“Have the tickets come out yet?”, is the question I’ve asked for every month that I’ve found out about Table 13.
What is Table 13, you ask? Well it’s a pop up dinner that is hosted by chef Pablo Naranjo Agular, from Le15 café. Each dinner is theme based and hosted for around 10 people, with tickets sold on a first come, first serve basis.
And for some rhyme or reason, I have unfortunately missed a number of these dinners. But not this time!! Not. This.Time!
After paying close attention to the announcements on Pablo’s or Le15 cafés Instagram pages, I managed to get tickets! Absolutely psyched!
I called the one person I would share this experience with- my one and only.
It was a date.
Excited & ready with the tickets on my phone, I jumped into the train and made my way to Churchgate. Where we met, to take a cab to Colaba.
There is nothing like roaming through south bombay at night. And better still, on the night before Independence Day, with each and every building illuminated with the pride of our Indian flag 🇮🇳
We finally made our way through the traffic to Colaba causeway. Got out of the cab and walked up the road to Le15 cafe, 10mins away from experiencing Table13.
So let me explain why Table13 got me this excited. Chef Pablo had recently made a trip back to his home town of Bogotá in Colombia.
And with that inspiration in mind, he came back to deliver a Colombian inspired dinner!
We entered the café to see a handful of people- friends of Pablo, fellow food bloggers & just general hard core foodies, walking around the café and waiting excitedly for the course to begin. And between the crowd, we made our way to the café counter to see Pablo, busy setting up for the meal but still taking the time to say hello to everyone who walked in.
We sat down at our table to have Pablo greet us. He was warm and charming. He added an extra touch by telling us that our table was special as we were the only “two seater table” at the café that night.
And with the warmth sufficiently spread, we dived into the menu.
Pablo began the course by serving us a drink that was local to Colombia-Guarapo Costeño. A cool drink made with jaggery/sugarcane and lime.
We then moved onto the first item on the menu- Dish no.1 – Aguacate. A savoury shot made with avocado, onion, lime & topped with a basil drizzle.
Quite lovely and left our palette with a hint of spice.
Dish no.2, 3 and 4 was served as a collection of Colombian snacks- Enpanadas, Pan de yuca with paprika butter, Patacon pisao- A pan fried plantain slice topped with guacamole & salsa and aborrajado- a deep fried plantain fritter stuffed with sweet Guava & cheese.
P.S. the Aborrajado – with the plantain + guava + cheese, was the favourite on the platter. ❤️ Savory & Sweet, crunchy & gooey- damn!
Dish no.5 was the Ceviche- typically raw fish served with a citrus base. Pablo served us his take on the dish, which was semi cooked squid served on a bed of citrus tomato salsa and nachos. Make way for the drool train!
Dish no.6 was Cazuela de Mariscos- a bell pepper, coconut based seafood stew. I’ve always had a soft spot for coconut dishes(the inner Konkana in me smiles), so this dish went down well.
Dish no.7 was the Salchipapa. Or chef Pablo’s take on the Salchipapa- a bed of pork sausages, mixed in a chorizo salsa and deep fried potato slivers.
Dish no.8 was Arroz con coco- heaven on a plate!
A sweet rice cooked in coconut milk & jaggery, served with a side of steamed John Dory & a lime wedge.
I loved this dish for the simplicity in the flavours. The freshness of the fish. The slight sweetness of the rice & how well the two went together with a squeeze of lime!
Dish no.9 was what I was waiting for- CHICHARRON! The fried pork belly! The drool train has made another stop folks.
Served on a bed of red rajma bean mash, the chicharron was crispy & worth taking my time.
We took a break in between the yummy goodness to savour the Guarapo Costeño- so fresh & light.
Chef Pablo came up to our table and quietly asked us the question that every hard core non vegetarian would love to hear- ” Do you guys eat buff?”(aka buffalo)
Uhm, yes Pablo! We do!
“Good! Because I have slow roasted buff tongue that’s been marinated for over 8hours. Would you like to taste some?”
Uuuuhmm, yes Pablo!! Yes, we do!
And there is was, drool station had a breakdown.
Sigh. I need a break. We needed a break. So much bliss. So delicious.
And then we did get a break. A break from the Savory dishes and onto the DESSERTS!
Tres Leches: The cake made with three forms of milk with a layer of grated coconut.
Aaaaand last but not least was the coffee soufflé made straight from the heart. Chef Pablo’s mums recipe that he grew up eating- this one was straight from the heart❤️
Made with Colombian coffee layered with a handful of crunch & roasted almonds. Sigh.
A perfect end.
We stayed back to have a small chat with Pablo before we left. Pablo went on to tell us about his time in Colombia and asked us which dish was our least favourite.
Well each dish was lovely but if I had to list a dish, it would be the Salchipapa. Not because it wasn’t delicious, it was! But it was the flavour that was most familiar to me with the chorizo.
A pouch of Colombian coffee beans as a souvenir to end our dinner, Table13 is personal, it’s creative and it’s worth the experience.
Do follow chef Pablo on Instagram under : chefpablonaranjo
Follow my love for food on Instagram under: kukielovesbacon