Live & Unamplified supper club enchants at The Dead Dolls Club
There is a fundamental problem with restaurants today: you walk in, you are welcomed and then you are asked, “A table for two?”. The clattering of knives and forks is often the only sound interrupting the awkward silence that reigns over dates and meetings of distant friends.
Brainchild of Jack (of music promoters Live & Unamplified) and Ellen (of food missionaries The Big Food Crawl), and promoted by Lime&Tonic, the supper club aims to dispel the awkwardness of the typical restaurant setting with a warm and buzzing atmosphere, where strangers become friends in the comfort of what could be their own dining room, lit with the tastes and the flair of truly passionate restaurateurs.
Two long tables, beautifully adorned with edible decorations like pomegranates and purple sprouting broccoli, quickly fill up with strangers. Serenaded by the sensational musical duo, Giacomo Smith and Harry Sankey, the guests’ chatter swells, the awkwardness ebbs and the night begins.
The Cooks Ruin was just the start. Supped from vintage glass bottles, a fresh and vivacious cocktail of grapefruit, gin and woodruff syrup came recommended and was delightful. We were served a starter of roasted Jerusalem artichokes, nestled in a celeriac coleslaw. Feeling more and more as if we were at some elaborate enchanted dinner party in the woods, the best was yet to come: a spelt beetroot risotto with wonderfully tender roasted shoulder of pork, piled high and garnished with fennel, and lifted with a tangy rhubarb and mango salsa. The atmosphere inspired playfulness and there were many who could not resist knocking the sweet seeds of the decorative pomegranate into the medley of textures and flavours.
Jack, warm and expressive, welcomed us to the night. Ever the confident host, he asked us to resist the white chocolate pots with blood orange syrup, the toasted macadamia nuts and curled pastry that seemed to have been conjured in front of us, to listen to mesmerising singer Laura, accompanied by a harp.
Whether it was the cocktails, the food, or the décor, emerging onto the Kingsland Road after the dinner, it was hard to believe the blur of culinary magic had just taken place. We all entered the room as strangers and exited as strangers, yet for three hours we had experienced the world of the Live & Unamplified supper club. Who would have known what surprises lay in store behind the covered windows of The Dead Dolls Club?