On Saturday night, we headed into Ouseburn for a pop-up dining experience by the guys from Trial Shift. Ever since I first saw tickets go on sale, I knew the evening would be something rather special.
The duo behind TS, Tom Anglesea and Shaun Hurrell, have recently started putting on pop-up food events around the North East, and this weekend, took over The Grazer’s Cookhouse venue for a veg feast, starring produce grown in the North East by king of the veg, Ken Holland. Now, I love a good old supperclub, and having been the several of Anna’s own events at Cookhouse before, it was great to be back in familiar surroundings sampling something a bit different.
We arrived to a blood orange and gin cocktail, and promptly sat down to begin a right old feast.
The first course was already laid out on a brown kraft paper table runner (amazing idea for clearing away easily and lo-fi presentation) and featured delicate handmade crackers, baby parsnips, pale pink beets, crudites and glorious dips including a smokey aubergine number which was, for want of a better expression, the shit. This was followed this up with a delicate onion broth, beets and leek on a dreamy horseradish cream and spiced carrots with a tangy yoghurt and colourful flowers.
The stars of the show, for me, were definitely the Thai Pumpkin with it’s gooey coconutty centre, warm freshly made flatbreads, Ken’s herbs and a tamarind sauce, and the carrot cake pudding with crushed walnuts and spiced carrot tea.
I can honestly say I’ve never tasted vegetables as fresh and can only describe the taste as just pulled from the soil. Tom and Shaun put together an absolutely outstanding and innovative menu for the night, and grouped flavours brilliantly to complement the beautiful veg without stifling its delicacy.
Tom and Shaun already have more pop-up dinners and events in the offing around the North East, with their next couple taking place at Harvest in Jesmond, and Flat White in Durham. I seriously can’t recommend their events enough, so get yourself along so you don’t miss out.
For more info about the guys, head over to trialshift.com for their upcoming events.