The Depanneur

The Depanneur, a very fitting name for a former convenience store come communal dining spot which by day serves as a little coffee and sandwich place and by evening, a casual and unique supper club.  Having lived in la belle province (Montreal), I loved my local Dep around the corner and so I was very intrigued about trying this new dig. 

my new friends at the Dep
The opportunity came up when my friend Heidi invited me to the Dep which serves as host to the Rusholme Park Supper club events.  Her friend Natalie Ryan was the chef du jour and was going to prepare a Mediterranean style dinner for us.  I jumped at the opportunity to visit the Dep.  
I walked in slightly tardy and was greeted by a long table for about 20 people.  Everybody was mingling and I chose to sit with a few people towards an end of the table.  I made fast friends as I brought out 2 bottles of wine, as this event, and all dinners are BYOB.  I wanted to make sure I was well stocked up and was more than happy to share the wealth!
Natalie, our host chef, vision was to transform 14 years of her travels in more than 22 countries into a culinary tour of the southern Mediterranean.  Let the feast begin! 
Around the table for us to nibble on were some amazing house made dips popular from egypt to syria.  From smoked eggplant with olive oil, lemon and herbs to Tahina - which were grounded sesame seeds seasoned with garlic and cumin and my very personal favourite- Labane - a light, fresh cheese pressed from yoghurt.  I couldn't get enough of Labane and scooped it along with almost everything I ate.  I also enjoyed the seasoned olives around the table.  We were really starting to fill up on these dips while mixing and mingling with ourselves. 
Our main dish was a heaping serving plate filled with tender and juicy chicken and quince tagine with couscous.  This combination is a common dish from North Africa and also a classic festive dish on Rosh Hashanah for Sephardic Jews.  All the dishes are served family style and there was plenty to go around and plenty more if you were still hungry.  We also had the dips at the table still so we were mixing the dips with our couscous and polishing our plates and wine glasses of.  
At this point of the evening, I felt like we were all old friends at our end of the table, laughing and showing off pictures of our lives, from concerts we've enjoyed to our pet rats/ cats and dogs.
Finally it was dessert time.  We were all served mint tea in vintage china tea cups which was good for our digestion.  Our dessert was an Arabian dessert called "Mhalbiya" -  it was a milky and sweet rice pudding scented with rose water and orange blossom making it very floral.  It was a very unique flavour and wasn't one of my favourite desserts but nonetheless the experience itself was truly special as it was a really great evening of food, new friends and a cozy new place.  
The Dep has a newsletter so you can keep up to date on the Rusholme Park Supper club events, weekend brunch items and Tuesday night drop in dinners.  For ambitious chef wannabes or gonna-bes, there's an opportunity to host a dinner at the supper club. so maybe just maybe you'll be coming to one of my dinner parties!
Remember it's cash only and they have neighbours who like to start banging on the walls if it gets too rowdy!  Those neighbours should get over themselves ;)

**** stars
The Depanneur
1033a College St. 

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