Sunday, December 18, 2016

Sauce and Bread Kitchen, The Stew Luau

I enjoy going to Sauce and Bread Kitchen for their supper club, The Stew and have gone several times. mostly at Sauce and Bread Kitchen, but also at alternate locations.  The coffee shop/cafe itself is religiously local and seasonal and is the home of both Crumb Bakery and Co-op Hot Sauce.  While both of these are very good, their self imposed rules can be a little restrictive.  The Stew, their monthly supper club, allows them to break out and get creative and for this episode, they were very creative.  They did a spin on the food of a Hawaiian Luau (having never been to a Luau or even Hawaii).  Hawaiian friends of theirs that consulted on the menu development said that while some were pretty close to authentic, some were very creative.  In any case, the food we were served was very good.  We started out with a dish called Puri Puri that took a little work from the diner to put it together.  It consisted of very "balls" with very thin shells.  We were to crack them open to fill them with the Avocado Citrus Kissed Salmon and Sauce with which they were served.  The shell was like a very thin cracker, the salmon was very fresh and had a nice citrus flavor along with pureed avocado.  The sauce was like a Salsa Verde and added a tart spicy flavor.  It was a nice start with a very interesting dish that tasted really good.
Our next dish was called a Masubi Roll, but looked nothing like any roll that I might normally think of.  Having said that, it was similar in technique to a Maki Roll that you may find in a sushi restaurant.  It was an Onigiri Roll with House Made Ham, Egg, Rice and Umebashi Plum Sauce wrapped in Nori.  Onigiri is a roll with rice, and some sort of salted or sour food, and frequently, umebashi (salted plums), in this case the ham stood in as the salted portion and the Umebashi was served as part of the spicy sauce served with the side salad.  It was very different, but it did taste good, despite the burn. 
For our third course, we had Lau Lau, Braised Octopus and Poi (a tick sauce consisting of mashed and baked Taro root and in this dish, acted as a very thick sauce for the tender octopus) wrapped in a thick and edible leaf.  Served with the leaf were Purple Sweet Potato Chips.  While this tasted good, I couldn't figure out an easy way to eat it without making a mess.  As it was, I wrapped the leaf more tightly than it was served and ate it like a burrito, although more quickly.  While it did help somewhat, the leaf was tough, so it was tough to bite through, and the poi was very liquid.  The sweet potato chips were sweet and salty and provided a nice textural counterpoint to the leaf.

Our last savory dish was unusual in that it was a vegetarian dish.  Called Manapua, it consisted of BBQ Jackfruit in a Steamed Hawaiian Bun with Carrots, Pickled Red Onion and Grilled Pineapple.  Jackfruit is a large citrus fruit, with a banana/pineapple flavor, but it also unfortunately had a slight aroma similar to body odor.  The BBQ provided a sweet and tart flavor over the sweetness of the Hawaiian bun.  It had a nice crunch and other than the slightly unpleasant aroma, it tasted pretty good.
For our dessert, we finished off with Haupia, a traditional Hawaiian dessert consisting of Coconut Milk cooked with Arrowroot to make it thicker.  It had a texture similar to thick gelatin and was served with Pineapple, Passionfruit Curd, and Coconut.  It was sweet and tart from the passionfruit and pineapple and had a lot of textural variety.  It was very good and a good and interesting finish to a supperclub that I will undoubtedly enjoy again.

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