Check in to the Supper Club for something different
Becky Alexander Becky Alexander
- Credit: Waffle House
In the 10 years I have been writing about food for this newspaper I have never written about the Waffle House, because it is so established and well-known. It has been owned by the same family since the 70s and the queues on a weekend show its enduring popularity.
But there is now a reason to write about them as they have opened a new evening Supper Club, with a ‘fine-dining’ twist.
The 16th century building in the heart of St Michael’s village is a lovely setting, and we were shown to a table on the outdoor terrace under an enormous tree, right by the River Ver. On a balmy evening, it really is one of the prettiest locations in St Albans.
The Supper Club has a more grown-up vibe than day time, with smart styling and a menu very much pitched at adults. It’s a short menu with just five options for each course, but I like that as it means the chefs can be seasonal and flexible.
We chose spring onion and pea falafel with a coconut dressing and the smoked mackerel rillette with pickled cucumber. The falafel were excellent – soft and full of fresh flavours.
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The dressing was more like a tzatziki, and I couldn’t taste any coconut, but it was lovely anyway. The mackerel was really a pate, rather than a rillette, but also delicious and served on a slice of waffle, which was fun, and went well with the mackerel.
I really enjoyed my roast cauliflower with romesco sauce and a watercress waffle. It was a very generous dish, with plenty of flavour and is one of the best vegan dishes I have tried locally.
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My friend’s Loch Duart miso-glazed salmon with soba noodles came with a little cup of broth to pour over. She is a great cook and said the salmon was cooked perfectly – crisp on the outside and just pink inside.
With main courses at £14.95-18.95 the prices are high for St Albans and a step-up from the usual lunch menu, but do reflect the quality of the ingredients and cooking.
As the Waffle House is known for its puds, we had to try those too. Our waiter Catherine recommended the pannacotta, which was excellent – I loved the warm, roasted figs and the delicious biscotti slices with it.
The knickerbocker glory with strawberries and ice cream was classic Waffle House – a sweet waffle piled with perfectly ripe strawberries – not really a glory, which would come in a tall glass, but a lovely pud.
The drinks menu is short and covers most bases. It was nice to see a Scottish rhubarb gin on the menu, though it would be good to see some local drinks suppliers on there, as we have so many excellent beers and gins now.
Our house Tinto Tempranillo was lovely, and reasonable value at under £20 a bottle. A few people had cocktails but we didn’t see a menu for those, but do ask if that is your thing.
We had fresh mint tea as we were in no rush to leave and were enjoying the Ibiza tunes and the lovely evening.
Service was excellent throughout – efficient, friendly and not rushed. It’s a lovely night out for a special occasion, and when we went the tables were mostly set up for two, but they can organise larger tables too.
So, I must stop waffling on. Unlike during the day, you can book to go to Supper Club, and it is essential, as it is already pretty full for some weekends. Best availability is on Thursdays and they plan to release more tables in July.
To book a table go to supperclubstalbans.co.uk. There is plenty of easy parking but due to the nature of the old building, the location of Supper Club is difficult for access for all. If the weather isn’t perfect, don’t worry – there is plenty of space inside and with candlelight and the old watermill turning, that will be lovely too!