Those in Birmingham’s foodie scene are probably aware of Josh Porter, former Chef de Partie and co-founder of one of last year’s hottests pop-ups, En-Place.
With new partner, food writer and blogger, Jade Hollingworth, taking over front of house duties, Josh has stripped back the menu with a twist on early Prohibition era 20th Century dishes.
This was Josh & Jade’s first pop up and it was situated at the 6/8 Kafe in Millennium Point. We had a great view across Millennium Point, which felt very empty at that time of night. Jade and Josh, however, had made the space feel inviting with candles on the tables, background music featuring acoustic takes on modern songs and low lighting to make it feel like a cosy living room.
For drinks, it was a case of BYOB (bring your own bottle) if you wanted alcohol. I chose a very nice Chateauneuf du Pape, whilst Wifey went for an English Rose.
We had a surprise to start!
Josh had added an extra little touch to the menu with an Amuse Bouche of Parmesan Gougères, and Chicken Liver Parfait garnished with Beetroot Gel and a tiny touch of Thyme. The parfait was delightfully creamy with the beetroot gel adding a touch of acidity. The Gougères reminded me a little of a savoury coconut macaroon in texture. These warm little parcels were surprisingly light and the parmesan came through well, like a cheese version of fluffy eggy bread.
Wifey didn’t know what to expect with the Princess Style Consommé, a dish she had not come across before. The broth came presented in a stunning glass teapot which unfortunately, I didn’t get a snap of bit you can see on their Twitter
Have sourced this beaut to serve one of the courses at our first pop up pic.twitter.com/70nFDuNNHi
— A Lost Society (@_alostsociety) April 3, 2016
Instead of the traditional chicken breast, a period appropriate chicken mousseline was accompanied by crispy chicken skin and pickled vegetables. The chicken skin was like, well, a chicken scratching and absolutely scrumptious. The chicken mousseline was very tender and airy on the tongue, whilst the pickled veg gave a delightful crunch all enhanced by the beautifully clear broth.
The next dish was a Ceviche of Sea Trout with edible flowers, accompanied with Pea and Wasabi Sorbet and Rapeseed Oil Powder. Wifey is not a fan of raw fish, but the ceviche method had cured the fish and it was smooth and tasty. The flower texture tasted great but I would have liked a bit more bite in the pea and wasabi sorbet (perfect for Wifey).The rapeseed oil powder was very subtle and blended well with the fish.
The ‘main’ for the night was Breast of lamb with asparagus, buttery potatoes and Sauce Paloise (a twist on Bearnaise with mint instead of tarragon). The asparagus was slightly charred and tasty, the potatoes were salted and tasted like miniature jacket potatoes. The lamb was crispy on the outside yet still tender and went really well with the Paloise.
To finish was a lemon tart, made by Jade. It was served on its own and therefore, not overshadowed by the fripperies of ice cream, sorbet or cream. The tart was delicious, with a crisp pastry case. The filling was set well, tangy and topped with caramelised sugar. A simple dessert done well, which some restaurants could learn that overblown accompaniments usually hide the main focus.
A final, unknown until presentation, treat was a Petit Fours of Financier with sliced and pickled pear & treacle sauce. The almond cake was light and airy whilst the pickled pear and treacle sauce were sharp and rich, creating a great flavour profile when combined.
Josh and Jade popped over at the end of the meal and it was good to see a couple so passionate about what they are providing, and bringing back some hidden gems from days gone past. Their next pop up is on 14th May with a different menu to that above, which you can find more information and get tickets for here.
Where: A Lost Society Pop Up
Who: 6/8 Kafe, Floor 2, Millennium Point, Curzon Street, Birmingham, B4 7XG