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Jan 20, 2014 10:50 PM

Supper clubs/underground restaurants in London

Thoughts about/recommendations for supper clubs/underground restaurants in London? What are the best ones? What are the pluses and minuses of exploring them? This may seem like a silly question, but we're gray-haired--will we feel demographically out of place? Thanks!

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  1. I feel like underground restaurants might be a bit of a thing of the past, though I might be well off the mark wit this?

    With food trucks, market stalls, etc., seems like pioneering young chefs (untrained or not) have more profitable options than opening their homes to strangers. I know they used to be discussed far more often than now, but perhaps they've just gone deeper underground? I'd speak to a mole if possible.

    1. I can't speak for any in London, Sue, but the supper club I've attended "oop north" was generally attended by younger people. We were just about old enough to be everyone's parents - and grandparents in a number of cases. Great evening though - real homestyle Punjabi food.

      1. I'm early 40s and usually find there are lots of people in their 20s and 30s, a few in our 40s and not many older than that, though there's no issue, I took my mum along with me last time and two other attendees had done same.

        I use Edible Experiences website to find out which clubs are running on what dates and to see menus.

        Some are overpriced for what they are -- £40 for a no-choice three course European meal, nuh uh. £40 for a multi-course ethnic meal full of the kinds of dishes I can't find in a restaurant, yes, now you're talking. So it's worth thinking about your choices, looking for blog reviews etc. online.

        I'd not say it's a thing of the past, they are booming in London, BUT it does mean the onus is on you to do some research to find out which are decent and worth going to. I think as it's become more mainstream, some are doing it for the cash and not the joy. Making a living is fine but not if you're offering mediocrity in return!

        I'd look up Vietnamese, Malaysian, Japanese, Indian etc. supperclubs if I were you.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Kavey

          I hadn't seen that Edible Experiences site before, some look quite cool.

          My only qualm is that I could go to a 1 or 2 Michelin restaurant for lunch for the same price as sitting in some strangers house.

          1. re: brokentelephone

            Yes, that's one of the issues I keep in mind when assessing the options. Some places are still worth it to try truly authentic and generous global cuisines but it's harder to justify £40 for regular three courses of British or European food. Some charge less, of course!

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          1. Last night I attended a United Ramen pop-up (booked through Edible Experiences). At just £19.80, it was much more affordable than many pop-ups. Really enjoyed it!