Underground restaurants and supper clubs are two to a penny these days, some of them doing more exciting things than others. One that is bolder than most is Full House.
Set up by three multi-talented friends, their aim is to delve into the ever-changing trends in food, and to push diners to try new styles and ways of eating. Every six months, they choose a new theme and shape their weekly dinners around it. We were first bowled over by their Asian vegan supper as part of their ‘Global Suppers’ phase this spring, so knew we had to come back to try out their new ‘Super Food’ phase, in which all the food served is raw.
Don’t think celery sticks and rabbit food. Raw food is classified as not having been heated above 40°C, the point at which it is though microorganisms and nutrients start to be destroyed, so there is some leeway. And by the time raw food chef Chris Massamba has played around with a dehydrator, fermented some cashew nuts to make a vegan cheese, made a dairy-free ice cream and slowly ‘cooked’ a tagine over low heat for two days, you would scarcely realise that what you were eating was raw at all.
The positively mind-bending menu started off with a raw cheese board featuring aforementioned cashew nut cheese (Feeling inspired? Try this recipe) along with a similarly made walnut cheese and a raw unpasteurised feta. A dehydrated tomato slice, vegetable stuffed nori rolls and some incredible ‘samosas’ which swap pastry for a delicately thin piece of young coconut wrap up course number one.
A papaya and avocado salad sees less of the jiggery pokery, but topped with chicory, blood oranges and a peppery papaya seed dressing (yes, you can eat the seeds) is an art in flavour combining as well as something of a palate cleanser before the main course.
The main is, of course, that epic model of patience and restraint, the two-day cooked tagine. Packed so full of vegetables, fruits and pulses, no mouthful is the same as the last. The depth of flavour in the spices is particularly noteworthy considering the standard rule of roasting your whole spices to bring out their flavour has blatantly been thrown out the window.
A light and refreshing dessert of thinly sliced fruits stuffed in rolled pineapple slices served with coconut sorbet and dressed with passion fruit and raspberry coulis (see above) doubles up as a work of art, before some raw chocolate truffles (courtesy of Coxeter’s Fayre who can be found at Broadway Market) give a more indulgent final mouthful.
All this is not to mention the ice cream making demo (there’s more cashew nuts here), the glass of mulled wine on arrival, the strikingly quirky decor of the secret venue or the general conviviality of the evening. It’s something you truly have to experience to understand. Dates are quite rightly selling out quickly, but there’s some spaces left for dinners on 2nd, 9th and 16th December (the latter two having a raw Californian Christmas theme). Full details are on the website where you can also book online. Tickets are £40 a head all inclusive and well worth the money.