Supper Club: Lock in at The Oddfellows, Exeter by Lauren Heath

I’m sure many of our readers know about Exeter’s The Oddfellows – an independent family-run business that has stood the test of ever-changing times.

In true Oddfellows fashion, they have found their unique way of offering the customer great food but in keeping with what the customer wants – in this current climate: a safe environment, with minimal fuss – enter ‘Supper Club Lock In’.

I was invited along with my gal pal and fellow blogger, Stephanie Darkes of Exploring Exeter, to try it for ourselves and we opted for a Friday evening to start our weekend off with a tasty bang. We couldn’t resist starting off with a Salcombe gin and tonic and get nattering straight away, seeing as there was no decision-making required thanks to the set menu!

Photo courtesy of Exploring Exeter

Offering a 6 course set menu for carnivores and veggies alike, served on Friday and Saturday nights, with staggered arrival times, plenty of room between tables and once you’re sat down, you’re ‘locked in’… with attentive table service all evening from staff in visors, and the menu served in waves – the only time you move is if you need the little girls or boys room (1 at a time of course..).

The Lock In menu sounded great, changing weekly it sticks to The Oddfellows ethos of local, high quality produce. They have won several awards from Taste of the West and Food and Drink Devon for their support of local producers, and proudly offer a great South West gin collection amongst other drinks.

Let’s dive right in shall we?….

The caramelized onion broth was a small shot of oniony goodness with a great depth of flavour and a good start to whet our appetite, followed by a little dish of creamed leeks, laced with blue cheese and topped with oats. This was a cream dish with a great crunch thanks to the alternative of oats as opposed to the expected topping of breadcrumbs.

The tian of crab with pea shoots, mint salad was a well balanced portion of delicate sweet crab, bathing in a light and minty pool of sauce. The vegetarian version was very similar, with crab replaced by a handsome courgette fritter.

The vegetarian middle course of whipped ricotta, radishes, hazelnuts and dill emulsion was a colourful sight to behold! And it was a very tasty and textural dish, so I was told.

My middle dish of beef cheek, celeriac dauphinoise and carrot was just that… a tiny bit bare on the plate compared to the vegetarian course BUT a handsome little chunk of cheek that was so incredibly well cooked I only had to press it with my fork and it fell apart – the celeriac was cooked and seasoned perfectly.

A pre-dessert followed of scrumpy sorbet and blackberry puree – it was an utter delight and a great palate cleanser. Our final course was then custard tart with poached plums, I think it had a creme fraiche foam on it (or so it tasted as such) which brought a lovely savoury creamy touch to a really well made tart!

Courses we well spaced, allowing you to just chat and relax and we had a really great time. Co-owner Faye served us and, although the masks sometimes directed her voice away from us as we tried to chat with her, she took it with great humour and resilience and we laughed with her with a comforting understanding of the situation for all businesses at this time – it is still odd times and The Oddfellows are doing a great job to still be there for customers and themselves.

So keep an eye out for their latest weekend menu and get booking, maximum size table is 6, priced at £35 per head excluding drinks. They are also now open for their epic Sunday roasts!

The Oddfellows, 60 New N Rd, Exeter EX4 4EP

#Ad #invited – I was invited to dine in in exchange for an honest review, this does not affect our opinion. Views expressed are independent of the business and has not been seen or approved before publication.

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