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Relish - The supper club


Where we go a little bit deeper into who, what, why, where and when and how we Relish.



 


According to my immaculate records our first Supper Club was 21/01/2023. I don't remember a thing, apart from crying. I wanted it to be so perfect, if it wasn't it would mean I was a failure. A stupid little chef that couldn't even make dinner for 30 people. While it was not a roaring success (one table left mid service!!) it was good enough that people kept coming back. Again and again and again.


The Supper Club concept is very simple - set menu, set start time, bookings only. Like going to a friends house for a special dinner but no one has to wash up at the end. You don't have to dress up, but you can if you want. We get crocs and heels on the same night, at the same table.

Reasonably priced was important - going out for dinner can be expensive. I wanted to serve interesting meals in decent sized portions. I've had the degustation menu experience that has you going through the Maccas drive through on the way home and I think that's appalling. Going to dinner should not leave you hungry, no matter how much of a fancy pants person the chef considers themself. I love a set menu, it saves me from having to choose- menu anxiety and FOMO at the table is real and everyone always seems to make better choices than me (This only applies to menus and not my general life choices, which have all be stellar. OK!!!!!)

Free BYO means you can spend as much or as little on drinks as you like. The bottle of wine you love is significantly cheaper at the bottle shop than off the curated wine list. And if you don't like it, its because you made a bad choice, not because we sell shitty wine!


The last 12 months have seen our Supper Club grow in ways that we didn't dare anticipate. After the first one I started fantasizing about not releasing a menu prior. It sounded ridiculous when I said it out loud 'I wish people would just book and not worry about what they would be eating' As if anyone would go out blindly, just hoping the food would be something they liked. So we did it anyway! (My forward planning skills leave a lot to be desired, this was also a HUGE factor in not releasing a menu in advance)

But, because we had faith in ourselves, our guests have faith in us. They love the excitement and surprise of not knowing. We have groups that have not missed a single evening with us and i can't tell you how amazing it feels to know we are their 'special place'

While the food is important, we would have not been going this long if the service wasn't just as critical. This is a casual, intimate evening - Joy took your booking and she is seating you and attending your table. She knows if you want a chat with a group and when to let you enjoy each other's company (or if you've had enough of each other's company and she needs to remove the knives asap) From my place in the kitchen nothing sounds as good as hearing laughter and happy voices from the dining room.


There have been a few ummmm... mistakes? Disasters? The churros made to order that saw a piping bag explode over the fryer. Dessert that night ended up being churros blobs that, while tasty, was not prettiest dish you ever did see. There was not enough icing sugar in the world to hide how unpleasant they looked! Or the Lemon Curd Tarts - we've made lemon curd countless times. This time the dessert Gods decided the curd would not set. In 15 minutes we had adjusted to Lemon Meringue Waffles. An accident so well received you will find said Waffles on our next cafe menu shake up.

We have gotten very good at rolling with the punches, or should I say 'learning experiences'


We never get time of the night to take beautiful staged photos of all the dishes. The photos that do get snapped are poorly lit and don't do justice to the food at all (this is my insecure plea not to be judged!) Below are a few, taken on the fly, before they are whisked out ot the waiting tables.









Fast forward to last months Supper Club and there were tears again. This time they were happy tears. I recreated the first menu, so I could move past how I felt that first night and I cried because I looked at what we have created and I am so proud. I get to stand in my kitchen and decide to add a course mid service because I feel like it and I know our people will LOVE it. We can sit down at the end of the meal and share a wine with our guests because they aren't guests now, they are our friends. When new groups join us, they have a wonderful night because the atmosphere is so relaxed and happy, it's contagious.


The next one falls on Easter Saturday. This is also my birthday week so the theme could be Easter, but it might be All My Favorite Things. The problem with that will be trying to decide what my 3 favourite 3 courses would be! Or as per usual, I'll write a couple of menus and then do something totally different on the day!


xoxo

Hayley


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