Private supper clubs are big in London — and now Sydney finally has one of our very own! Founded by Aussie expat (and former London dweller) Cat Dorsen, Big Table Supper Club is a pop-up dinner party in the Inner West. Each even comes with a different, mouth-watering theme, all cooked to perfection by Cat.
The fun starts before you even arrive. The event The Plus Ones attended was dubbed ‘Colour Me Hungry’. Our pre-event email explained the concept: The dinner is a 5-course surprise — you won’t know what each course is until after it’s served. This gives you the time to eat and truly explore the flavour of each dish.
And we were asked to dress in our most colourful outfits to match the meal!
What to wear, what to wear… I eventually went with a brightly-coloured maxi dress, fuschia shoes, turquoise tassel earrings, and pink lippy. My +1, my friend Jonathan (and the person who told me about Big Table Supper Club), donned a pink shirt. We may have been the most colourful duo at the table, but there were folks wearing everything from bright dresses to a top hat.
We walked through the doors at the Backyard Opera building in Tempe (just a short Uber ride away for these Inner East denizens.) For Colour Me Hungry, the team went all out: projected multi-coloured images on a wall; a huge table covered in colourful Birds of Paradise flowers; a bar to one corner. And a pinata that we had fun smashing after our dinner.
Under the tagline ‘Feast. Connect. Inspire.’, Big Table Supper Club aims to give Sydneysiders something a bit different to with friends — and to make new ones along the way. All we had to do was help ourselves to a glass to Jacob’s Creek vino at a table stocked with bottles, and the conversation started and didn’t ebb the entire evening.
My +1 and I have backgrounds in coworking, media, and mental health; our neighbours at the table in nursing and education. Topics ranged from travel and politics to what it’s like to live on Norfolk Island. And in true Sydney fashion, my friend ended up running into an old pal seated further down the table.
It’s time to talk about the main event of the night — the magical food! At Colour Me Hungry, we didn’t know what we were eating — only what colour each course was. Cat and her mother (who not only initially spurred in her a love of cooking, but helped pull off the meal) brought out each dish. Then it was up to diners to guess what we were devouring, before the big reveal.
Each course was inventive, flavourful, and plated to perfection. (My favourite of the courses: Orange.) While we guessed some of the ingredients — raspberries, prawns — others were entirely unexpected, and roused gasps of approval when Cat told us what was in each dish at the end of the meal.
Here’s what we dined upon:
PinkRaspberry Ginger Cured Trout Eclair with Cauliflower Horseradish Mousse topped with a Raspberry and Chilli SalsaGreenBeef Tartare, Lemongrass, Coriander Pesto with Green Papaya Salad
OrangeCarrot and Apricot with Fennel Pickled Prawns, Turmeric Slow cooked Dutch Carrot and Spring Onions with Roast Sourdough
RedPaprika Octopus, ‘Nudja, Gnocchi with Roast Peppers and Mezcal Sauce
BlueBlue Curaçao and Amaro Poached Pear and Gorgonzola Cheesecake and White Chocolate
And all of this amazingness? It’s yours for only $70-$75. No joke. A five-course meal, endless wine, great conversation — bargain of the century.
If I had one suggestion, it would be for Big Table Supper Club to start partnering with nearby wineries and craft breweries to showcase even more local flare. With Cat’s endless drive and creativity, there’s plenty of scope in the future for more collaborations. She’s currently on the hunt for artists who might want to partner with her to create edible art; and the next event coming up is an Après Ski extravaganza in July. Dust of your cutest snow bunny outfit and get ready for mulled wine and lots of hygge coziness. Buy tickets now before it sells out!
Big Table Supper Club is all about ‘creating an experience you love and a community you want to be a part of’ — we heartily agree. Make sure you invite friends and attend an upcoming session!
Co-founder of The Plus Ones, Theresa looks forward to many more excursions with Big Table Supper Club. Follow her on her Instagram.