This Spring, we’re teaming up with a bunch of East Village eateries to offer Echo members exclusive access to an exciting series of travel-themed supper clubs. In this blog, Echo member Jonathan Booth reviews his experience of the first in the series – Fish House‘s East Meets East Village supper club.
I’ve been an Echo member for over three years. In that time I’ve been able to find lots of ways to contribute to the Echo community – highlights include producing tech workshops for Echo members and the LLDC. I have participated in a business development focus group, loaned out my company’s equipment and assisted on community events. Additionally, I’ve been able to support eight different businesses with design and development for their WordPress websites.
Echo is by no means a one-way street, and the community has given a lot back. I have learned to meditate from some excellent teachers, experienced reflexology for the first time and enjoyed a local brewery tour and beer tasting. My forehand advanced with one-to-one tennis coaching. I have even learned the craft of aromatherapy, an experience that starkly contrasted my Echo funded trip to the terraces of West Ham’s London Stadium. But it’s not all fun and games; Echo has also facilitated professional support in the form of copywriting expertise, brand consultancy, LinkedIn advice, event production insights and e-commerce guidelines.
Jonathan in the midst of an Echo trade
So with all these experiences under my belt, it was with great delight I discovered a supper club offered on the platform. East meets East Village Supper Club at The Fish House was an experience that exemplifies what Echo means to me, and I will endeavour to explain why.
I’ve long been a fan of supper clubs – the food usually is comparable to a top restaurant, but you get the added benefit of a personal touch. The chef will typically make an effort to get round to each of the diners to explain the nuances of the menu and the origins of the ingredients. Sultana Qureshi, the guest chef for the evening, didn’t disappoint. Kicking off with “Tubby” Panipuri, a round hollow unleavened deep-fried bread, about the size of a Pizza Express doughball (pull a face, but I know you find that description helpful), which you break into to construct your vessel to be filled with delicious ingredients. Qureshi gave us a bountiful selection of chutneys, yoghurt raita and mango salsa. Squid pakora, deep fried whitebait, anchovy sprats, spiced crab and fish kebabs were piled high and placed at intervals along our long communal table. Our seafood treats get counterbalanced with characteristically vibrant vegetable recipes variously flavoured with chaat masala, lime, chillies, ginger and garlic.
Behind the scenes at Fish House
So how does this experience exemplify Echo? Well to start off with, myself and my friend Clara are sat next to people we don’t know, but there is no hesitation in introducing ourselves to one another. We exchange pleasantries, and the novelty of the evening and the attentiveness of our hosts enhances the atmosphere. Before long we’ve moved beyond small talk and are debating thought-provoking topics relating to our collective experience. Jack has plenty to say about Artificial Intelligence and is the founder of a Cyber Security company that uses AI techniques to spot anomalous traffic and keep data protected. Rosie, a trainee doctor, shares her experience of how hospital culture can vary between different parts of the country. We talk about saving pets on GumTree, (Rosie saved her terrapins from sellers threatening to throw them in the Canal) and as the wine flows the conversation continues apace. So to my mind, Echo is easily paralleled with the moments there at the table: a place to encounter members of the community, to share ideas, have new experiences and engage with one another in a meaningful way, even when you’ve only just met.
P.S. Dessert was delicious.
If you’re looking for a good way to spend some Echoes, or want to explore the culinary delights of East Village for yourself, check out the rest of the series and keep your eyes peeled for the next Echo ticket announcement!