A secret, underground supper club might seem about as culinarily avant-garde as an organic cupcake these days (and as secretive as Bob Quick's filing), but an evening of demonstrational dining at Full House in Shoreditch offers the opportunity to go away with something more than an potential bout of gastroenteritis.
From the moment you open the door to the hitherto undisclosed location, it's clear that this is no ordinary dinner party you are attending - stepping off the street crosses the threshold into a culinary wonderland that would make even the deity Blumenthal doff his shiny pate in reverence, with the entire property having been overhauled to reveal quirky details and a truly novel environment that you really do have to see to believe. Saying that this pop-up could "only happen in Shoreditch" would usually mean it involved Geek Pie haircuts and painted on jeans, but in this instance it is because the whole project is integrally knitted into the community in which it sits; almost everything in the flat - from the upcycled furniture, to dainty ceramics and bespoke lighting - has been developed and provided via close collaboration across a range of disciplines which are literally on their doorstep (many of whom have been repaid for their talents with dinner), whilst at the heart of the flat - both physically and metaphorically - gleams a fully equipped industrial kitchen, part of which moves into the dining room for the demonstrations.
This week's Experimental Japanese evening was the perfect demonstration of this level of presentation, attention to detail, and passion for cuisine - housekeeper Bonnie fell in love with Cafe Paddyfield's hand-quilted food stall in UpMarket, and invited St Martins graduate Rintaro Makata to host an evening in which traditional Asian flavour combinations would be integrated with his flair for product design (even the plates were photographed beforehand to ensure that the menu could be structured around the presentation). In each of the five dishes, diners were introduced to novel and carefully sourced ingredients, combined to balance complementary tastes and textures. The proof of the metaphorical pudding is, of course, in the eating though, and testament to this was that the chatter between the cunningly intermingled guests was nigh on continuous from the very first sip of aperitif on the sunbathed roof terrace, save for a communal "mmmmm" at the arrival of each course, followed by a hallowed silence which was only broken by the clatter of cutlery on crockery as diners fought to savour every last morsel. As ever, actions speak louder than words.
The Full House experiment finishes mid-June, and most nights are living up to the eponymous title - if you're hoping to catch nights such as their chocolate extravaganza, Asian Vegan evening, or the return of Molecular Gastronomy, you'd better book quickly.