Sometimes, I eat other meals aside from breakfast. I know, I know. I am a diabolical shame on the title ‘Breakfast Correspondent’. It’s not through choice; usually, it’s societal pressure, occasionally drunkenness and extremely seldom, because I want to give my very good friend and very good birthday surprise.
Which is how I came to be at The Underground Supper Club hosted by Basement Galley. Basement Galley were formed in a basement flat, in a galley kitchen in Brixton, and now they run one of the best nights I’ve had in London in a long time, from an old Victoria Line tube carriage in Walthamstow’s Pump House Museum. It may not sound like a culinary dream, but I want to assure you it truly is.
The carriage is laid out with two long tables either end, so people can gather as a group or make friends with strangers, with the middle having the luxury of three or four smaller booths and another freestanding table. There’s only one way in or out, through the middle double doors, which makes for some fun dancing around people (it’s also fun when you realise they only open from the outside, and all the guests and all the staff bar one person are on the inside, with the doors closed…). The tables are laid beautifully, with an ice bucket for your BYOBs and only a minor amount on ‘I’m sorry, am I sitting on you?’ whilst people get settled (just like the actual Victoria Line then. No? Just me?)
The seven-course menu was an absolute delight – from the prawn tempura appetiser, to the haggis-stuffed chicken main course to the deconstructed gin and tonic to finish. Head Chef Alex Cooper is a graduate of the Le Cordon Bleu School, and it shows – the presentation, the unusual and playful mix of flavours, the experimental dishes (popcorn and pate, anyone?) and the quality of ingredients all screamed talent. He would put a chef twice his age to shame.
We were lucky enough to go on a night which had been teamed up with Flaviar, a premium spirits brand who bought round one delicious sipping glass after another to match the courses. I never though supping on a tequila with my prawn tempura would be my thing, but it turns out it really, really is. Also, huge kudos has to go to the lovely, friendly staff, who made the atmosphere fun and relaxing, whilst having to deal with serving 40 increasingly drunk people seven courses on a tube carriage without so much as breaking a sweat.
Another brilliant find from The Grub Club newsletter, this is a night really worth going to Walthamstow for, I promise you (as if the birthplace of East 17 wasn’t reason enough).