For anyone who has read that title and thought, what on earth is this, let me explain! Freska is a food business run by a talented woman named Sonal Mistry. Freska has become so popular that they host exclusive supper clubs at The Forge restaurant in Washington. These events have been so popular that the first one sold out in hours, as did the second one. Luckily, a fellow blogger friend Tasha managed to bag us a table for that second event, and here are my thoughts!
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The Forge Washington
Before we get into the menu, let’s talk about the venue (and yes I planned that little rhyme!).
Until visiting for the Freska night, I had never been to The Forge before. So I didn’t really know what to expect. However, after visiting I am now keen to see what they themselves offer.
The Forge is located right on the Village Green in Washington, which is a beautiful place if you’ve never been.
All the food we ate came from Sonal and the Freska team, however, the drinks and the decor are from the forge and I have to say I was really impressed. It gives very ‘proud of what we serve’ vibes. They clearly know about good food and drink as on the drinks menu that had suggested which wines would go best with the food. They had even created cocktails and mocktails for the event which have similar themes.
I went for their mocktail which was a hibiscus peach iced tea, and tasted delicious!
The waiting staff were also really kind and attentive, as were the Freska team so all in all, we can’t complain about that.
As for decor, it was such a cosy place. I imagine it’s the perfect spot to stumble into on a cold winter’s night. The fireplace was so lovely, if only we weren’t in a heatwave at the time! I really want to go back at Christmas and see it all decorated.
The Forge itself is open 12pm-3:30pm/5pm-8:30pm on Fridays and Saturdays, then 12pm-6pm Sundays. Their menus are all available for you to look at on their website. Their Sunday lunches look incredible!
Their afternoon open times would be perfect to take advantage of before or after visiting Washington Old Hall which is literally next door to the forge!
Postcode: NE38 7AB
There is no set car park for The Forge, so we just parked on the main road outside. But everyone was doing the same, and I know that road doesn’t get too busy.
The menu Sonal had put together was middle eastern inspired. I’ve never visited the middle east, so I didn’t really know what to expect from the food, however, if that’s how they eat over there then I am booking the next flight as everything was incredible.
There were two sittings for the night, one from 6pm-8pm and the second from 8pm to 10pm. We went for the earlier one and even though they had to turn the room around, I didn’t at all feel like they were chasing us out or forcing us to finish our food. It was all perfectly timed and
Sonal’s mother and sister were working the event and kept topping up the flatbread and regularly checked that the food was okay and asked for feedback. You could really tell that everyone working cared about ensuring you were having a good time, and I really appreciate that in a dining experience.
After the mains and before the desert, Sonal herself came round and introduced herself to every table and had a chat with everyone which was so lovely and something I’d never experienced before. But again, was a really nice touch on the evening.
The first thing we got given was the dips; homemade hummus with harissa and whipped goat’s cheese mixed with labneh and topped with honey, olive oil and za’atar. These were served with flatbreads which were topped up all night and the dips, which you could enjoy throughout the night too.
Now then, I know this was just a starter and they were just dips. But it’s been nearly a week and I am still thinking about that goat’s cheese! I don’t have the linguistic capabilities to explain to you how delicious it was. And in a normal setting, goat’s cheese isn’t my favourite! I polished the lot off (Sorry Tasha!!).
The first of the mains came out which was the fattoush salad. This has pomegranate seeds, lettuce, cucumber, fetta cheese and fried Lebanese bread. This was a great addition to the menu, as later on it was fresh and light to come back to between some of the heavier elements.
Next, was the (in my opinion) star of the show; the spiced roast cauliflower. When I first saw this on the menu, I remember audibly scoffing at ‘cauliflower’ but I literally ate my words when I tried it. It had been seasoned to perfection and was cooked perfectly, no mushy cauli here! It was topped with tahini, zhoug, pomegranate and yoghurt. Altogether, it was so good and – apart from the goat’s cheese – the best thing on this menu!
The next item was from the vegetarian menu. If you had gone with the meat alternative, you were getting lamb chops which the table next to us had and they looked very good! But on the veggie menu, we got the crispy feta parcels. This was made up of a whole block of feta wrapped in filo pastry and then drizzled with honey and dukka. While this was an incredibly tasty dish, it was very heavy which is where going back to the fattoush salad saved us!
The dessert was the perfect end to the menu. It was cardamon roasted peach with layers of ice cream, frozen peach juice, honey, and pistachios and topped with a filo shard. It was light and fresh which was exactly what you needed after all the courses before it.
For the vegetarian menu, it was £30 each, and the meat option was £35. Honestly, for the amount of food you got, I think they could charge more if they wanted to. It’s basically a 6-course meal for £30 which I think is more than reasonable.
They have a new menu for the last one of the year which is Indian-inspired. Tickets for which go on sale on Friday at 12pm. I do recommend you book up for it, however, you’ve gotta be hot on it as it sold out last time very quickly. I will be trying my hardest to get tickets also, so wish me luck!
If you do want to book yourself some tickets, then you can do so on the Freska website here.
I just want to give a huge thank you to Sonal and her incredible team for putting together a great night and I hope to see you again soon.
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Stay Safe and Happy Eating
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