The thing I love most about living in the West Country is discovering the unexpected and sitting in the ground floor of a quirky shop in Wincanton drinking sake and eating sublime raw tuna, I think I’ve found it. This is the Kitchen Table Underground Restaurant, brainchild of Laleh, Pippa and Jaana, a trio who run the eclectic vintage Love Wonky shop as well as planning and catering unique events. So while the supper club takes place in the Love Wonky shop (a beautiful, atmospheric labyrinth of a place with countless rooms) it is dressed to amaze with every detail considered.
Tonight is Japanese night, our waitresses are in kimonos, there are coloured party lights everywhere, a live acoustic set and a roving magician. And this is all before we’ve got to the food.
Supper clubs have reached cult status here in the South West. It’s often a more interesting experience than going to a restaurant albeit far less anonymous of course and you’ll need to be up for a bit of stranger danger.
Here in Wincanton it helps that the sake flows (The Kitchen Table is fully licensed) and there is the distraction of other entertainment just in case your conversation proves more sticky. From the volume around me, however, that doesn’t seem to be a problem. I’ve taken the precaution of bring a few friends and fortunately the unknown couple who are seated on our table are easy going, interesting and pretty sanguine our Friday night over exuberance.
It is a clever move hosting a Japanese pop up for this kind of cuisine still remains hard to find in the West Country. Food is obviously the focal point of a supper club and it needs to be good. Our four course dinner of sushi, seared tuna, salmon or beef teriyaki made by Pippa, a talented chef, was unfailingly delicious. The meat is sourced from Wincanton’s stellar butcher Andrew Barclay, fish from a local monger and all other ingredients immaculately sourced for local provenance.
What Laleh and her team have created with The Kitchen Table, is a completely unusual dining experience in a unique location. Yes the food is excellent but it’s just as much about the vibe and spirit of the evening, live Bluesy singing, table to table magic tricks, a wonderfully kitsch setting and a crowd who are generally up for it.
Laleh says: "The Kitchen Table is a home from home and I think it works because of the intimacy and personal touch. That's what I truly love about doing this.'
Laleh, Pippa and Jaana can bring The Kitchen Table as a themed pop up in your own home or you can hire the Wincanton space. More information here
Friday June 12 BBQ and 7 mile supper club celebrating everything seasonal and local
Friday 11 September French cuisine
Friday 16/Sat 17 October Middle Eastern/Persian themed night