Supper Clubs are the future of dining. They’re the new ‘eating-out’ for those that generally prefer to dine in, as well as the ultimate new dining experience for those more inducted into the secret life of pop-ups and hidden gems!
Often well hidden, raved and rumored, Supper Clubs embody the art and experience of dining in a small and intimate venue. Sometimes they’re in pop-up locations and sometimes they’re in the chef’s own lounge – so be prepared and be polite!
Considering this, they’re also considered somewhat illicit, underground, and often in the grey area of legality. Guests don’t strictly ‘pay’ for their dinner but they’re run on a donation basis to avoid taxes and other business overheads. You pay in advance to avoid the chef being out of pocket, and you also bring all your own booze; both convenient and deadly!
Let me now add, that if you’re not practiced in the art of making sociable (polite at the very least) conversation with strangers then these incredible outings are not for you, I’m sorry. Leave now! Supper Clubs are host to small groups, and single parties, and many book in advance straight off the website not knowing who they’re in to meet – or what’s on the menu for their particular evening.
It’s a culinary adventure in all aspects of the word.
Unknown companions, unknown cuisine, and an unknown host. All a big melting pot for the professional socialites and not the faint hearted. But what’s better than bonding with a big group of new friends who are obviously all like-minded food enthusiasts?! I’m sold.
Anyway, cut to the chase you say?
Well I went to Guan Chua’s “Malaysian Nyonya Supper Club”! Home to a blend of Chinese and Malay influences, and fresh with the scents of lemongrass and fermented shrimp paste. Guan’s story and journey to the Supper Club life is alone worthy of a blog post. In a nutshell, Guan was previously tied down to the corporate living and investment banking lifestyle that many of us can sadly still relate to. Fed up and in need of a long deserved sabbatical he disappeared for half a year and emerged a Cordon Bleu Chef.
He’s never looked back.
Guan hosts the Supper Club in his own lounge. A home fully equipped with great coffee tables, bookcases that are art in themselves, and bespoke furniture. You feel welcome like visiting an old friend, yet there is still the professional and hospitable restaurant vibe.
You can relax on his couch while enjoying gin infused with various summer fruits, and let the fans in the corner blow the stifling summer breeze in your face [yes heat waves in London are a real thing, I tell ya].
And then, if that’s not enough, he then serves you the most incredible 8 course Malaysian meal you’ve ever experienced. This is where Supper Clubs trump against inner city restaurants. Considering you may not know where to go to find quality Asian food, quality South American cuisines and so on, with Supper Clubs you can almost guarantee you’ll be served the real deal.
Conversation flows over numerous bottles of paired wine (he gives you suggestions before you arrive), and in our case you’ll then discuss deeply the best cuisines in the world [tapas and pinxos in San Sebastion rate highly]. What’s not to like? Dear lord I’m hungry just reflecting on it.
I think I’ll go eat something!
Look into Supper Clubs in your city. I’m sure you wont be disappointed!