the house party at the drop of a hat yeaah!“. If your hamster died, discovered a new STD, girlfriend left you, boiler broke, got a hangnail, bad hair day, pimple on nose, then you either suck it up, get some uppers and vibe it. Or just bite the bullet, apologise profusely to your guests and cancel it. And you have all the time to go into a corner curl into foetal position and cry for your mommy.
People come to supperclubs not just to eat the food. Chances are they came for the food AND also to interact with the chef, the front of house, ask about the food, talk to other guests, learn about the cooking etc, they came because they wanted a fuller, funner, wholesomely rounded experience. If not, they would have just gone to a restaurant. They didnt come hear to cheer you up or commiserate about your new STD.
So on the very night itself, assuming, none of the above happened, you wanna enjoy yourself, turn up the AC/DC, Spice Girls (ok maybe not Spice Girls), PJ Duncan (you know want some of that eternal love) , or whatever rumpshaker gets your booty shaking and your nipples tingling. And get your guests VIBING. THINK BIG VIBES.
So now that I have given you all my nuggets of wisdom and the matrix of supperclubsecrets, go forth and set those curious tingly tastebuds on FIRE!
[insert cool 80s comic pop culture reference]
ARISE SUPPERCLUB RODIMUS PRIME!
REMEMBER! YOU GOT THE TOUCH! YOU GOT THE POWER!!!
STAY TUNED NEXT WEEK (ish… or month or so…) FOR:
And lastly, as this little baby supperclub is coming up to ONE year old at the end of the month – oooh how quick these badboys grow up huh? So expect some super soppy mail out thanking the world and their moms. Probably some houseparty of sorts where we sit around and play a heck of a lotta beastie boys tunes, play scrabble and jenga.
And possibly announcement of a PIG DAY of sorts. When we feed you nothing but pig related products. Singapore style. It’ll be offally good. hurhurhur.