For me, the idea of dining on the London Underground has never conjured up the most desirable images, from hurried businessmen devouring an M&S sandwich while rushing around the city from one meeting to another to drunken students tucking into a bag of McDonald’s on their way back from a night out in Roxys, stinking out the carriage for those of us whose night hadn’t been quite as exciting.
And as for drinking on the underground… I rarely go a weekend without seeing a group not-so-discretely smuggling their beer on to the tube or swigging from badly-concealed bottles of wine on the way to a night out in Shoreditch (okay, I’m not denying that I’ve been one of these people at one point).
But then I discovered Basement Galley’s Underground Supper Club, taking ‘underground dining’ to a whole new level with their pop-up restaurant in an old London underground carriage. Finally, a sophisticated (and legal) way to eat your dinner and enjoy a drink or two on the tube!
A London Tube Restaurant? Tell me more…
Located in a decommissioned 1967 Victoria Line tube carriage at Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum, this secret London tube restaurant is home to regular supper clubs hosted by some amazing guest chefs. Certainly one of the most unique restaurants London has to offer!
As well as one long group table, there are also a number of smaller tables throughout the underground train carriage which seat groups of 2 and 4. The carriage is well suited for everything from a cosy date night to a group dinner with friends. Or if you feel like making some new acquaintances you’re welcome to join one of the bigger tables… it is a supper club after all.
Current Underground Supper Club (Spring 2019):
Underground Supper Club is currently being hosted by head chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreño (Bea) who originally hails from Bogotá Colombia and is bringing a taste of South America to the pop-up tube restaurant. Last week I headed to Walthamstow to check it out.
After starting the night with a Negroni (the first time I’ve ever drunk alcohol out of a glass while sitting on the tube – shhh don’t judge me!), Bea came out to welcome us and explain the menu for the night.
Despite the menu stating 4 courses, Bea filled the menu with little surprises which brought it up to a grand total of 6 tasty and filling courses.
Underground Supper Club Menu:
#1 – Ajiaco – potato and guasca soup with chicken and avocado.
#2 – Cigarros de Pipian – Andean potato and peanuts crispy rolls with tomato ají.
#3 – Ceviche de Bacalao – cod marinated in yellow chilli and lime, red onion, green chilli, coriander.
#4 – Conchinita Pibil – Confit leg of pork and roasted fillet of pork marinated in achiote and orange, broccoli puree, roasted cauliflower, pickled red onion.
#5 – Pre-desert lime and ginger granita.
The fact that Basement Galley runs a supper club rather than a traditional restaurant is another great selling point of the whole experience. The tube carriage holds just 30 people and the host is present throughout the evening to talk to guests about the food which adds a special intimacy to the whole evening. This is certainly one for real food lovers.