Tag Archives: dinner

Fondue Fancy…

I bet you thought the headline said a “Fondant Fancy”… yep that little garish coloured cake – alas not…something far better in fact!

fondueFollowing from the success of our pop up last year in Tunbridge Wells we thought we would offer a repeat of a couple of themed cheese fondue nights in our secret home location.

It is a classic time of year to enjoy this Alpine classic of hot melted cheese with bread dipped in and we felt it was very worthy of another airing.

We will have two tables of 6 people on each night – you will have to share but what could be more convivial than such a feast.

We will kick it all off with a simple bowl of lambs lettuce salad (Nussli in Switzerland) topped with walnuts and chopped egg.

Then the main event will be the hot melted wine and cheese fondue with bread cubes – some little extras like chopped ginger (an innovation and tip given by a local Swiss resident)  or a  smoked chipotle paste will give it all another flavour dimension.

To finish it all we will then serve a light Orange & Polenta cake with a generous dollop of Greek yoghurt. A tangy  sweet finish after the excesses of the wine & cheese. We will provide a little glass of MuscatMuscat de Rivesaltes with this as well

Finally tea or coffee along with some Swiss Chocolate as a petit four will complete the meal.

It should be a convivial night and a great way to make new friends. Just remember it is important not to bring a red wine (it clots the cheese) or drink ice cold drinks (it will also clot the cheese) – a full etiquette on the whole procedure will be provided on the night.

Arrival: 7:30pm Welcome Drink & Nibbles

Dinner: 8:00pm Prompt

Suggested Donation: £30 per person (service not included)

To Book please complete the form below and we will confirm your spaces normally within 24 to 48 hours.

Menu

Welcome Drink and Nibbles

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Nussli Salat Mimosa und Baumnussen

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Cheese Fondue with suitable accoutrements 

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Orange & Polenta Cake with Greek Yoghurt

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Tea or Coffee, Petit Fours

Menu subject to ingredient availability and market purchases 

Sausage Fest…

After all those excess of Christmas and New Year we thought what better way to kick the new year off than with a more simple and frugal supper event.

We felt we would kick the evening off with a warm glass of mulled Perry to warm the cockles on what we suspect a cold night! For the starter we would then serve up a selection of cold salamis and salads served with our freshly made & warm beer bread.

We will then serve a classic “Choucroute” (Pickled Cabbage flavoured with Juniper Berries) and also some classic Swiss Dorrbohnen (the dried green beans we often use as a salad) along with assorted styles of sausages including a “Krackauer Schinkenwurst we have especially imported from Germany all served with simple boiled potatoes and a selection of mustard’s!

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To complete the meal we will serve a warm chocolate bread & butter pudding with some crème fraiche and a glass of Muscat Tuile (a sweet red wine from the south of France)

We have also thought the frugality will be matched by the suggested donation price of just £25 per person – what we are calling our January giveaway!

A great way to start the year and partake in some great winter comfort food!

To Book please complete the form below and we will confirm your spaces normally within 24 to 48 hours.

Menu

Welcome glass of Mulled Perry & Nibbles

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Cold Salami Platter, Salad & Bread

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Choucroute & Dorrbohnen, Wurst mit Salz Kartofflen

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Warm Chocolate & Cardamom Bread & Butter Pudding

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Coffee  or Tea & Petit Fours

Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availability

Suggested Donation : £25.00 per person (service not included)

Arrival:  7:30pm

Dinner: 8:00pm Prompt

2016 Dates…

Happy New Year…

chocs

We have had a hectic festive period and are now recovering from a 1200 mile trip to Switzerland between Xmas and New Year to visit friends and stock up on Mrs HC’s chocolate supplies.

We have now just released some of the dates and themes for our 2016 events.

Do take a look here.

We will be revealing more details soon but our first event at the end of January will be what we have named a sausage fest – we will be serving up cured salamis and for the main course a classic Choucroute with smoked sausages. Menu just in the final stages of tweaking.

