Review: The fourth commune

A very sweet review of the fourth commune by Surekha Yadav: friend and fellow blogger, currently completing her postgrad in journalism at Columbia University’s prestigious School of Journalism and (much to my envy) living out the New York City dream.

the vegetarian and a roasted lamb

The meal cost me fifty dollars and six years.

Sunday evening, I went over to Zina’s Khana Commune – her supper club that is run on her very pretty front yard – and found myself having a unique dining experience.

I made a booking for six – I was bringing the entire family including the mothership.

Khana Commune very quickly acknowledged my booking via email and sent over the menu.

On the menu;

Truffled mushroom soup, sweet miso salmon, seven hour roasted leg of lamb, mama’s prawn curry, tangy mango dhal and gulab jamun.

I stared at the description of her seven hour roasted leg of lamb for some seven minutes – and then my six years of being vegetarian came to a halt.

My brother however, a vegetarian – and a stronger and better man than I – was not swayed.

And so, for him, a specially prepared main dish; creamed spinach pasta topped with a perfectly round and tempting egg which looked so good that when Zina brought it out I almost regretted my decision to defect.

But, I am happy to share; my defection was well worth it.

The lamb was served with strings of potatoes and it was …well, pardon my lack of adjectives, but I am going to go with shiok!

All of us loved the truffled mushroom soup; it was beautiful. Quaintly served in little espresso cups, my mother raved about it endlessly during the car-ride home, that and the tiny Turkish tea-cups Zina served us mint tea in.

Having trotted through most of the world the meal was a collection of all the ideas, inspiration and instruments she has collected.

Small and ornate, the tea-cups capture why I am proud of Zina and her supper club. She found a way to blend all her strengths – her love for good food, her ability to create and execute a menu and most compelling; the attention to detail. From the fairy lights above us, to the menus and the way the food was presented (with the dessert syrup served in separate tequila shot glasses) it was a beautiful dinner.

However, my brother spent the bulk of the ride, vacillating between congratulating himself on being a great dinner conversationalist and fretting about the family coming off as mad.

Because, it isn’t often you find yourself in someone else’s home, being served dinner and orchestrating conversation among strangers.

We arrived to find two other guests had made a booking, local journalists, the pair of whom sat in the middle of the table and were thus subjected to 3 hours of my family’s dinnertime antics.

The conversation spanned from politics to conspiracy theories to a lively discussion on how to kidnap grandmothers.

But, I think the best story of the evening and the hardest laughs were courtesy of Zina when she popped out of the kitchen to play hostess; and her story of being mistaken for a terrorist. I would repeat it here, but I think its funniest coming from her. To hear it, you’ll have to make your way down to Pasir Panjang yourself.

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