We’re spoilt for choice in Edinburgh with more restaurants and dining experiences than you could possibly get through. We have everything from fine dining, to street food, pop ups to supper clubs. KAI falls into the latter.
What’s a supper club? In my experience supper clubs tend to be pop up in nature or hosted within another restaurant (The Pantry in this case), generally it’s a set menu, and dining is communal.
Supper clubs aren’t just about the eating, they’re about the social side of dining too. You never know who you’re going to get be beside, and that’s part of the fun. We definitely struck it lucky this time and were seated next to the lovely team from Honeycomb & Co.
KAI is run by Head Chef Lauryn and her partner Lisa. Lauryn has form having previously worked at Ottolenghi and Caravan, as well as stints working in Australia and New Zealand. Looking at Lauryn’s previous experience I was expecting Middle Eastern vibes, strong flavours and lots of veg. I wasn’t disappointed.
Our welcome cocktail was a warm and spicy Whisky and Ginger affair. My friend was driving so I partook in two and very much enjoyed them both!
Our pre-starter was Chestnut, Porcini, and Parmesan. The ingredients were served as a rich and velvety velouté. I could have happily had a huge bowl with a wodge of bread.
However we had another starter to come, Celeriac, Ras El Hanout, Hazelnut. The celeriac was served as a thick purée, a step up in texture from the pre-starter. The ras el hanout introduced the Middle Eastern influence I was expecting. Hazelnuts and fine slices of vibrant peppery radish brought the crunchy element the dish was calling out for.
The vegetables were doing the lion’s share of the work again in the main of Squash, Sage, and Pancetta. With no meat element to speak of so far, the main delivered just one slice of pancetta – just enough to give the dish that extra dimension. A heavily charred onion took the place of a hunk of meat. It was a satisfying dish with plenty of light and shade in flavour and texture.
It was dessert that would well and truly steal the show though. The simply titled Port, Fig, Orange, did nothing to give away what it might be – which was a delicious frangipane tart with a sharp orange curd, pistachio crumb, and vanilla creme fraiche. It’s a real contender for dessert of the year!
A delicious menu with interesting flavours and textures, I wouldn’t hesitate to go along to another of KAI’s Supper Clubs.