February will be the return of a couple of Fondue nights and then we will have yet to be confirmed dates a return visit of Chef But and we will also be taking Hari Covert to foreign shores with a pop up planned in Switzerland at some stage during 2016.

We will be doing a charity alfresco theme in July that will take “Underground Dining” to new heights.

So there will be plenty to keep us busy during the coming year. We hope you will also come and join us.

Please keep watching this space for all the latest news…

“Thank You so much”….

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Well what a week that was! It had been a few years since we had done a Vegetarian themed dinner and we could not have done a more ambitious one this time without the help of fellow chef Peter Pickering and his Vegan & Vegetarian inspired Sprig of London Pop Up concept.

Peter a graduate from Oxford Brookes University has had a stellar culinary career working with some great chefs as well as some tough assignments. He really put his heart and soul into this series of dinners and road tested his recipes beforehand and also spent a fair few hours in their preparation!

It was a real pleasure to have Peter and the comments we had from those attending were very rewarding. We had “Vegetarians” and “Meat Eaters” – all seem to be tucking in to a diverse range of dishes and what was more fascinating was the the fact that certain dishes really did provoke a reaction.

Peter’s Sprig of London concept is planning to open a series of pop ups in London early in 2016 and his visit to Hari’s was a great way to trial some of his ideas.

The dish titled “Turnip, Radish & Orange” was for me a revelation of cooking and curing processes along with some great flavour combinations.

The main component of turnip was a whole roasted turnip that was baked in tin foil with just a little bit of oil for some two hours, peeled and then thickly sliced. It was then fried in vegan margarine and finished with a drizzle of maple syrup to help caramelise and colour it.

The resultant texture was soft and unctuous and as one guest remarked like a succulent ripe peach. The bitterness of the vegetable softened but married well with the orange juice reduction with the salty soy and the the addition of pickled sliced radish and a turnip and orange puree bought it all together. It was a truly masterful dish!

The dish that seemed to raise most discussion however was the second dessert, namely the “White Chocolate Coconut Porridge”. Here he firstly toasted some white chocolate (baked broken up pieces in a hot oven till they started to caramelise) He added this to toasted desiccated coconut and nibbed almonds to create what could be described as a crumble mix.

A tin of coconut milk was reduced and then thickened to make a cream. Coconut Water was then used to make a porridge in the normal way and lightly sweetened. When then the Coconut Cream, Porridge and Crumble was layered in the serving bowls it made for a real rich and luscious eating experience but did split the diners. It was a real “Marmite” dish, some thought it was more breakfast than pud and those that do not like the coconut flavour were equally vocal.

There were some converts but overall I think it was a hit… I certainly liked it, it was a great way to complete the dinner.

I had tried to showcase some great local produce from the local Cobnuts from Hurstwood Farm and their cobnut oil that was then combined with the dried green beans I had specially obtained from Switzerland making this a truly international combination.

The “Sweet Rebellion” Vanilla Ice Cream from Taywell also was a hit and proved that great tasting food can be without certain ingredients.

We felt we had provided a series of dinners that was imaginative and thought provoking and Peter with his Sprig concept illustrated well his talents!

As you can see the guest book signed by the diners illustrates well what our guests though of it all! Thank You so much for all your lovely comments….

 

Why a Vegetarian dinner…

When I set up Hari Covert nearly six years ago my plan was to do a new theme every month that I hosted an event. We have pretty well done this and also not had to repeat a menu in that time – we have however repeated or tweaked a dish or two over the years…

We will always try and cater for a vegetarian or those with allergies with our menus when requested. We have also served a complete Vegetarian menu successfully in the past. Our dinners in association with Moodleys Beers where we matched the menu with the range of beers Yudhistra was producing a case in example.

PPSprig is the brainchild of chef Peter Pickering who is keen to put his somewhat stellar CV of quality establishments to use in a new and innovative way where he is also in control of the hours he works.

