Sunday, 22 March 2009

The Underground Restaurant

Recently there's been quite a lot of press about this Underground Restaurant - so called because it's held in Ms Marmite Lover's front room, payment is upfront and there is a set menu. Myself and three others decided to pay it a visit, after reading favourable reviews on blogs, such as here.

So, on a sunny Saturday, I tackled London's transport system. It's not easy trying to get from north east London where I was visiting friends, to Kilburn, especially when TFL decide to suspend the entire Victoria Line and part of the Jubilee line all weekend. I ended up arriving half an hour early due to being overly cautious. When we arrived at Ms Marmite Lover's house, we were greeted by her daughter, who was also an excellent waitress. After a Kir Semi-Royale, we were seated to tuck into olives.

The Spring Menu started off with raviolo stuffed with Portabello, button and oyster mushrooms with an onion cappucino foam, cooked by Charlie Nelson. This was excellent - the pasta was well made, and the onion sauce was delicious. I was even allowed to sip more sauce from a ladle out of a massive pot of it later that evening.

Next up was salmon en papillote with creme fraiche and dill, along with Aga roasted new potatoes and rocket and watercress salad. The salmon was perfectly cooked; moist on the inside. The potatoes had roasted into sweet nuttiness and were lovely and fluffy inside. Happily enough we were offered seconds.

With 18 diners in the room, the atmosphere was great; nicely noisy and everyone was obviously having a good time. It was pretty spacious too - I don't know about you, but even having 10 people in my front room would be a struggle, let alone double that. We had brought our own wine and because we'd had a few pre-dinner pints, our table was quite lively.

To finish off the meal, we had tart au citron. The tart had just the right amount of tartness and was accompanied by some cream and a pretty chocolate-dipped physalis. An impromptu piano performance / Elton John sing-a-long (I may have been drinking... rather a lot) from Chris finished off the evening nicely. Unfortunately we couldn't stay for coffee as we had to dash for the last train. So all in all, we spent almost 3 hours at Ms Marmite Lover's place which is longer than one usually spends in restaurants; proof indeed of what an excellent and fun host she is, as it was a surprise when we checked the time.

It's a great idea, and one I hope catches on. I for one don't have the facilities (or the nerve) but I had a great time and I think it's an experience worth having.

14 comments:

Fat Les said...

Hey 'Myself', I'm accordingly flattered. Ta.

MsMarmitelover said...

Thanks Lizzie, you were lovely guests and I hope to see you all again either at the Underground resto or elsewhere.
Ps will return your makeup bag soon...

Food Urchin said...

We're going this Saturday, astrology night, really looking forward to it

Charlie Nelson said...

Thanks for the link and positive words...the recipe will be up soon. Good to meet you!

Dan said...

Great Article - I remember reading about this in the Metro a while back, and thought it sounded like an interesting concept then. The food looks extremely accomplished. I Love cooking and hosting dinner parties, but I find anything above 6 people a real hassle....the idea of cooking for more and strangers to boot would be daunting in the extreme.

DevynElizabeth said...

What a cool concept - I hope to be in London in May, and now also hope to be able to enjoy a meal there!

Thanks for the review, Lizzie - you provide a great public service this way.

Jules said...

Sounds like a wonderful night.

Anne said...

The food sounds great and a nicely different 'restaurant' experience!

Niamheen said...

Such a fun night! I'd go back again.

Helen said...

Hmmm it all sounds so familiar! It was a fantastic night - we were a bit rowdy but I think we might just have got away with it...

Anonymous said...

I was thinking of doing something similar in Cheshire or North Wales.
Do I need insurance in case of an accident or God forbid,food poisoning?

Helen Yuet Ling Pang said...

I think next time I'll go back to the Underground Restaurant as a guest, although I had great fun volunteering in the kitchen!

A Girl Has To Eat said...

I have heard about this place too and I'm totally intrigued. I must pay it a visit. It sounds like it was worth the experience.

bed frame said...

Underground restaurant? Never heard of that. This is my first time to see an underground restaurant. I wonder how it feels inside of it.