Austin chef Deepa Shridhar of Indian-ish supper club/newsletter/podcast Sicc Palette and baker Ava Pendleton of Malaysian desserts pop-up Austin Kuih Co. are joining forces to throw a dinner full of South and Southeast Asian dishes. The Thali Supper Club takes place on Saturday, November 5 at space the Training Kitchen on 1901 Matthews Lane in South Austin.
There will be popiah (Malaysian fresh spring rolls) and fried idli (steamed rice/lentil cakes), a thali-style course (where a bunch of dishes is served in bowls on a platter essentially) with curries, chutneys, chili oil, dosas, avakkai (South Indian-style pickles), rice, and more. The meal will end with a dessert thali of Malaysian kuih such as lapis legit (an Indonesian layer cake), onde onde (a pandan dough dessert), and more.
They cooked together at one of Shridhar’s invite-only supper clubs over the summer. Shridhar has been cooking her fun style of South Asian-Texas food for quite some time in various forms (supper clubs, pop-ups, a food truck). Pendleton started her pop-up in 2021. They met when they worked on the Austin bakery box for national organization With Warm Welcome’s fundraising for Asian American and Pacific Islander nonprofits, and since then have cooked at various invite-only events.
They decided to team up because there were overlaps in flavors, ingredients, and approaches between their two cultures — Shridhar is South Indian, Pendleton’s Malaysian — so they wanted to explore those areas. “We both also enjoy creating dishes that honor our cultures and cuisines, but not feeling limited or bound by tradition,” they write to Eater over email. That led to them developing dishes that excited the two of them. “As we gave ourselves permission to be playful and creative, we realized there was so much potential to showcase the dishes we were excited about along with our perspectives about what fine dining looks like and who it can benefit.”
That’s why they’re collaborating with Training Kitchen, which is a nonprofit aiming to help low-income families to take educational classes and grow food for El Buen Samaritano’s food pantry. Partial ticket sales will go back into the nonprofit.
The tickets are $150. There’s an optional farm tour from 5:30 to 5:45 p.m., with dinner beginning at 6 p.m.
The two plan on hosting featuring food collaborations in 2023.