This time we were approached by his new Vegetarian Supper Club “Sprig of London” who wanted to trial their concept whilst they still look for possible London venues to host their supper club dinners.

We have together put a joint menu that reflects both of our culinary styles and influences. I myself will be doing some of our favourite combinations from our beer bread to porridge oat biscuits that we serve with cheese.

Sprig of London
Sprig of London

The dishes Peter will prepare will be everything from a Brik – the crispy north African pastry with wild mushroom lemon and rosemary through to a combination titled intriguingly Turnip, Radish and Orange. Finally the Sprig of London dessert offer will be Porridge, White Chocolate & Almond Milk. They all sound different and I look forward to seeing the finished dishes and taste them as well.

white logo (500)We are doing these dinners over four nights from Wednesday 18th November and we still have spaces on most nights so please do go and take a look at the full menu and booking form with this link

It will be a fun few nights with some interesting foods and we hope you will realise the absence of meat and in many cases gluten whilst a challenge for chefs is not one that is not to be missed as the food will be tasty and imaginative.

We do hope you can make one of these nights!

Christmas is coming…

photo (144)Well it is that time of year again when we will be celebrating the festive time at Hari Covert’s. It only seems like yesterday we started doing our secret suppers… This coming February we will enter our sixth year of operation!

We love the festive period and we hope we will see you at one of our events…

This years menu will encompass some of our favourites. To kick the meal off we will serve a selection of festive nibbles including a warming seasonal soup! The first course will be a smoked salmon rillettes a coarse like pate that we will serve with a delicate yoghurt santa1and dill sauce and some toasts.

The main course will be a Turkey & Chicken Saute with spicy Chorizo & Peppers that we will serve on a bed of steamed Cous Cous with green beans. A bit different to the traditional roast!

For the dessert we will then serve a Mincemeat & Crumble Tart with a Cinnamon Cream and to then complete the meal we will serve a selection of assorted cheeses with our porridge oat biscuits and a snifter of local “Anno” Sloe Ginsnow2

Dates: Friday 18th & Saturday 19th December

Arrival: 7:30pm – Welcome Drink & Seasonal Nibbles

Dinner: 8:00pm

Suggested Donation: £35.00 per person (service not included)

Menu

Smoked Salmon Rillettes, Yoghurt & Dill Sauce, Toasts

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Saute of Turkey, Chicken, Chorizo & Peppers

Steamed Cous Cous & Green Beans

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Mincemeat & Crumble Tart with a Cinnamon Cream

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Hari’s selection of Cheeses,

Porridge Oat Biscuits, Snifter of Anno Sloe Gin

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Coffee or Tea, Petit Fours

To book your places please complete the form below and we will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to confirm the booking.

Sans, Sin, Ohne and Without…

For our November dinners we are trying something a little different. To whet the appetites for those who prefer not to eat meat… we are offering a rather special menu that will not only be meat free but also we are hopeful where possible it will be gluten free as well and in some areas it will also be sugar free! We are calling these dinners Sans, Sin, Ohne & Without…

Sprig of London
Sprig of London

We are also being joined with a new London based Vegetarian Supperclub   “Sprig of London” in that between us we have devised a menu to showcase our different styles and the challenges the brief has dictated to us!

Sprig of London – is the brainchild of chef Peter Pickering.  He began his career at the then Michelin starred Marco Pierre White owned restaurant L’Escargot, where he learnt his culinary foundations. He then followed his executive chef Jeff Galvin when he opened his restaurant Galvin Bistro de Luxe.

Sprig2Peter has since worked at other prestigious restaurants including the 5 starred Milestone Hotel in Kensington and he was part of the opening team at “Dinner by Heston Blumenthal” which won many accolades including 2 Michelin stars.

He went on to work at the London Olympics cooking for the directors of the Olympic Broadcasting Services. More recently he was involved with the opening of the grand Café Royal Hotel on Regent Street and the exclusive Chiltern Firehouse with the creative Nuno Mendes.

