An evening out at Food Society is perfect for people with a hefty appetite. If you're having the communal menu, that is.
Contemplating whether to order a la carte or the communal menu is a long-winded process, but after weighing our options carefully (and consulting our waiter), we opt for the communal menu, which costs $46 per person if there are four or more people dining together. Our waiter explains that the dishes in the communal menu are the ones the chef is most proud of. How can we say no that? Clearly, we can't.
On our table there are some bread sticks and pickled cauliflower. I of course am intrigued by the cauliflower, which at first glance looks raw not pickled. I enjoy pickled foods in general, so this cauliflower version gets a tick of approval in my books.
Now, let the communal menu impress your hungry eyes and taste buds.
First up are the Oysters with lemon ice and trout roe, which pose a slight problem because out of us four girls, only Miss Flying Unicorn actually likes oysters. MC tentatively tries one, and is satisfied with the taste.
The cured meats with house pickled vegetables are lacking in house pickled vegetables. But that's fine, instead there's a little heap of caramelised onions. The cured meats are nice, but not the highlight of our communal menu by any means.
The Cevapi: Balkan style sausages on cos lettuce with crisp speck, red pepper puree and sour cream isn't very memorable. If anything I remember the cos lettuce and speck being more of a winner than the actual sausages themselves.
The pierogi with asparagus, onion and feta, on the other hand is my favourite dish of the night. Delightful pockets of doughy goodness and that delicious asparagus and feta filling make a stellar dish.
Then a cauliflower feast commences. We get two plates of the fried cauliflower with paprika, parsley, watercress, and red wine vinegar. I'm not big on cauliflower, but these little fried florets are tasty, crunchy on the outside and tender on the inside – the only problem is that there are two plates of them. Way too much cauliflower for a table of four girls – and to our amusement the next dish that comes out (the vegetarian board) has more of it on there! This meant that a lot of cauliflower goes to waste. While one or two florets are intriguing and flavoursome, eating more than a handful isn't my idea of a good time.
The mixed vegetarian board of zucchini stuffed with ricotta, olive and lemon with rocket and tomato is probably our least favourite dish (which is a shame because I love most vegetarian dishes). The zucchini isn't interesting enough – don't get me wrong, I love zucchini, but the ricotta filling lacks punch and the zucchini is a bit spongy.
Then comes a lamb dish, accompanied by soft potatoes and eggplant, lathered in a tomatoey sauce. The lamb is soft and the potatoes are very moreish. I'm so full already at this point, but keep digging my fork into these sumptuous bits of potato and eggplant regardless.
I was really looking forward to the potato salad with dill pickle and egg because I'm a ridiculously huge fan of potato salad (hey, it's the German in me). Sadly there's no dill pickle to be found, but I still love it without. The dill on top makes it extra-special for me. The combination of potatoes and dill reminds me of Germany for some reason. The other three girls aren't as impressed by the potato salad as I am, but they're probably not avid potato enthusiasts like me.
The iceberg lettuce with red onion and cucumber receives a warm welcome. We're so stuffed with carbs and meat (and cauliflower), that a fresh plate of salad actually makes us emit a sigh of relief. The salad isn't particularly amazing, but it's the freshness that's invigorating after a lot of heavy dishes.
We're so stuffed at this point, but there's one last dish to grace our table, the squid ink risotto. There's a creamy, foamy substance on top, which I really enjoy. But the risotto itself is lacking in that velvety quality that risotto should have.
Overall, our experience at Food Society (or Cauliflower Society, as Miss Flying Unicorn calls it) is a very pleasant one. The atmosphere is hip and happening, the food is striking and the service is on the money.