BEAST were lucky enough to be invited along to the E3 Vegan Supper Club and Leonie Helm went along…
Created by chef Marc Joseph, previously head chef of the pioneering vegetarian restaurant Vanilla Black (sadly now closed), the E3 Vegan Supper Club is a plant-based fine dining experience that operates out of Marc’s chic East London home, with COVID safety measures firmly in place.
Marc’s modus operandi is to offer “veganism for sophisticated palates” creating an entirely plant-based menu and experimenting with the “most radical culinary choices in London”. This is truly innovative food, celebrating creativity and enhancing the humble vegetable without the need for meat substitutes. If you’re thinking the words ‘plant-based’ and ‘fine dining’ mean you may need to grab a snack afterwards, I have four more words for you: bubble and squeak croquettes!
The seven-course menu begins with a cocktail in the garden – a delightfully refreshing Earl Grey martini, before moving over to the beautifully decorated al fresco tables adorned with delicate vintage tablecloths and wild garlic flowers. Simplicity at its best and a photographer’s dream.
Any further drinks are BYOB and on this beautiful sunny Saturday this 12-strong crowd all seemed to get the rosé memo.
An amuse bouche of tart rhubarb puree with an oat cream and savoury granola kickstarted the taste buds, followed by foraged wild garlic focaccia with olive oil and balsamic.
The first course – a visually stunning borsht with cubes of roasted beetroot, pickle, and potato with flecks of dill was an early favourite, inducing an almost childlike glee as the crimson beetroot puree was poured over at the table. Inspired by an old East London restaurant Marc frequented as a child, this dish was the definition of vegan fine dining, conceptually brilliant and beautiful, with perfectly balanced flavours.
The first and second courses were an equally impressive duo of bubble and squeak croquettes with charred hispi cabbage, chilli jam and aioli. Followed by a thyme-infused porridge with brassicas and lemon cream, again combining unique culinary inventions with fantastic flavours. A lemon and ginger granita cleansed the palate after two complex courses, paving the way for the delicate lemon posset and mixed berry compote topped with a meringue, made with the miracle ingredient aquafaba – an egg white substitute made from chickpea water.
There’s a fashion these days for vegan food to consist mainly of meat substitutes, seitan, tofu etc, and the leaps and bounds made in diversifying vegan diets should be applauded, but these meals still rely on something to be the ‘meat’ in a dish. This experience was a sophisticated, yet uncomplicated celebration of beautiful, natural ingredients rendering the fact that this was ‘vegan food’ secondary to the fact that it’s simply incredible ‘food’.
Marc and Jordan are happy to cater for any pre-organised dietary requirements and are always on hand to answer any questions, take compliments or simply have a chat. There was something quintessentially East London in the authenticity of this fine dining experience, making it an education rather than a performance.
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