A Cranston Pickles pop up dinner

It’s the hottest ticket in town as Fiona Cranston brings her inimitable Japanese cooking to Tap Social for one night only on Wednesday night (August 31), tickets selling out almost immediately!

Fiona, of Cranston Pickles fame, hosts a regular spot at Silvie’s in East Oxford where her pop up suppers are always a huge success, and was invited by Tap Social to host a four course dinner there on their on Botley Road Taproom site.

“The menu will be very seasonal but using the Japanese influences I learned and fell in love with when I lived there,” she explains.

Kushikatsu! Japanese skewers that are battered, rolled in panko and deep fried! Served with cabbage, kimchi sauerkraut (PAMA) pan fried in butter (ampersand), house Mayo + tonkotsu sauce, and our house smacked cucumbers! 

Wednesday evening will help celebrate Cranston Pickles four year anniversary, a true milestone considering Fiona started it up through a Kickstarter campaign just before Covid.

Her produce can now be found in shops and markets all over Oxford read about it here, but cooking is still in her blood and the meal at Tap Social will not only introduce Cranston Pickles’ produce but help demonstrate how to use it.

Pickling will obviously form the centre core of the menu, the Japanese using pickles in every meal to help balance the dish.

“The Japanese are obsessed with pickles and have entire fridge sections just dedicated to pickles. I fell in love with them too which is why I eventually left Japan and came back to London to cook in a Japanese restaurant before opening Cranston Pickles,” she reminds me.

“Pickling is also such a good way to conserve and sustain food by preserving it, which means less food waste, from breakfast right through to dinner.” she adds.

dinner at Silvie’s

The top secret menu has taken her months to plan, and while top secret, photos of her Silvie’s pop ups will get your mouth watering.

“Supper clubs are such a good way to showcase your food,” Fiona says, “but we will be using very seasonal produce such as sweetcorn, radishes and peas using local suppliers such as Mayfield Eggs, Cornfield Bakery, The Orange Bakery, Pickle and Lime, Four Seasons, Sandy Lane Farm, Ampersand Dairy, Cotswold Salad and the Cornish Seaweed Company.

Heritage Tomato Tartare! With Pickled radish dressing + egg yolk + Chives + Sesame and served with homemade fried gyoza skins!

So how many people will be coming to this feast? “Around 40. It’s mainly plant based but we also provide a meat based menu and the Tap Bar will be open all night. I donate a tree for every ticket sold and it’s £38 a head,” she says proudly.

Excited then? “It’s a big pressure but I love it. The adrenaline always kicks in and it’s great to look out when you’re cooking and see everyone eating, chatting and having a good time.”

For details on Cranston Pickles next supper clubs go to https://www.cranstonpickles.com