Disclaimer: I was invited to review the below venue and our meal was part-complimentary but all opinions and photos are mine.
A few weeks ago, I attended a unique Supper Club held at the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum. It has been on my bucket list for a while so when the opportunity presented itself to review it, I was all in.
This Supper Club is held in an old Victoria Line tube carriage which has been refurbished and repurposed into an atmospheric dining car, complete with flickering oil lights, flatteringly low lighting and music.
The meal consisted of a fabulous five course, Latin American-themed menu, developed by Columbian Head Chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreno. After working in Barrio Shoreditch and Corazon and a guest chef at the previous Tube supper club, she took over as the resident chef since October 2018. Everything is prepared on site in the museum kitchen. The food here is inspired from her roots but slightly adapted to suit western palates. So you can expect to find something a bit familiar and some new and exciting culinary creations.
We kicked off with a welcome drink each. I opted for a glass of Prosecco whilst Kris chose the Negroni, which was quite well-made. We also purchased a bottle of Muscadet de Sèvre et Maine Sur Lie to accompany our dinner.
On the menu were the following dishes as part of the five course extravaganza:
Ajiaco | Potato and guasca soup, chicken, capers, avocado, roasted corn.
Cigarros De Pipián | Andean potato and peanut crispy rolls, tomato ají.
Homemade bread and butter
Ceviche De Bacalao | Cod marinated in yellow chilli and lime, red onion, chilli, coriander.
Cochinita Pibil | Confit leg of pork and roasted fillet of pork marinated in achiote and orange, broccoli puree, roasted cauliflower and apple, pickled red onion.
Pre-dessert lime and ginger granita
Bananos En Tantación | Bananas in orange and cinnamon caramel, banana bread, coconut cream, granola, orange water ice.
First Course – Ajiaco
The soup was quite savoury and light, like an aromatic broth. There were subtle textures coming from corn kernels and the dinky little potatoes. It was a lovely appetizer, served warm; I almost wished I had a bigger bowl to enjoy. It was also my first time having avocado in a hot soup scenario but unexpectedly and pleasantly it worked. Upon enquiry, I was told that this is a very classic soup, served in simmering massive bowls as a convivial meal. Indeed, it was quite the comforting starter, especially on a cool London Spring evening.
Second Course – Cigarros De Pipián
This was another delightful course. The rolls were crispy and a complete mouthful. The pastry outside was light and flaky that crunched softly under the knife. There was such a flavour burst coming from the accompanying tomato aji with the minutely chopped tomatoes, shallots and herbs, all sloshed with a good glug of oil. The smack of heat and tang coming from that was enough to wake your senses and snap you out of your work week monotony. The filling of the potatoes and peanuts was well balanced in terms of texture and taste. Overall, it was a very exciting vegetarian starter.
Third Course – Ceviche De Bacalao
This was the best course of the evening and I am sure my fellow diners would agree with me, as I could hear the soft murmurings of them raving about it! It was bright, sharp, colourful, acidic, slightly citrusy and had all sort of wonderful things happening on the palate! It was a classic ceviche style dish with striking colours and real punchy flavours. I have certainly not had cod so delicious before. The accompanying bread was soft, tasted fresh and not too crusty, perfect to mop up the flavoursome oil. Overall, an invigorating dish.
Fourth Course – Cochinita Pibil
There were two types of pork presented here, a pulled and a roast version. There was some subtle play of textures coming from the charred cauliflower and a mild sharpness from the strands of pickled red onions. The pairing with the juliennes of apple was classic and clever. Unfortunately, I thought the roast pork was a bit dry. It also went cold quickly. Serving it on a warmed up plate may have helped prevent that. All in all, I was expecting a few more punchier flavours with this dish but unfortunately I was a bit underwhelmed, which is a shame as I was looking forward to this course the most.
Fifth Course – Bananos En Tantación
Wow, what a comeback! Things were back in business with the arrival of this knockout dessert. The banana bread was super airy and fluffy, not too heavy like some of the other varieties you get and with just the right hint of banana flavour (like a banana flavoured Victoria sponge). The accompanying orange water ice was teeth-shatteringly, brain freezingly good! Finally, the soft flesh of the bananas, the cream and the texture from the peanuts added interest. It was a really good pud, perfectly balanced and a fine way to finish off the meal.
The Supper Club runs on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. It is priced at £48 per person, which includes a welcome drink. Advance booking is essential. It is not a BYOB; they have a decent selection of drinks which you can buy on board (credit card only). Don’t worry, it doesn’t smell of the Tube, nor is it subterranean. For colder nights, they have heaters on hand and there are permanent toilet facilities outside the main dining car. They also cater for special dietary requirements if notified in advance.
When it comes to Supper Club experiences, this was a fun, unusual, slightly quirky concept of dining; all of the things that I dig when it comes to eating out. It is a perfect idea for a date with a difference, a special occasion treat (we had a couple who were attending as part of a Mother’s Day gift) or simply to have a fun night out with mates.
Location : 10 South Access Road, Walthamstow, London E17 8AX
Closest Tube Stations : St. James Street Station (Overground – 5 minutes walk); Blackhorse Road Station (Victoria Line – 15 minutes walk); Lea Bridge Road Station (Overground – 10 minutes walk).
Website : http://supperclub.tube/