Sunday, 27 January 2013

Foodie Outings - Junipers Pantry Supper Club

Apparently many gardening types are also fans of good, locally sourced food, so I don't feel there's too much problem in this slight detour from my normal vaguely horticultural output, especially given the lack of gardening going on at the moment for me to blather about.

Last night the OH and I went to a supper club at Juniper's Pantry, which is an extremely nice deli in the Barnes area of Sunderland. Should you be in the area and feeling a craving for a duck and black pudding scotch egg with runny yolk, or maybe one of the best breakfast sandwich you've had in some time, then this is the place to go. They've been running the supper club on Saturday nights for quite some time now, but offers of overnight baby care from Nana generally only happen on Fridays, so we've not been able to make it before. Cue a conversation between the OH and David from Juniper's on Facebook where we discovered that they were opening on Friday evenings for a trial run due to the popularity of the Saturday nights. Whoop! That's us booked straight in for that then.

So, Friday night arrives and we head off into a blizzard.

The menu was full of very interesting things, and could I have gotten away with it I would probably have tried to eat them all. As it was we had to make choices... For starters the OH had beef hash with fried egg and chilli ketchup. I had a warm salad of crispy bacon, black pudding, confit tomato, poached egg and croutons, with a chive oil dressing. For mains we both had a thyme and garlic marinated ribeye steak with triple cooked chips, onion rings, béarnaise sauce and red wine jus, mine medium rare and the OH's cremated. The steak with the béarnaise sauce was one of the nicest things I've ever eaten. It was fantastic. For pudding the OH had elderflower and pear crumble and I had a cheese board with a selection of Northumberland cheeses.

This was one of the best meals I've ever had and all for only £16.50 a head with small supplements for the steaks and cheese board.

The deli isn't licensed to sell alcohol, but you can take your own for a small corkage fee. We took a very nice bottle of Tesco's Finest Montepulciano d'Abruzzo that was recommended on the Knackered Mothers Wineclub blog that I stumbled across a few days ago. I know I don't fit into the category of knackered mother, but this knackered dad does like a nice glass of wine, and the blog makes for some amusing reading. Thanks for the recommendation!

I do have two very small gripes about our dining experience. One was that the door to the deli kept blowing open while we were eating which, in this weather, made for some very chilly moments. Some sort of catch definitely needed! The other whinge was that some of the items included in our dishes on the menu were substituted for lesser ingredients (for example my cheese board was supposed to come with Parmesan shortcake, but actually came with a stack of bog standard savoury crackers) which we weren't made aware of until the food was actually in front of us. This wasn't a massive problem, but it would have been nice to have been asked. Neither of these were deal breakers however, and I would still fully recommend a meal here. We will be going back as soon as possible.