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For the last couple of years now, Anna's (aka The Grazer) supperclubs have been one of the city's best kept secrets. They don't happen that often, and when they do the first warning you get is a little email in your mailbox letting you know you can request your place. And if you're fast enough to get yourself one it's a slow wait until the day before the event, when Anna lets you know what'll be on the menu. Having been to three of her feasts, and tried dishes I never would've ordered before, it's one of the best experiences for any self-proclaimed foodie. Since tickets go pretty fast, I've never been to a Supperclub where I've known that many people. It's bring your own booze and you're seated on a communal table (always beautifully laid out). So it's the perfect opportunity to get out of your comfort zone and get to know your fellow diners, with your welcome drink (usually something gin based and delicious) in hand.
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To mark the beginning of the New Year (and the first Supperclub of 2015), Anna hosted a Cock and Bull Supperclub. Serving up seasonal food, we tucked into three enormous sharing portions. We started with a smorgasbord of devilled eggs with roast chicken skin, potted chicken livers, and chicken and caper kickshaws, served with cornichon and crouton salad, and sour dough. I'd never tried kickshaws before, but I guess the way I'd describe them is somewhere between a pasty and a samosa. You get the flaky goodness of the pastry and a creamy filling, but deep fried to give it a slightly different texture. Probably very naughty, but oh so good! Once we cleaned up the starters, we got to the 'Bull' course, a main of ox cheek and chocolate. These were served with fried pear and baby onions, baked polenta, parsnip crips, and green beans with vinaigrette.
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When it comes to cuts of meats, I'm not really that adventurous as I'm not that keen on fatty meat. So this was my first experience of ox cheek. Cooked until perfectly tender and practically falling apart, the chocolate was a really subtle complement to the richness of the meat. Although the cut is fattier than the sort I'd usually go for, it was beautifully cooked and actually a lot meatier than I'd thought. I was able to pull apart and just avoid the overly fatty bits (although I know I was probably missing out on so much flavour..) I think what I enjoy most about Anna's Supperclubs though is being taken out of my comfort zone a little. I'd say I'm fairly easy going with food and there's nothing I won't give a try. But Supperclubs bring a whole new level to indulging in something new and finding flavours to become new favourites. After devouring the mains, (and drinking a little too much red wine), Anna brought out a dessert of cherry and marsala trifle accompanied with coffee. Unlike traditional trifles, this was soft with a thick milky texture. Probably to help it go down easier after all that food! Rich, creamy and deliciously tart, I wasn't sure how I was going to manage anything else. But the slight sourness of the cherries and the creaminess, made the perfect finish to an indulgent meal.
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If this first Supperclub is anything to go by, I'd say 2015 is going to be a strong year! And I'm looking forward to my next visit. Luckily, since Anna has opened Cook House, you don't have to wait months on end for another event. She's open Mon-Fri 8.30am-3.30pm, and if her instagram isn't enough to make your mouth water, then I'm not sure what is.

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