(Photos by Fimb, thanks hon!)
This past weekend, one of my very good friends (the abovementioned photog) treated me to the most extraordinary dining experience. She had the great fortune to win a pair of tickets to Sunday lunch at The Cube by Electrolux, the weird boxy thing that is currently perched atop the Royal Festival Hall on the South Bank. The general idea is that Michelin-starred chefs from around the UK are invited to do guest stints in this pop-up kitchen. There is only one long table that sits about 16, so it is a relaxed communal dining experience. The chef chooses the menu, pairs the wines, and the diners just sit back and let the experience unfold against stunning backdrop of the Thames.
Our chef du jour was Daniel Clifford, who has two Michelin stars and runs Midsummer House in Cambridge. Since we the diners were able to go and malinger over the kitchen area to watch prep, we had some interaction with him while he cooked for us. He was very affable and unpretentious, and this was reflected in his menu, which had some stunning and strange combinations at times, but the heart of which was quite English and traditional.
Our eight-course journey started with a delightful foamed bloody mary amuse-bouche, and ended with a pistachio souffle and handmade chocs, but the best bits for me were the sauteed scallops and the confit of salmon. I also liked the “main” of the braised beef with horseradish mash. The chef said that it might seems like quite a traditional dish, but it was after all a Sunday roast. After all the pyrotechnics of the other courses, a plate of really tender beef and mash was quite appropriate on such a grim and rainy day.
We had a fabulous time, not just because of the truly amazing food, but also because of the excellent company that shared our table. It was really fabulous to have such a random mix of people from all over the UK, but every last one of them was lovely and interesting to chat to. Seriously, we could not have got on better even if it were a carefully planned out dinner party! It makes me think that London needs more of these type of communal supper clubs. I would definitely go, even if the food weren’t as lovely as our eight-course extravanganza.