|picture borrowed from the web as I forgot my camera!|
I had heard of pop-up restaurants and curiously signed up for a new one that was opening not far from my house last Saturday.
What is a pop-up restaurant, you ask? Well, they are an alternative to traditional dining out as they tend to be in people's private homes where you can sign up for a meal cooked and served by the hosts. Another name for it is a "Supper Club" or "Underground Restaurant". They have historically been a way for aspiring professionals to experiment and gain exposure, but they originally come from the idea of prohibition speakeasies or Cuban paladares. So, actually not a new phenomenon!
Saturday was the first time this particular Pop-Up Restaurant was launched and we were 5 guests in total (they can cater for max 6 guests). We were greeted with a glass of bubbly and lovely canapes
Cherry tomatoes with mozzarella & basil,
Crostini with pea, mint and cannelloni beans,
Savoury cracker with colton basett and homemade apple and date chutney
while we got aquainted with our fellow diners. What a small world - in addition to discovering that one of the couples now live in the house sold by friends of mine who moved to New Zealand a few years ago, the two men - who did not know eachother from before - had both worked for the same company about 20 years ago!
We were then invited to join the table and were treated to an amazing menue and such a warm and welcoming atmosphere. Here is what we ate:
Pear, Walnut & Ginger Salad with Smoked Duck
Beef with Squash, Sweetcorn & Chilli, served in a small pumpkin accompanied by Courgette Muffins and Southern Cornbread and Sour Cream
Fig , Hazlenut & Fennel Shortbread with a Fig and Dark Chocolate Profiterole
Coffee & Biscotti
The food was truly amazing - really fine dining. I couldn't fault it in any way! It was generous portions and delicately presented.
A real treat!
Wine was not included in the offer and we had been encouraged to bring our own wine. At the end of the evening we were invited to write our comments in a small visitors book and leave as a donation of what we thought the meal was worth so the chef would (at least) cover the expenses.
It was a really unique experience with an intimate feel.
It was a very different experience to traditional dining out - much more fun, more innovative, very unusual and a great way to get to know some new people!
I had a really good time and was very happy as I walked home with my little bag of complimentary biscotti!
It sure won't be the last time I try something like this!