This post is also available in: Português
The idea of paying to attend a dinner at a stranger’s house, to eat at the same table of people I have never met in my life, has barely crossed my mind.
I mean, I’ve lived in a few countries with different people. I’ve been to gatherings with friends and friends of friends.
I’ve heard about “supper clubs”, and I knew the concept, but never really gave it thought.
Until, one afternoon, my phone rang:
“Hi, what are you doing Saturday night? There’s a Nepalese lady in Sintra who makes delicious homemade Nepalese cuisine.
It’s not in a restaurant, but I can guarantee it’s the best Nepalese food in Lisbon. Wanna go?”
Why not, right?
Supper clubs are becoming trendy in Portugal.
From my experience, I think it’s a great program. Because of all the tourism fuzz, Lisbon restaurants are getting quite crowded.
Supper clubs are coming out as exclusive with limited seats.
Besides, the best part is that you can enjoy food cooked by people who love to host, at a cozy and intimate atmosphere.
I mean, how often do you get to dine with the Chef?
That’s exactly what I found at TerrAzoia, a rural guest house located in an organic farmland. This is a car-free zone where the entrance is by foot only.
Being at Serra de Sintra, the journey to get there is already marvelous and magic: the road to get there from Lisbon is always by the ocean.
Sofia co-hosts the experience, and she always provides a guided tour once you get to the farm. Views over the mountain and over the ocean are a breath of fresh air for city people.
The smells are heavenly intense due to all the trees: cork, oak, pine, acacia and eucalyptus trees.
Nepal is a fascinating place with a cuisine full of complex and satisfying flavors.
Due to the presence of Buddhist and Hindu traditions, the food is very appealing to vegetarians and meat eaters alike.
Influenced by its neighboring countries (India, China and Tibet), Nepalese Cuisine combines a range of ingredients, techniques and characteristics with its own gastronomic history.
For example, Nepalese dishes are generally healthier than most other South Asian cuisine, relying less on fats and more on chunky vegetables, lean meats, pickled ingredients and salads.
Chandra, came to Portugal as a permaculture student at Sofia’s farm. It took Chandra 1 week to fell in love with the country.
The idea of starting a Nepalese supper club came from Chandra’s passion to meet new people and to share her delicious meals.
It amazed me the fact that Chandra has her own business of homemade spices back in Kathmandu.
She also makes a lot of food from scratch, like pickles!
Chandra cooks in a room with a kitchenette.
This means that we were able to see all her cooking while enjoying the warmness of the fireplace.
We can see many common ingredients found across Nepalese cuisine on the counter.
Semola, lentils, pistachios, carrots, cashews, a big variety of spices and soya yogurt.
She tells us some of the ingredients are brought by friends from Nepal, who bring her things while traveling.
There were 6 of us. One girl from Switzerland, another from Brazil, a vegan blogger from the USA as well as local people.
Most of the participants attending the supper club were vegan, so Chandra prepared a Nepalese meal without any animal origin and without any dairy products.
While she is preparing everything, we were offered local herb tea and lime lemonade – everything was organic and from Sofia’s farm.
There are no secrets in Chandra’s recipes, she as she cooks she’s very enthusiastic in explaining each detail.
Traditionally, in Nepal, the whole meal is accompanied by rice and lentils from starters to main plates.
As appetizer, we were served a sweet potato, pumpkin and seeds soup.
This gave us a mouthful taste of Nepal.
We then tasted “achaar”, a spicy pickle salad.
This vegan salad was made with cucumber and mash potatoes.
A combination of textures that I would not think of, but a heavenly surprise to our palate.
I was in for a second round of it, that’s how delicious it was!
At this point, the smells and the food really took me on a journey across the oceans.
I could the mountains, the villages and the smiling people of beautiful Nepal.
Chandra went for the killing wen she presented us with her most famous recipe: the samosas.
Oh my, I just felt like I went to food heaven.
My expectations were high as these samosas were highly recommend by the foodie that asked me to join Chandra’s supper club.
I was not disappointed.
The samosas are made with a thick pastry.
A dry and crunchy pastry that just made us want to eat over and over again.
They are were stuffed with vegetables like peas, cucumber and corn.
It also has just the right amount of spices, making our mouths relish with the burst of flavors and textures.
Be aware, Chandra usually makes too many samosas and it’s very difficult to stop eating them. They are quite addictive!
Chandra explained us the filling might vary.
If there were meat eaters attending the supper club, she would have used chicken pieces.
I thought I didn’t have room for dessert anymore, but that “gajar ka haluwa” was begging to be tasted.
Make sure you’ll have extra space for this delicious almond milk carrot cake.
Conversation flowed among all the different nationalities joined at the table.
Throughout the whole meal, we talked about travels, about food and got to know each other.
The passion for other cultures and for food brought us together in a different, but outstanding environment.
Before leaving, we could all agree on one thing: When can we come back?
There’s nothing like comfort food. I believe that’s Chandra’s biggest secret.
If you got curious about this experience, join Chandra’s next event 🙂
About the author
I’m fascinated by the unique cultures of the world and I love to explore new places through local gastronomy. My passion for food lead me on my biggest adventure: build my own startup. So, 10kg later, FoodieBookings was born to provide the best (and most authentic) Portuguese food experiences 🙂