Hari Covert is a chef of mystery but with over 40 years of varied hospitality experience. His input will showcase some of his favourite local produce with his unique style. He will also showcase the exciting new products of local Taywell Ice Creams and their “Sweet Rebellion” sugar free and Lactose free ice creams.Beans

We are also hoping these dinners will be a popular choice for those meat lovers out there as we will be doing the dinners over a whole week from Monday 16th November to Saturday 22nd November inclusive.

We will be looking for a minimum of 8 persons each night so if you would like to make it a weeknight party for a group of you then you will be most welcome.

On the Tuesday 17th November the “Covert Cook School Lessons” will be a joint demo of the dishes cooked by Sprig  of London & Hari!

The menu will be a 6 course affair and will also include some pre -dinner nibbles and petit fours with coffee or tea at the end!

Sweet Rebellion

Welcome Drink & Nibbles:  7:30pm

Start: Prompt 8:00pm

Suggested Donation: Monday to Thursday £35.00 per person Friday & Saturday £40.00 per person (Service not included)

The proposed menu will be as follows

Welcome drink with assorted Vegetarian Nibbles

– Sprig of London & Hari Covert

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Wild mushroom brik, lemon and rosemary

– Sprig of London

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Dried Green Beans & Fresh Haricot Vert,

Cobnut Oil, Toasted Cobnuts,

Goats Cheese & Wild Garlic Mousse

– Hari Covert

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Turnip, radish and orange

– Sprig of London

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Apple & Marshmallow Kebab with

“Taywells” Sweet Rebellion Ice Cream

– Hari Covert

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Porridge, white chocolate and almond milk

– Sprig of London

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Winterdale Shaw, Oat Biscuits & Apple Leather

– Hari Covert

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Coffee, Tea & Petit Fours

– Sprig of London & Hari Covert

 Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availability

Mardens Ruin…

When I heard that drink “Mothers Ruin” or Gin was now being made in Marden I had to find out more…It was some two years ago that scientists Andy & Norman started their fabrication of Gin. (Some might have then said this was the downhill slide for Marden!)   Anno Distillers are the first distillers of this much loved drink in the county of Kent for over 200 years.

Well it was a friend who reminded me of them and so I set about introducing myself and I can now report we are excited to say our October dinner event on Friday 16th and Saturday 17th will be hosted by Andy and Norman at their Marden based distillery.

It is not a glamorous location on an industrial estate beside the Ashford to London rail line but what lies behind the steel shutters is a real Aladdin’s cave. The ex scientists have built their own still and after much testing and tinkering they launched their craft gin made with local botanicals and a few added ingredients one would not expect. Namely foraged samphire and local hops to give their gin its unique taste and style. Added to this they also make a Sloe Gin and a very drinkable flowery Elderflower & Vodka.

What could be more fitting than a dinner using all three of their labours in the dishes we create. So after some sampling and thought I have decided to attempt to cook and serve on site the following menu. No mean feat as they have no kitchen and so we have had to be clever in the way the menu has been constructed!

The dinner will be housed within the distillery on the first floor overlooking the very sexy looking copper and polished metal still – a single table in amongst boxes of gin and other packaging awaiting to be filled will be the back drop. Andy and Norman will be in attendance to guide guests through their story and how their gin is made. It will be a fascinating evening and one that will be very popular I am sure.

We are asking guests to arrive for 7:15pm so they can firstly sample a welcoming G&T along with some seasonal and possibly gin inspired nibbles. Norman or Andy (or both) will provide a guided tour of the process before guests will then sit down for the dinner.

