White Vine hosts five-course feast


The Middle Eastern pop-up restaurant popped in to White Vine House on Saturday April 1. Zoe Keen and her husband Graham served up a gargantuan meal to a packed crowd of local gourmands.

Zoe Keen comes out of the kitchen to take a bow

We were welcomed with a glass of prosecco with pomegranate seeds, a fruit that was to feature heavily throughout the evening.  The first course consisted of a fig, goats cheese and thyme honey salad – delicious. Most of our party were full by the time we had finished the chermoula stuffed aubergine with bulgar wheat and creamy yogurt, which followed. For the main course we had a choice between sumac scented chicken, lamb and aubergine stew or a Lebanese sweet potato, courgette and red pepper concoction. Between us, we covered all of these options. But the huge portions defeated us and we were unable to finish.

And there were still two more courses to come! Fortunately the next was tiny and light, a tangy sorbet with a shot of prosecco. But pudding was huge. We could choose either an enormous bowl of strawberry and rose Middle Eastern mess or a tahini and halva brownie. I didn’t particularly fancy either but I chose the brownie, knowing that I really wasn’t hungry in any case so it didn’t matter if I didn’t like it. That was a mistake. It was so delicious that I had to eat every scrap of the immense plate of moist, oozing deep, chocolate treat. We rolled home, bloated.

Zoe Keen blames her Italian heritage for her “feeder” tendencies. She works in London in the week, but one day hopes to make a career out of her love for cooking. Other Rye News readers were there that night having read about it last week. What did you think?

Photos: Seana Lanigan

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