Forza Win(ter) – Winning the likes Charlie Sheen can only dream of

Forza Win(ter)
“A disused pickle factory”
Hackney
East London

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I jumped on the supper club band wagon late – I put this down to a mixture of a lack of awareness and tentativeness to venture out of my comfort zone – but since getting over my initial scepticism and eventually growing a pair, I’ve not looked back and can definitely appreciate what all the fuss is about. Gorging on delicious food cooked by passionate people in a bangin’ atmosphere – what’s there not to like?

Since the summer of 2012, Forza Win has been organising pumping sell-out events in unique locations around London-town with menus coinciding with the seasons. As the name suggests, Forza Win(ter) is their winter offering which followed their CUTS event held in conjunction with renown butchers Ginger Pig.

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Arriving at the unassuming disused pickle factory, you would be forgiven for thinking you’d taken a wrong turn but fears are shortly eased as you walk through into the vibrant dining room – though the massive Forza Win sign that immediately greets you also helps! With the music and bar in full flow and the overwhelming aroma of roast pig dominating the air, the night was shaping up to be big…and delicious.

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Welcome drink in hand (a beautiful mulled white wine), my party of 4 settled down onto a table. On the menu tonight – ham hock minestrone, Porchetta and panna cotta to finish – pig, pig and pig…win, win and WIN.

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The ham hock minestrone, served with farmhouse bread and homemade pesto, was packed with ingredients and enough flavour to knock your socks off. It was the perfect starter to a cold Autumn’s night and so comforting, I could’ve rolled up into one of the blankets that was provided and just taken a nap.

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This was just foreplay though for the main event – the Porchetta; the–pork-shoulder-sourced-from-the-one-and-only-Ginger-Pig-marianted-overnight-slow-roasted-on-a-spit-over-Kentish-oak-for-four-hours-then-taken-off-and-left-to-rest-in-a-low-heated-oven-for-another-hour-before-being-presented Porchetta. This is surely what wet dreams are made of. If this alone wasn’t enough, it was served on a bed of polenta potatoes and onions with a side of pigs head salad (made of kale, chestnut, pig ears and cheek with an anchovy and lemon dressing). F*ck. Yes.

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I had the privilege of being the designated carver for my table and it was not an honour I took lightly. I knew the Porchetta looked massive but it wasn’t until I started getting into it did I realise the sheer magnitude – it just never seemed to end; I felt like Jesus breaking bread! The meat was pure salty goodness and seasoned to herby perfection; the crackling was like you were eating potato crisps and speaking of potatoes, oh, the polenta potatoes were heaven especially after they soaked up the pork juices. I am starving just thinking about it.

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Rounding us off, dessert was a white chocolate and rosemary panna cotta (so rich and creamy) served with cranberries in a brandy sauce (which i ended up just drinking…opps). A delightful end to a top-notch meal.

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As Josh Flowers and The Wild played while I was going through my meat induced post-meal trance, I could only manage three thoughts: 1) this band is awesome; 2) Screw turkey, I gotta get my hands on one of those Porchettas for Christmas; and 3) Forza Win is absolutely wicked.

Next time they have an event, I strongly recommend you go. I’ll see you there.

KS

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