It takes no little chutzpah to find a central riverside location, advertise for punters to turn up and pay on the night, cook up three courses of quality fare and then hope it will all go fine. The three brave women behind new popup restaurant WhizzBangPop have done just that on four occasions and we were there for the fifth.
The location is secret but has a superb view of the Thames between the West London swankvilles of Chiswick and Fulham. Emily O’Hare, River Cafe sommellier and tonight’s MC, has chosen a specific wine for each of the four courses plus one to settle in the earlycomers while her WhizzBangPop partners, professional chefs Eliza Murray Willis and Charlie Capehorn, prepare the food downstairs.
Tonight’s menu was a seasonal affair, kicked off by aubergine and goats cheese galette with slow roasted tomatoes. The aubergines were in deliciously smooth baba ganoush-like form, the galette was handmade puff pastry and the cheese and tomatoes gave just enough visual and taste contrast. In short, it looked great, tasted great and we were set up for the evening.
The following course (coriander & honey marinated leg of lamb with roasted sweet potato puree & sesame green beans) showed the same hallmarks of quality and imagination but, of all the courses, the desserts were our favourite. The pudding trio of greengage & almond crumble, blackberry mousse with apple jelly and hazelnut-coated dark chocolate truffle were each mini-masterpieces of design and taste (we weren’t the only ones taking pictures). The ensuing cheese board was shared around the table with our co-diners who included graduate trainees, an HR manager and a loquacious retired millionaire.
At £45 per head, this isn’t our idea of cheap treats but, if you want to eat out somewhere special and are willing to forgo a brand name, for what you get in terms of food, wine and locale we thought that it was pretty good value for money.