Labour Supper Club Fundraiser At Aqua, Croydon

Whether it is chomping down on your most bog-standard of Wetherspoons burgers or getting all glammed up and contending with numerous types of cutlery, you can pretty much be certain that if somebody suggests food out I will be there. And I mean why not? We all know that we will never be able to afford a house so we might as well fritter away our money on not having to cook for ourselves and then ~do the washing up~ afterwards. Besides, a meal out means you can drink in a way that you cannot whilst tucking into your speedy spag bol on a usual Wednesday night (not that we need drink to get us through each day of working ourselves to the bone to just about keep a roof over our heads or anything).

It is really rather amusing because people slightly older than me would look at the drinks menu and go HOW MUCH for a tiny little glass of spirits mixed with some fruity juice but when you are in your early 20’s you are kind of used to encountering things at high prices for little quantity (renting a house and it turning out to be no bigger than a cardboard box). At least a cocktail is tasty, doesn’t stink of damp and has more than the cheapest scratchy blue carpet your landlord can find and eases the woes of millenial life.

Anyway, luckily for me my cocktails were delicious and very much worth every single penny. If I am going to sit down to hear from people, in a room fI’ll of middle-aged men, about how hard the world is right now, when living in that world in a number of ways for a long time with both past and present struggles, I might as well get slightly tipsy in the process.

The Nutty Alexander was certainly my favourite of the three cocktails and I may or may not (107% am) planning to get some Baileys, Amaretto, Frangelico, cream and nutmeg in my life before Christmas comes along. If nothing else that November evening I discovered a new cocktail to ask for… and we all know walking into a bar and asking for a specific cocktail without looking at the menu makes you a total badass. I restricted myself to one glass of three different cocktails because otherwise the bill for drinks would have been coming close to 0.1% of a mortgage deposit and we, the future generation, get enough stick about being ‘frivolous’ with our money as it is without adding fuel to the fire!

The event itself featured guest speaker Mel Onn MP to talk about her involvement with housing campaigns and policy as well as her attempts to make misogyny a hate crime. Given the housing situations I have encountered personally, through family and through friends this was a bit of the chat where, as I often do find at Labour party events, I felt a little patronised and as if people that have encountered X, Y and Z could never possibly be in the room. The talk on misogyny also taught me as a woman, in the minority in the room, very little and seemed to get glazed over by a number of men who simply aimed to ask questions on the housing chunk. I asked what we could do to ensure misogyny and sexual assault is stamped out in our Party at all levels and got the generic expected reply of “call it out” because we all know calling it out just that simple to stopping the problem.

The food I had selected was delicious and the restaurant and it’s staff deserve a huge amount of credit for the quality they produced and the time scales they were under to get all the dishe’s out at relative speed. The decor, friendly atmosphere and general approach to running a restaurant warmed my heart and it is certainly a place I would return to based on my dining experience and the prices displayed on the full menu.

I had opted for calamari to start, one of my favourite foods but given the mild complexity in getting it perfect I never even attempt to cook it at home, and it was joyful for the batter to her be light and crispy whilst not oily and also keeping to the squid soft and melt-in-the mouth. With attempt squeeze of lemon it made for some of the best calamari I have had in quite some time.

Taking a look at the email with the options I had chosen I had opted for the pork main course but my placemat card said salmon and given it flowed on from the starter I was not going to make a fuss about it (besides everybody reported pretty average feedback about the pork so I didn’t miss out on anything phenomenal). 

Salmon is something I can be a bit funny about, especially in a restaurant, but the meat was cooked well whilst still having some moisture within to release and the skin was crispy without coming away in scale-like pieces in your mouth. As for the portion of potatoes or spring greens I do have to admit I was a little disappointed as with such a big piece of salmon it did not seem a completely balanced meal. But the quality of cooking for the salmon, the size of the hehe salmon piece and the general seasoning of the plate made it an enjoyable one that could easily be consumed another day (though I was certainly full by this point).

For dessert I went for about a trio of baklava, sticky little bits of joy, that I could just about fit into my incredibly full stomach! Even now, thinking back, the idea of one of the heavier chocolate desserts fills me with dread at my trouser button bursting. This was a lovely simple way to end the meal and given we were sitting in a Greek restaurant it seemed somewhat more appropriate than and chocolate dessert.

The fundraiser event in itself was the usual style of supper club, the sort of thing I have found problematic since going to my frst one at 16/17, but the food was good and it meant I got to spend the evening with friends and with a drink in hand so really what more could you ask for (apart from nationalised housing and railways and at least £10 an hour wage for all).

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