We thought with summer now becoming a distant memory our menu would reflect the change of seasons. We felt it should perhaps include some of the bountiful produce still available and represent the seasons.
Following a welcome drink and assorted nibbles we felt to kick the meal off we would start with a dish inspired with Mackerel and gooseberries – a combination made in heaven as the fruit cuts wonderfully with the oiliness of the fish.
The main course will be a slow cooked shoulder of lamb with a Moroccan influenced spicing served with Cous Cous and a bean salad dressed in a yogurt and mint dressing
This will be followed by our selection of cheeses served with the porridge oat biscuits that take some three days to make… then finally for dessert a fresh plum and almond cake served with mascarpone.
This will then be served with a glass of Muscat de Rivesaltes specially imported from our french home.
Dates: Friday 23rd & Saturday 24th September 2016
Time: 7:30pm welcome drink 8:00pm Dinner served
Suggested Donation: £35.00 per person (service not included)
Mackerel & Gooseberries – our interpretation
Spicy Moroccan Lamb Shoulder served with a herb Cous Cous
Green Bean Salad with a yogurt & mint dressing
Hari’s selection of cheeses with Porridge Oat Biscuits
& Homemade Banana Jam
Plum & Almond Cake served with mascarpone cream
Coffee or Tea served with petit fours
MENU SUBJECT TO MARKET PURCHASES
AND INGREDIENT AVAILABILITY
To book your places please complete the following form and we will contact you within 24/48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number
Well it has been a very hectic month for us with some charity gigs and then a plethora of private functions… We are just about to complete our last one before heading off to France for our annual break. It will be twinned with sadness as we have now sold our French home so it will be the last time we will be staying there!
We have lots already planned for the Autumn season and we will soon be taking bookings for our September & October dates… So do watch this space where we will be publishing full details in the next couple of weeks.
I hope you all have a great summer holiday and come back rested and refreshed! We will!
Well with the weather warming up we are thinking about our June events and the menu we are going to produce. We have decided to reprieve some of our favourites and we hope you will like them…
We will serve a selection of seasonal nibbles to kick the evening off along with a suitable summery drink. We will then as the first course serve a South American inspired starter of a “Ceviche” a mix of smoked haddock and raw prawns that are marinated for a few hours in a citric marinade and then served shaped like a tartare with a celeriac remoulade (dressed in a mustard mayonnaise)
Main course will be a roasted fillet of beef served with a mixed wild mushroom sauce a rosti potato cake and our veritable “haricots verts” (green beans).
For our cheese course we will make it a selection of suitable cheeses served with our infamous Porridge Oat Biscuits and home-made Banana Jam.
To complete the meal we will serve Damian Allsops “Water” Chocolate Mousse. A really light and flavoursome chocolate mousse that allows the true flavour of the chocolate to shine through as it contains no cream!. Some local summer berries and also serve up a cold pressed iced coffee to help wash it all down.
It will hopefully be a warm and sultry night and we look forward to welcoming old and new guests to our secret venue (well to the newbies at least)
To Book please complete the booking form below and we will contact you normally with 24/48 hours to confirm your booking with a credit card number.
Dates: Friday 10th & Saturday 11th June 2016
Time: 19:30 Welcome Drink & Nibbles
Dinner: 20:00 Dinner Served
Suggested Donation: £40.00 Per Person (Service Not Included)
Ceviche of Smoked Haddock & Prawn with Celeriac Remoulade, served with corn bread
Roasted Fillet of Beef served with a Wild Mushroom & Cognac Sauce, Crispy Rosti Potato Cake, Haricots Verts
Hari’s Selection of Cheeses served with Porridge Oat Biscuits & Banana Jam
I have always enjoyed the idea of small plates of food that you can share so that you can sample what a kitchen has to offer and also a great way to share a meal. I have recently sampled a few meals like this in the last month or so. Firstly on a recent hook up with world renowned chocolatier Damian Allsop in Girona Spain we sampled some beautiful tapas in a back street establishment called Restaurant Curcuma. It was right in the city centre and had a modern simple decor but some great tasty and innovative tapas.
