Main Event: A red-hot lava stone eating experience
Is it worth the calories? With rising obesity rates dominating the press an opportunity to eat healthily scores high here.
We love dinner! So when Nick Metcalf and guest chef Jaqueline Wise invited us to their unique supper club we eagerly obliged. Being included in a party of food professionals we happily caught up with some old friends and made some new ones too.
Steak stones are natural lava rock, cut and sanded smooth for cooking. Used in top restaurants globally they sounded like a bit of a gimmick. But what makes them unique is their ability to hold their temperature for prolonged period. Chilled stones are glazed and useful for keeping desserts, cold cuts or even sushi cool while heated stones are perfect for tabletop and outdoor cooking.
To promote his lava stones Nick has a private dining room in Reigate where he hosts regular supper clubs. This allows him to showcase his products, get valuable feedback and spread the word. On arrival at the event bubbly and a range of tapas from local independent delicatessen, Cullenders, were served. Dinner followed in a dedicated dining room and here the fun started. We were all served thick-cut fillet steaks with chunky chips, asparagus and cherry tomatoes. A health warning, not to touch the stones with inquisitive fingers, was strategically flagged and good job too, these stones heated to 350c demand respect. The thick fillet steaks were from butchers, Aubrey Allen, who source grass-fed dry-aged beef. The steaks were big but you don’t get the benefit of this cooking platform with anything smaller.
It turns out that eating from a sizzling lava stone is an exothermic experience particularly suited to a wintery night. Having wondered what benefit this heat retaining rock might bring to the table can now be shared. You get a hunk of tasty meat that changes character during the meal plus its gets hotter as you eat. This works because the meat is only turned once and doesn’t move during the process. You can cut a slice off and press it into the stone to achieve your preferred level of ‘doneness’. You are in complete control throughout. The accompanying vegetables can also get the same treatment. Mulling back to previous steak dinners that have congealed on the plate, or worse, a chopping board (who ever thought that was a good idea?) gives this format extra points.
Steaks finished we waxed lyrical about our meal and agreed that it was the perfect cooking platform for top quality meat. We could see that using this for salmon, scallops and other solid protein sources would be just as effective.
Steak stones cleared away we finished with coffee a dessert of lemon and elderflower sponge with a hot caramel sauce.
Lava stones are available on line from Nicks shop and he has a range of packages for restaurant. It’s the larger commercial market that this company is primarily interested in but they are also keen to sell online to individuals in single units. This is a great gift for meat lovers and given that there is some fabulous local beef on offer in Surrey it’s a perfect match.
0800 1777 577