Chatting Food were very happy to join the lucky Mob prizewinners at this fabulous Maldon Salt x Mob supperclub, cooked by the lovely Sophie Wyburd in their super cool offices in Shoreditch.
I'm going to put my hand up now and confess that I have always been a Maldon girl. When I graduated from the plastic table salt and ground white pepper shakers of my childhood (the height of sophistication was to have a glass salt shaker with rice grains in it), Maldon was the first sea salt I tried and I've never been tempted to stray.
This beer was an absolute revelation. With the Maldon sea salt and lime it had an almost margarita-type vibe: light, zingy and refreshing, this was a hit with everyone I spoke to at the dinner, including those who are not regular beer-drinkers. I would order a crate of this for my next BBQ - sign me up.
Curried potato croquetas
Dangerously moreish, these piping hot, crispy croquetas contained comfortingly smooth mashed potato, fiery with curry spices. Can you think of a better accompaniment to that lime-salty beer?
Rendang padron peppers
I have always served padron peppers the classic way, fried quickly in olive oil until blistered and charred, then sprinkled with sea salt. I have no idea why it never occurred to me to use them as a side dish rather than a bar snack, but I will now. Smothered in a fragrant Rendang sauce, these were a level up from the plainer dish.
Chargrilled prawns with satay aioli
This dish was a bit of a showstopper: juicy chargrilled prawns in a smooth but punchy satay sauce. I love prawns from the grill; those little blackened areas intensify the natural sweetness of the prawns and ramp up the flavour. Diners soon gave up on the cutlery and went in with their fingers: messy but so much fun!
Smoky curry leaf aubergines with butterbeans
Mob Kitchen are known for their easy, inventive vegan and vegetarian dishes. With many people currently cutting down on meat for a variety of reasons, they are a fabulous source of quick, affordable plant-based recipes. Take this smoky aubergine dish with creamy butterbeans, which I'm fully intending to copy at home: I think most guests would be pretty happy to see this land on the table - it was utterly delicious.
Bavette with Szechuan peppercorn sauce
Bavette is a great choice of cut for this dish as it is quick to cook, tender in texture and has a depth of flavour that can hold its own against the spicy Szechuan peppercorn sauce, with its distinctive slightly numbing heat. Perfectly cooked to retain its softness, this was another Mob & Maldon flavour bomb.
Coconut creme Catalana with burnt pineapple
We are used to salt in puddings an ingredient in its own right, such as salted caramel, but it's easy to forget how a pinch of salt can transform many sweet dishes; think of flapjacks (or porridge, or indeed oats in any form) without that vital pinch of salt to lift them. Used sparingly, salt actually increases the sensation of sweetness in a dish, so can be used to finely balance flavours.
Happy 140th birthday, Maldon; long may you reign.
[Items in this article may have been gifted to Chatting Food. No financial payment has been made to feature in this article, and entries to the feature are made independently by members of the Editorial Team. This page contains affiliate links and we may receive a small commission for purchases]
Deputy Editor, Chatting Food London: Amanda David
Amanda David is a freelance food writer specialising in London’s restaurants, bars, exhibitions and events. She is the Events Editor for London Cheapo and a regular contributor to Palate Magazine.
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