Highlight for me were the turmeric (the name of the restaurant) scented croquetas, crispy cased and soft unctuous centres and some steamed cod topped with roasted onions, honey and Sobrassada sausage. Innovative flavours simply presented and reasonably priced.
Then more recently we found ourselves back in the town of Whitstable at one our favourites – the infamous and highly popular Jo Jo’s Restaurant where they specialise in Mediterranean meze, – large sharing boards of assorted well sourced cold meats, cheese and small bowls of Hummus, Tzatziki etc as well as small plates of other ever changing specials and regular favourites. The cod or haddock goujons in a beer batter highlight the fresh fish that are ever so popular.
I also quietly ordered one of the blackboard specials of the day… Crispy Pigs Ears with a Remoulade sauce. This was a very generous portion of crispy crumb coated slivers of porcine goodness that were to put it mildly rapidly devoured by even the youngest of our party ( a 4 year old) with gusto.
All that sharing ensured a very respectable and celebratory lunch was had by all.
Then most recently I was invited to a restaurant in the centre of Canterbury that was not on my radar or I had any idea of its existence. I was joining a friend who had been invited for a lunch at Deesons Restaurant where head chef Ross Barden was keen for us to try their newly launched “British Tapas” dishes in this quintessentially modern British restaurant.
The tapas idea here was both innovative and at time quite unexpected and as a whole worked well with some good skilful thought out dishes but then some not so well executed ones.
We actually sampled the entire menu and were generally impressed but did feel the kitchen was trying just a shade too hard. Dishes that worked really well and were outstanding were a twice baked “Old Winchester” cheese soufflé with a carrot pureé that needed a little more seasoning and sweetness to cut against the savoury nature of the cheese. The Confit hen’s yolk with buttered leeks and crispy chicken skin soldiers was inspired. The Crispy Haggis with a poached egg and parsnip crisps was also flavoursome but technically the haggis was a tad dry from over frying/baking so needed the soft egg to add liquid!
Cider Braised Beef Shin with apple juice and ginger with mash and cabbage was a wonderful unctuous dish but again lacked in seasoning. The Spring Greens with wholegrain mustard worked beautifully as did the charred broccoli with cheese sauce and flaked almonds whilst smoked mash potato was less popular than the the plain one – it did need more butter, cream and salt.
In fact the seasoning overall throughout the meal did raise the question did “Chef” smoke as a lot of the dishes seemed under seasoned. This is a common situation in many a kitchen and for me something that was drummed into me in my formative years how important it is to season the food correctly and also taste it.
We also sampled a couple of croquette style dishes that when compared to a “Spanish croquetas” sadly missed the mark. The Smoked Cod Kedgeree was a good idea but the large cake like croquette was just to big and clumsy, a good livid coloured curry mayonnaise was much needed to moisten it.
The Pork and Potato Croquette served with an an apple butter was also oversized and would have been better smaller and perhaps served as a threesome. The apple butter on the tapas version did not pack the same punch that it did when served with the a la carte main course of Pork Tenderloin along with Black Pudding crumb and candied walnuts and a cider jus (to die for)
So overall this was a highly enjoyable delve into how we can equally compete with our continental partners and it can well showcase our own culinary heritage.
Deeson’s is a a little gem and I look forward to a return visit as I think if Chef Ross can sort out the issues we encountered he will be a place to watch in amongst the plethora of those uninspiring tourist eating establishments of Canterbury.
Well things are getting warmer and we seem to be enjoying longer daylight hours as the clocks are about to change… Spring really has sprung and we are keen to reflect that further in this next month’s menu and event.
As the 14th April is deemed to be “St Tiburtius’ Day” when cuckoos start to sing we will be celebrating this event with a suitably seasonal menu!
Following a welcome drink on arrival – “a glass of sparkling perry with the addition of creme de cassis” served along with some seasonal nibbles we will then as a first course be serving a classic combination of wild garlic pesto spiked risotto garnished with some sweet tasting crab meat. I really love making a risotto and the challenge is always to get it creamy and unctuous with a full flavour.
We will then move onto the main course of a pink roasted Rump of Lamb that will be served with a piquant tomato and ginger sauce and a compote of spring onions. The vegetables served with this will be Green Beans (Haricot Verts) and duck fat baby roasted new potatoes.
Our cheese course next will reflect our market purchases and we will also serve our porridge oat biscuits infused with Ile de Re Sea Salt along with our homemade Banana Jam.
Finally we will complete the meal with our pudding… a Vanilla Panna Cotta, a lightly set cream that will be topped with a compote of fresh Rhubarb and then more than likely we will serve some warm fresh out the oven Butter Shortbread biscuits. A great combination and we hope a fitting end to this month’s meal.
Coffee this month will be courtesy of Velo Coffee Company of
Bearsted – we will be showcasing their freshly roasted single origin coffee from Rwanda. More about that in another post!
Suggested Donation: £35.00 per person (Service not included)
Dates: Friday 15th & Saturday 16th April 2016
Arrival: 7:30pm – Welcome Drink & Nibbles
Dinner: 8:00pm – Served
Crab & Wild Garlic Risotto
Roasted Chump of Lamb, Tomato & Ginger Sauce
Green Beans, Roasted Baby New Potatoes
Hari’s Selection of Cheeses, Porridge Oat Biscuits & Homemade Banana Jam
Vanilla Panna Cotta with Poached Rhubarb Compote,
Warm Butter Shortbread
Velo Coffee or Tea & Petit Fours
Menu subject to market purchases and ingredient availability
To reserve your places please complete the booking form below – we will contact you within 24 to 48 hours to confirm your booking.
With Spring nearly upon us and also Easter just around the corner we thought we would celebrate the Roman calendar date of the “Ides of March”.
The 15th of March reputed to be the date of the assassination of Julius Caesar in 44BC is a couple of days before our next supper club event on March 18th & 19th. So we thought we would have a little bit of a Roman feel to the menu.
I make no apologies for borrowing as a starter a dish that I sampled at Sprig of London’s pop up in January – Cauliflower Romesco . A roasted cauliflower that is then served with a roasted and dried red
pepper sauce with the addition of almonds and olive oil that is renowned in the Mediterranean region of Catalunya that is often served in spring time with those new season onions called “Calcots”.
Next we aim to serve a baked fillet of Sea Bass served on a bed of crushed new potatoes and a classic beurre blanc (butter sauce) with lemon and capers. All served with a garnish of Purple Sprouting Broccoli.
Our Cheese course will reflect our market purchases and will be served with our now infamous porridge oat biscuits.
To complete the meal we are serving thinly sliced pineapple with pink grapefruit segments and a light local honey dressing and the addition of a Taywells Yuzu sorbet. A good citric finish to a spring meal that we hope will excite the tastebuds.
With Mediterranean nods what better way to celebrate the Ides of March… well nearly.
Dates: 18th & 19th March 2016
Arrival: 7:30pm Welcome drink & Nibbles
Suggested Donation: £35.00 per person (service not included)
Baked Sea Bass Fillet, Lemon and Caper Beurre Blanc Sauce Crushed New Potatoes, Purple Sprouting Broccoli
Hari’s Selection of Cheeses with Porridge Oat Biscuits
Pineapple & Grapefruit with a honey dressing Taywell Yuzu Sorbet
Coffee or Tea & Petit Fours
Menu subject to ingredient availability and market purchases
When we launched “Covert Cook School” in the autumn of 2015 we were not sure what was the best format to pursue.
We feel now the best way forward is to structure the lessons to suit you. We are flexible on dates and the format the class will take… all we ask for is you choose the style of class you have that will then dictate the size of the class so the number of friends or acquaintances you come with.
If you want a one to one lesson that is fine – if you want it hands on then we ask for just two attendees. If you want just a demo class then four people is the ideal number.
We will then discuss the content of your lesson and tailor it to what you want to learn. It can be tricks of the trade or perhaps something more complex and involved. Just remember the lesson will be bespoke to you.
To book your own Covert Cook School please complete the form below or go to the Covert Cook School dedicated page.
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.
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.
Sprig 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.
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.
We are doing these dinners over four nights from Wednesday 18th Novemberand 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.
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 and 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 Gin