M & Q @ Healthy Roots, Upminster
Following on from two hugely successful pop up restaurant nights at the Clerkenwell Kitchen, Martin Ryan and Quentin Smith who both live in Essex thought they would put on a local night in Martin’s home town of Upminster and chose Healthy Roots in the high street as their venue this time.
Healthy Roots lended itself to the laid back vibe of a pop up restaurant with its slightly industrial, modern feel.
Again guests were treated to a fabulous Spanish menu kicking off with a Cava reception and Para Picar (selection of canapés). Gazpacho soup was the first course and served with a chilled Albarino 2015 (Rias Biaxas). Hake came next with mussels served with gem lettuce and a parsley and white sauce, this was served with Las Fincas for Arzak, Chivite 2016 which was a real hit with guests – not only is it a lovely looking bottle with a gorgeous pink colour rose but it also tasted superb.
The Iberian pork presa cut and pork belly with mojo verde and apricot puree. This was served with a rich Pesquera Crianza, Alejandro Fernandez 2005 (Ribero del Duero). Again a fabulous wine.
This was all finished off with a very tasty desert which was poached pear filled with mascarpone on a vedejo crumb – served with Alameda, Bodegas Hidalgo (Jerez) a sherry which complemented the desert beautifully. This was outstanding.
The feedback on the night was great and guests enthused about the amazing food and the clever paring of wines with each course. But it’s not just about the food, although that is obviously important. It’s the whole idea of the pop up restaurant which brings together a group of people who appreciate and love good food and wine in a comfortable and fun environment. There was a great buzz on the evening and once you have been to one of these you’ll want to just keep going back.