We will kick off with a dish using their sloe gin – I have asked a friend to import from Switzerland (he is coming over for the September “Fowl Feast”) some Dörrbohnen (dried green beans – A Hari Covert Meal would be bereft without some green beans!) These beans are braised and will with the addition of some fresh blanched ones form the base of a salad with the addition of some pan fried wood pigeon breasts. Garnished with some local Toasted Cob Nuts All this will be dressed with the Anno Sloe Gin based vinaigrette… I am drooling just typing this…

We will then follow this with the main course – I had agonised what to do but because of the limited cooking facilities I have opted for a Pork Fillet with an Anno Gin, Juniper and Blueberry Sauce – we will be cooking the pork fillet wrapped in thin sliced cured ham in a large Paella pan – we plan to serve these with a Pommes Boulangere… we will poach thinly sliced potatoes and onions in a chicken stock that will then be crisped on the top using a blow torch.. we have to be resourceful when there is no oven! Finely shredded cabbage will be simply steamed with some butter and served as the vegetable.

Following the main we will serve dessert – a break from our normal format of cheese before pudding. We are using the Anno Elderflower & Vodka for a Jelly infused with local fresh raspberries and then some homemade shortbread biscuits will accompany this.

Finally the cheese will be the local Winterdale Shaw served simply with our Porridge Oat Biscuits and a dollop of our homemade banana Jam and a snifter of Sloe Gin to wash it all down… we think it will be the best way to complete the evening.

Coffee and some Gin and Lemon Fudge will be the final offering.

Menu

Welcome G&T with seasonal nibbles

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Dörrbohnen & Green Bean Salad with Toasted Cob Nuts and Pan Fried Wood Pigeon with Anno Sloe Gin vinaigrette.

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Cured Ham wrapped Pork Fillet with Gin, Juniper & Blueberry Sauce, Pommes Boulangere & Steamed Cabbage

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Elderflower Vodka & Raspberry Jelly with Homemade Shortbread Biscuits

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Winterdale Shaw,Banana Jam & Porridge Oat Biscuits with Sloe Gin Snifter

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Coffee with Gin & Lemon Fudge

Menu Subject to Ingredient Availability & Market Purchases

Dates: Friday 16th & Saturday 17th October

Arrival:  7:15pm

Dinner: 8:00pm

Suggested Donation : £45.00 per person (service not included)

If you wish to be part of this very unique event then please book quickly as we are limited to just twelve spaces each night. Just complete the booking form below and we will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to confirm the booking.

All about the service…

Well during the past few months I have had quite a few eating out experiences of both a good and bad nature.  Having made a living out of restaurant reviewing in the past as both an “Egon Ronay Guides” inspector and also an “AA Guides” patch inspector my tastes have developed to appreciate firstly much simpler food where the ingredients provenance takes centre stage.

I have however begun to appreciate far more the service proffered by an establishment as also being an integral part of the whole experience.

I recently found myself for a few days in the West Country and we had a rather posh afternoon tea at a newly opened 5 star hotel – the Afternoon Tea served was £30 a head and whilst generous in proportion was not so memorable for the quality of the offer. Firstly sandwiches when delivered did not match the menu description and the chefs predilection for tomato in them was rather overzealous.

Scones whilst home-made were stodgy and stale, jam and cream was however generous. Cakes and pastries were pretty unimaginative and amateurish – a tartlette case filled with meringue needed the citric base to compensate for the sweetness. A chocolate cake and a caramel mille feuille were also nothing special and the only saving grace was the fresh fruit tartlette.

An apfel strudel with vanilla sauce was also out of place as a tea time treat – more in keeping as a restaurant dessert was also soggy and not in the least bit dainty!

The only saving was friendly and concerned service from a young but professional team of staff who held it all together and helped redeem the food quality misgivings.

A couple of days later we then had a meal in the depths of Cornwall at an establishment in a very busy and bustling coastal town that is dominated by a certain celebrity chef.

We went to his “Bistro” operation for a dinner. It was a return visit since we had had a memorable lunch some nine years earlier. Whilst the food was spot on and highlighted well the great produce on offer from fresh local scallops served with a truffle butter to an amazing combination of John Dory, Grilled Baby Leeks, Soft Boiled Egg and shaved Parmesan  cheese that was an enlightening combination. It was however the service we had that was more memorable. Young staff were engaging, sociable and efficient throughout so much so it was refreshing to watch and made the evening all the more memorable!

