An evening with Michael Smith and Tony Singh – mini review

1st December 2015 6.30pm

This event was hosted at Tigerlily. This is a mini review as this does not reflect on the food that Tigerlily offers as the chefs had come in for this special event. The meal was paid for prior to the evening and included a six course meal created by the chefs plus a glass of fizz on arrival. I was a bit surprised that there were no non-alcoholic drinks automatically available for guests as an alternative to the fizz (as I couldn’t have it) but it was no problem once I asked. We had time to sit around the bar area before we were all seated for the meal. The chefs mingled amongst the group, which was a nice touch. Sadly we were not warned that seating would be in large groups, almost in a banquet style. If we had known we might have thought twice about going as we were crammed in like sardines. There were 15 of us on our table, so one side had more guests than the other. This table, at best, should have sat no more than 10. This resulted in everyone being too hot and it was too loud to have a proper conversation. This was certainly not a relaxing start to the meal. This was not the fault of the chefs, mind you. The chefs addressed the diners, miked up (not that it really helped as some diners insisted on talking whilst they were – loving the sound of their own voices) and explained the idea of the evening. Michael and Tony met on Great British Menus and have become firm friends ever since. The dinner was showing some of the best of Scottish produce with a spiced twist, with the courses we had demonstrating some of their highlights from Great British Menus. They would be mingling and answers questions for the whole evening.

Mussel and Saffron Soup

Mussel and Saffron Soup

As the chefs wrapped up their welcome, the first course arrived. This was mussel and saffron soup. I had never had mussel soup before but love mussels so I was raring to give it a try. This course was a delight. The soup was fragrant and the mussels juicy. The vividness of the saffron meant that not only was the palate dancing, the eyes were too.

Terrine

Mussel and Saffron Soup

Next up was a shredded hough terrine – Tony’s take on spam. This came in a novelty tin can and was accompanied by a tube of charred apple and cinnamon purée and a roll to spread it all on. This was pleasant. Texture wise it was not close enough to a terrine for me which was a bit of a shame but then you would have lost the novelty factor. The purée was definitely a highlight and I would have that with pork/ham again.

Punjabi salmon

Punjabi salmon

With relatively quick pace, out came the Punjabi salmon. This is based on Tony’s mum’s recipe. The dish was lovely and had beautiful spicing (which is hardly surprising). The tomatoes were full of flavour. My salmon a little over in my opinion but everyone else seemed happy so I probably had a duffer. At this point we started to notice that the portion sizing in general was a bit too big for 6 courses. This was also when people really started to struggle to have enough room to eat as the use of the knife and fork was needed here and there was simply not enough elbow room.

Lamb tagine

Lamb tagine

Then, the showcase course, a lamb version of Michael’s winning goat tagine. This was served sharing style. The meat was tender and perfectly spiced. The balance was beautiful. The crunchy green beans were a nice contrast and looked striking on the platter. Both were sat on a bed of fruity cous cous. There was a silky whisky sauce (make with Talisker) which brought out the depth of the spices. This dish was lovely but impractical for the tables we were at and as we had one of the platters directly in front of us, we ended up sitting at a bizarre angle to try to eat. However, it was worth it for the beautifully spiced meat. There were additional pastillas being passed around but I was desperate to make it to dessert so declined one but the other diners said they were deliciously fruity.

Chocolate Tart

Chocolate Tart

Dessert came in the form of a chocolate tart with a chocolate chilli ice cream and a chocolate rolled stick. The tart was a a bit too dry for me, or at least needed more ice cream but my dining partner for the evening really enjoyed it all, so perhaps that was down to personal preference. The chocolate stick was lovely.

Mini mince pies

Mini mince pies

Finally, we were given a warm mini mince pie. A fantastic way to end the meal. Yum.

Whilst the food was really quite nice, better management of event would have made this excel. Instead we made a sharp exit after the last course rather than enjoying the surroundings.

Cost £45 each for a 6 course meal and a glass of fizz

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