As with much great cooking, this event and its concept relies on simple ingredients done exceptionally well. The collaboration between Harvey Nichols and Dan Doherty champions the very best of seasonal cuisine, which always make us happy. It then takes inspiration from both European and Middle Eastern flavours. Ahead of the launch of his next brick and mortar restaurant, Dan has brought his ‘Sprout’ supper club around the country, trialling his Middle Eastern influenced menu with the widest possible audience.

Though Dan confesses to having never lived in the region, he’s used all of his culinary skills to bring us Sprout’s supper club menu. It celebrates the bright flavours of the Middle East, whilst muting and balancing them to work with local ingredients.

To include the local environment even more, at each supper club event Dan and Harvey Nichols have engaged local florists to help bring the beauty of nature inside the space. In the permanent Sprout venue the decorative plants that make up the interior will be available to buy. This way the scenery is always changing, and as in nature, nothing ever stagnates. In Leeds, this involved working with The Plant Room, an incredible floristry company, whose presentations are opulent and yet delightfully minimalistic.

With a welcome cocktail in hand and the anticipation suitably built up, there was nothing to do but to start trying the food. Their arrival was heralded by a cloud of heavenly smells…

Dan Doherty at Harvey Nichols

The Starter

First up were flatbreads served with a selection of smoked yogurt, puréed butternut squash with feta and a green pea hummus. Though each of the dips were heavenly, the surprising standout had to be the smoked yogurt. The flavour was creamy and rich without being heavy or possessing any acidic after tastes. The portions were delicate, this did make us slightly nervous about how full we’d be at the end of the evening, but by the time we got to the last bite of our first course, we understood. Large dollops of these intense flavours would have been too much, it was better to be craving another bite than wondering how we were ever going to finish it.

The Mains

Next came the mains which really encapsulated the balance between international flavours with local staples. Our slow cooked lamb shoulder was served on a bed of hot hummus. It was then accompanied with purple sprouting broccoli, topped with chickpeas, pine nuts and zhoug.

Dan Doherty at Harvey Nichols We’d never considered heating hummus before, and certainly not using it as the main carbohydrate in a dish, but after this, we might! The dish was warming and just as enticing as the starter had been. The softer flavours of the hummus and broccoli were happily juxtaposed against the rich lamb and spice of the zhoug. It’s not a dish we could have ever imagined at home, which is why its inclusion in the Sprout menu is resplendent. The only thing we could wish for would be a tad more crunch. The broccoli was perfectly cooked, but when surrounded by softer textures it’s hard to provide all the bite you need with a single component.

The Dessert

Pistachio and orange cake is possibly our favourite dessert of the week. The gentle sponge is just a little bit crispy on top, and then your fork sinks through effortlessly. Its vibrant green colour might lead you to believe that the pistachio flavour would be overpowering, but you’d be mistaken. The taste is mellow, the texture is moist and you realise that this is everything you ever want a Victoria sponge to be.
Dan Doherty at Harvey Nichols

When it’s then paired with a  rose Chantilly cream and drizzled with orange blossom honey it’s a toe tingling experience. As with the other two courses, we were left full and yet craving more. We still want more.

The final parting gift of the evening were two subtly spiced shortbread biscuits in a Harvey Nichols bracelet box. Though jewellery would have been a wonderful surprise, these biscuits took a happy second place. We’d love to show you a photo, but they were eaten before a camera ever came close to them.

If you’d like to try this fabulous menu rather than just being jealous that we did, There are two more dates for the club: March 21st in Bristol and March 23rd in Nottingham. After that point, you’ll have to wait a little while. Dan is still choosing a venue for Sprout to call its permanent home. When we know when and where it will be open, you can be sure that we’re in the queue vying for a reservation.

By Parker, Restaurants of Leeds Share this story