The day afterwards at a seaside Cafe we visited for a traditional Cornish clotted cream tea there was a slightly annoying pre-order system at a bar counter and then your order was delivered to your chosen table. Not ideal, but acceptable except what annoys me more is waiting staff who walk past a laden table of a previous occupants detritus that is not cleared by them… somewhat all to apparent at this canal side eatery that whilst popular lacked the slickness of the previous nights dinner.

My other pet hate is the “Nandos” concept of sitting at a table and then being made to go to a till to order and pre pay – My disabled wife has been discriminated before with this concept  and forced to send our young daughter to order and pay. A visit to chain of burger restaurants using such a format was underwhelming and confirmed my favourite style of this eatery is the “poetically named group” found all over London who has continually delivered great service and a very consistent product in each of their places. My daughter is now hooked on them as are all of her school friends.

Whilst eating with friends at one of Mr Raymond White’s bustling restaurants a mistake to our dessert order was handled with great aplomb and apologetic efficiency that left us impressed with the establishment and happy to return at a future date as opposed to a negative and disgruntled attitude!

Our visit to a wonderful restaurant with rooms in deepest north Devon owned and operated by friends admittedly was made more special by the service proffered that was concerned, measured and efficient throughout our visit. From the welcome cup of tea on arrival to a coffee served in the lounge whilst writing up a report to a sumptuous dinner and well cooked breakfast reminded us how committed you need to be to be hospitable and successful. This couple have now done some 15 plus years in their own business and just one look at the positive and glowing feed back on their trip advisor rating speaks volumes for their dedicated professionalism. I am not surprised they are trying to now sell up and take things a little bit easier as they work long hours and very hard to maintain their loyal and appreciative guests! I wish I had the energy and money to invest in their truly lovely place. I thoroughly recommend a visit to see how it should be done.

Whilst the food is important the service can make or break the experience and the rise in popularity of TripAdvisor hated by many a chef in my mind when you read between the lines is a useful tool to ensure you do not waste your money!

I can thoroughly recommend the following as they provided some truly memorable meals and service over the past few months… I will not bore you with the not so good!

St Petrocs Bistro

Blagdon Manor

Byron Burgers

Restaurant Aquar’aile

Fowl Feast…our September menu

Well it has been a very hectic Summer for us… apologies for my tardiness in posting and getting our menus up to date. Will reveal a little more on what has been going on in a separate post.

So for our September menu on Friday 25th & Saturday 26th September we will be offering what we term a fowl feast… to kick the dinner off we will serve a smooth unctuous Chicken Liver Parfait that will have a homemade Onion Chutney with it. A classic combination. For the main course we will then serve a crispy Duck Leg Confit that will have a selection of roasted root vegetables and a tart redcurrant sauce with it – it is a rich dish to remind us that the Autumn chill is just around the corner!

We will then serve a selection of cheeses with our homemade porridge oat biscuits and Banana Jam

To complete the feast we plan to serve a glazed lemon curd tartlette with a compote of fresh blackberries and a dollop of clotted cream – fresh French pressed coffee as they say across the pond with some homemade peanut butter butter fudge should round it all off

If you wish to reserve your spaces then please just complete the booking form below and we will normally contact you within 24/48 hours to confirm your reservation with a credit card number

Arrival Time: 7:30pm – Welcome drink & Seasonal Nibbles

Dinner Served: 8:00pm

Suggested Donation: £35 per person (Service not included)

Menu

Smooth Chicken Liver Parfait served with

Homemade Onion Relish

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Crispy Confit Duck Leg with Roasted Root Vegetables and a Redcurrant Sauce

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Hari’s Assorted Cheese Selection with Porridge Oat Biscuits

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Glazed Lemon Curd Tartlette with a

Blackberry Compote & Clotted Cream

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Coffee & Fudge