In my recent review of Nook Cardiff I told you all about John and Ceri Cook. Last month, we finally attended their popular Ember supper club, held after hours at Cocorico Patisserie on Whitchurch Road. In this small, cafe-style space, John and Ceri served up a meal of four courses, with a meat eaters and vegetarian menu (chosen on booking).
We started with Ham knuckle, Soft Egg, Mustard Seed, Black Bomber Cream.
Although there was far too much mustard for me, I really like the combination of soft shredded ham, a perfectly boiled egg that oozes its yolk as soon as I cut in, and a wonderful cheese sauce made with Black Bomber cheese, and just a little of those piquant seeds.
Our vegetarian friends enjoyed similar, with Braised Leek in place of the ham.
Padron Peppers, Preserved Wild Garlic, Lemon Salt, Yoghurt was one of my favourites of the night, the classic flavours of the grilled peppers complemented wonderfully the sharp preserved wild garlic and creamy yoghurt. It’s the lemon salt that brought it alive though, providing little bursts of salty citrus in every other mouthful.
This dish was in common across both menus.
The meat eaters main of Ox Cheek, Beer and Treacle, Beef Fat Parmesan Fries, Roast Onion was both extremely generous and delicious, the cheek cooked till it was fork-apart tender, covered in a thick, savoury sauce. The sweet hit of roast onions and salty fries worked well; the only minor negative that the fries were cold already when the dish was served.
The vegetarian main was quite different. Baked Squash, Chilli Sage Butter, Feta, Smoked Aubergine Ragu proved to be another dish where the whole seemed to sum higher than the individual parts. I particularly loved the savoury note to the squash, which can sometimes be too sweet.
Milk Choc, Wild Blackberry, Lime dessert was another winner, and more complex than the name suggested. Chocolate mousse was rich and darker than I expected from its milk chocolate label, and solid crumbs of what I’d guess was aerated chocolate were sprinkled over for texture. The blackberry puree was fantastically fruity, and once again, the sprinkle of lime zest lifted the dish from decent to rather special.
Each supperclub offers a different menu, so do keep an eye out for future dates. We can’t wait to visit again!
Ember moves between a number of Cardiff locations including Cocorico Patisserie, Pettigrew Tearooms, and others. Check dates, locations, menus and prices at Ember’s Eventbrite listing.