Those of you from outside London might not know that drinking or holding open containers of alcohol on public transport in London was made illegal in 2008. As such, the only way you can get a picture like the one of me below is at supper club tube – the only legal way to drink on the tube. I visited Supperclub.tube as their guest, via Love Pop Ups London, to try out the unique concept and get my tube drinks in, read on to see how we fared:
*Full disclosure, my Supperclub.tube dinner was free in return for this honest review*
Supper club tube – the only legal way to drink on the tube…
So where is this mysterious Supper club tube?
Well it’s not a working tube train – surprise! Setting the alcohol ban aside, the logistics of serving dinner on a working, and hence moving, tube train would be a nightmare. Instead Supperclub.tube is held inside an old Victoria Line tube carriage in the yard of the Walthamstow Pumphouse museum.
It’s an *actual* old tube carriage with all the old seats, on a raised platform outside the museum. You clamber through the driver’s cab into the main carriage, which is set up with tables using the original tube seats, as well as additional, larger tables in the space by the doors. Access into the carriage is via narrow steps, so this isn’t really accessible for anyone with mobility challenges.
Whilst the Supperclub.tube carriage does have heating inside, it’s not made to be lived in, so going in early March was chilly! Wait until Summer or wrap up warm if you get cold easily.
Whilst children are welcome for private events, the normal public supper club nights are for over 18’s only.
How does it work?
Guests are first greeted in the lean-to foyer of the Pumphouse museum. We waited here, perched on a hodge-podge of different chairs until all the guests had arrived before being led over to the tube carriage. The supper club is a set menu, which changes every so often (check out the supperclub.tube website for the latest menu).
The supper club nights are Thursday, Friday and Saturday every week. Due to a maximum capacity of 32 people, they book up quickly. It’s a tight squeeze, but not nearly as bad as rush hour – and everyone gets a seat!
Your ticket covers the set menu and a welcome drink. Additional drinks can be ordered and paid for using cards only – more on the drinks later! Getting in and out of the tube carriage and even your table, takes a bit of dexterity. The toilets are on-site, outside of the carriage, so you might need a coat or umbrella if it’s wet!
We were welcomed with a negroni as our first drink (as you might have worked out from the photos – I was very happy!). If you preferred a glass of prosecco or soft drink instead, these were also available. When everyone had their drinks, the head chef, Bea, welcomed us and the food service commenced.
After having looked at the menu, my friend and I decided to order a bottle of white wine. This and the topped-up tap water, kept us hydrated through the multiple courses of food.
The wine was a New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc a Parcel Wine by Majestic – reasonably priced at £19. A bottle of prosecco is also £19, negronis are £7 each and soft drinks £3.
We had 6 courses of food, so each course wasn’t huge on it’s own. We also got some amazing home-made bread and butter, that I used to mop up the sauce from the ceviche. Bea is from Bogota, Colombia, so she likes to serve South American dishes with her own individual flair.
The one exception to this was the first course:
Soup – Ajiaco
This potato and guasca (a herb from the daisy family) soup was a delight. With shredded chicken, roasted corn and pieces of avocado, this would be a hearty meal if a large bowlful was served. Luckily we had a small cup – enough to taste the soup, but not enough to fill us up! This soup took me back to eating the ‘menu of the day’ in various markets and restaurants whilst backpacking around South America. It’s hard to describe the flavours, but the combinations of the potato and chicken is very comforting to me. An authentic market version of the soup would probably not be as refined as this one, which seems lighter than the recipes I’ve seen.
Starter – Cigarros De Pipian
The cigarros were spring roll-like pastry tubes with a potato and peanut filling, served with tomato aji. The filling was a little bland and almost sweet – from the colour, I think Bea used sweet potatoes, but I didn’t get to ask. The peanuts gave the filling an interesting bite and the tomato aji really lifted the dish.
Fish course – Ceviche de Bacalao
The ceviche was cod marinated in yellow chilli and lime, red onion and coriander. I thought there was a nice balance between the chilli and lime. The dish had a delicate flavour, and whilst I didn’t blow my head off with the chilli, it did seem to clear my nose a little! The cod was juicy and well ‘cooked’ in the lime juice. It seemed so fresh and zesty we thought there may have been lime zest in the dish too. The onions were thinly sliced to keep the delicacy (although I’m not keen on raw onions, I did try some). My friend said she could easily have eaten a second or third helping of this dish.
Main – Cochinita Pibil
The main was a confit leg of pork served with roasted fillet of pork marinated in achiote and orange. Served with a broccoli puree, roasted cauliflower and apple, and pickled red onion. This dish looked absolutely beautiful, despite the long list of elements! The marinated pork fillet was delicately flavoured. You could taste the achiote marinade on the outside, which was a deep terracotta colour and gave off an earthy flavour. The confit leg of pork was definitely more of a ‘pulled pork’ effect. I liked the flavour and the fruitness in the sauce.
As for the veggies, the cauliflower was roasted with a bit of bite remaining – so much better than overcooked, soft boiled cauliflower! This was a good contrast in texture to the pulled pork. The roast apple was a clean contrast to the spice and added some sweetness too. I liked the apple, and although my friend didn’t think it added much to the dish, it is a classic pairing! The green sauce on the plate was the broccoli puree, which was well seasoned, the pink pickled red onion was a nice contrast in both colour and flavour. It made a nice sharp highlight to the otherwise rich dish.
Overall I enjoyed this plate of food. The only criticism I have is that it was plated on cold plates, which meant that most of the food, except the pile of pulled pork, was tepid when we ate it. This is part of the problem with effectively serving food outdoors (the tube carriage wasn’t that warm). I certainly ate it all though!
Pre-desert – Lime and Ginger Granita
This was a lovely little palate cleanser – literally a spoonful of lime and ginger ice. It worked perfectly to offset the rich flavours from the previous course.
Dessert – Bananos en Tentacion
This was a banana bread topped with bananas in orange and cinnamon caramel, served with coconut cream, granola and a orange water ice. The variety of consistencies and temperatures made this an extremely moreish dessert.
I’d love to bring people back to this supper club. The tube carriage makes it a very unique London dining experience and would be great fun, either as a date night, or with a group of friends. The largest table seats a maximum of 12 people and they can easily do tables for 2 or 4.
As the menu changes monthly, the food above is just an indication of the kind of dishes you might get to experience. Overall the food was prepared very well and I love the South American inspiration from Bea’s home country and continent, mixed with local ingredients. My only criticism was the cold main course, which could have been prevented with warmed plates, perhaps mine was just at the bottom of the pile?
Fancy trying out the supper club on the tube? Tickets are £48 for a similar meal. Book online here: Supperclub.tube
Find Supperclub.tube at the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum:
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