Up & close with the ladies behind 'The Dinner Club by No. 57'

Hey there everyone!

We hope you all are enjoying the week after a long holiday of celebrations! The getting back to eating our five meals a day has got us to think that it is time to finally bring back our GCC hidden treasures segment!
For this post, we are really excited to introduce two ladies that have caused a talk frenzy around the gulf and even around the globe! The fabulous duo Buthaina and Noor came up with a concept that exploded through everyone's social media platform as well as in magazines articles all in a matter of  months! 

The girls came up with the first ever supper club concept in the Middle East called 'The Dinner Club by No.57'. Now this is not the usual supper club that is spread across Europe and the US, it stems out of creativity and pure dedication to their love for food and impeccable taste in lavish interiors.

We are utterly delighted to have Buthaina and Noor featured on the blog, we are one of their religious followers on Instagram and are always anticipating their innovative concepts every month!

DSB: First off, we would love to know more about the girls behind The Dinner Club by No. 57.  

B+N: We are a two woman team who love to design/decorate (Noor) and cook (Buthaina). We have completely different personalities and balance each other out. We both trust the other’s taste a hundred percent, and never question anything that the other one envisions. We love love love a good burger but we’ll never agree on our Coke (Buthaina) vs. Diet Coke (Noor) argument or on an Instagram filter! 

DSB: We have heard about supper clubs spread across the globe, let our readers know more about The Dinner Club by No. 57 and how the idea came to mind.

B+N: We were getting restless about the opening of our café 'No. Fifty Seven' that we decided to take matters in our own hands and started planning dinners which meant we could still entertain and feed people. Not in a café but in a different location each time. 

What differentiates the Dinner Club from other supper clubs around the globe is that we host dinners in crazy locations rather than a restaurant or a home. 

DSB: There has been an intrigue behind the No. 57, any hints as to what it symbolizes?

B+N: We have decided not to disclose this but let us just say that these numbers mean something to the both of us. 

DSB: Another interesting element infused in your dinners are the animal figures placed on the dining table and invites, what is the story behind that?  

B+N: We wanted the dinners to be fun and wanted our guests to leave with something as a reminder of the dinner. We also hand pick these animals and decide on which guest gets what animal. One thing we always hear is “How did you know this was my favourite animal?”… we just know! Painting the animals is one of the first things we do actually!

DSB: How long have you been doing this now? and tell us about some interesting experiences and challenges that you have had.

B+N: We have been doing this for 10 months now and every dinner is a different experience. Our first dinner was the most interesting because just like the guests, we did not know what to expect. We are always challenged obviously with our choice of location and the logistics that goes behind it all. For example, gutting out a bus and filling the roof with flowers and making it look pretty for a photo-shoot then driving the bus that is filled with all the fine China inside very carefully to a different more secluded location.

DSB: Where do you get inspiration for every months dinner theme?
B+N:  We come up with an ideal setting first and then try to find where that location is available. Once Noor steps foot in the location, it comes to her. It gets tweaked a little bit as we work on the test set up, but the theme is always concrete from that original moment of seeing the place. 

DSB: Once the theme is set, What is the process you go through to make the dinner happen?

B+N: We begin prepping the table and scouring our houses for any items that might  work for the dinner. It is usually very rare that we find what we are looking for in stores so we have to make a lot of the things ourselves. Custom table cloths, napkins, painted trophies, belts for napkin rings. You name it! Buthaina gets the inspiration for the menu from the design of the dinner and begins her food trials.

DSB: We noticed that you pick unconventional areas and transform it into something, how challenging is that? Considering the time frame?

B+N: Super challenging! We usually need to set up and pack up within 24 hours. Sometimes we have no toilets for our guests to use so we politely ask them to stop at the nearest café before they come. In most cases, we do not have electricity and that is when we need to get a generator. But we think that is what makes those dinners really special and super fun! We completely transform the space into something unexpected and create a really cozy dinner table.

DSB: Let us talk about the menu and cuisines for the dinners, is there anything special that is common between meals? Or does it differ depending on the monthly theme?

B+N: We always create a new menu for each dinner based on the location we have chosen, the design we have decided to go for and the seasonality of the ingredients. However, our “Ermahgerds” have become a staple during each dinner – making it our signature dessert and what we have become known for.

DSB: How do you pick your guests for the dinner?

B+N: The concept behind The Dinner Club is to invite a mix of people with extremely diverse backgrounds. We wanted our guests to meet new people and to give them a change of scene. We usually go by recommendations as well as inviting people we really admire and want to sit on our dinner table.

DSB:  We noticed that the guests invited are unaware of who might be attending, do you find it long before people loose their nervousness of not knowing the person who is sitting next to them?

B+N: Actually, we do inform our guests of who will be attending to make them look forward to who will be attending the dinner. Once we send our guest the invitations, we wait to receive the RSVP’s and then based on that we send out a “Joining you at the dinner table…”

DSB: What should people expect when they arrive at the dinner.

B+N: A very pretty table awaits, with Zee Avi’s “Concrete Wall” greeting them in the background and two very excited hosts waiting to feed them delicious food!

DSB: There are fabulous feedback behind this concept and are followed by many around the GCC, any plans for expansion out of the UAE?

B+N: Definitely, we actually have our first international dinner in October that we are extremely excited about! We are collaborating with one of our favorite designers on this one.

DSB: What plans do you have for The Dinner Club by No. 57 in the near future?

B+N: Watch this space for exciting collaborations! We would like to keep our plans a mystery to keep an element of surprise…

Follow the Dinner Club by No. 57 on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram for more news about their dinners.

[All photo's is credited to Marie Claire Arabia]

Hope you all are having a fabulous week and as the lovely duo always say, 

Love and Lamb,

Maha & Amal

Song of the day: Home is where the heart is and I gave it to you in a paper bag, even though it’s tarnished, you told me it’s the best you ever had, you got my secret combination and I don’t be giving that out easily with my deepest dedication, you can tell that you were brought the same for me

This entry was posted on Monday, August 19, 2013 and is filed under ,,,,,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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