A Taste of Southeast Asia - A Night at the Depanneur

Photos by Ashley Choi

Photos by Ashley Choi

Reid and I hosted our first supper club event as My BF and GF this past Saturday, July 9th at the Depanneur in Toronto. I first heard about the Depanneur from my sister who is also in the food industry. She told me about their drop-in dinners, where any chef can make a dish to sell on Friday nights, and some workshops she had taken such as cheesemaking. It really is a place where "interesting food stuff happens".

I would describe the Dep as a studio space for cooks to experiment and explore their strengths. It's exciting to know that there's a place like this available to the community. Thank you Len for helping us organize our event and Emily for all of your help the night of. We will definitely be doing this again in the future.

The whole event was such a blast! Our theme was "A Taste of Southeast Asia" which is a sneak peak into our favourite recipes, allowing us to share our personal stories behind them. We gathered 25 of our friends and family (and some newbies too!), in a space that we were able to explore our culinary passions creatively. The menu was a 3-course meal which included:

Northern Thai pork sausages made with galangal, lemongrass, kaffir lime rind and chilies, paired with lemongrass marinated shrimp and pickled vegetables

Beef chuck slowly braised with kecap manis, lemongrass, ginger and chilies, served with coconut rice and peanut slaw

Meringue with a strawberry-lime curd topped with fresh fruit and whipped coconut cream

Reid first came across Sai Oua when he took a cooking class with a Thai chef named Wee in Chiang Mai for his 25th birthday. He instantly fell in love and brought the recipe home for me to try. I instantly fell in love as well. The bursts of galangal, lemongrass and kaffir lime explode in your mouth and you're left with nothing but a savory, juicy, fragrant flavour bomb. We paired this with some sweet-chili-lemongrass shrimp for a sweet textural contrast, along with some pickled daikons, carrots and cucumber to add a zing.

The Kecap Beef recipe is our attempt at recreating a dish we had on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia a few years back. The food was not particularly good on the island, but we found this one tent, right next to our dive centre, with ladies that boated over giant tupperwares of homemade food to sell everyday. The best thing we had tasted all week was this beef stew - that imprinted a lasting memory. Experimenting with different recipes over the last few years, I think we've come pretty close to the real thing. 

Lastly, the pavlova is one of Reid's favourite gluten free desserts. We put a Thai spin on it by topping it off with whipped coconut cream and kaffir lime zest. Round it out with whatever fruit is in season (mangoes looked particularly good last week) and you're set.

This will not be our last event! 


For more information on the Depanneur, check out: