Dinner at The Vaults with Tabl
Sometimes I get stuck in a dinner rut. So often when I’m plotting with my pals where we should spend our hard earned pennies on dinner, we often end up in Pizza Express clutching a voucher, mainly due to lack of inspiration. However, this looks all set to change dramatically with the launch of Tabl.com!
This awesome new website is THE website to visit to find pop-up restaurants and supper clubs, making booking a total breeze ensuring that you and your hungry chums slurp, sup and munch at the most individual, imaginative and exclusive foodie joints in the capital. Fuck queuing outside Burger and Lobster for ten years on a Friday night, THIS badboy is my new go-to for quirky, yum-some eats.
I was invited along to a PopDown dinner which is currently in residency at The Vaults until January. First seen at Borough Barista, this under-the-arches haven teems with utter cool, all under the watchful eye of up-and-coming foodie superstar Chavdar Todorov.
My pal Tim and I rendez-voused at Waterloo and made our way down underneath the station to find a secret cavern full of graffiti and attitude. This is a space that morphs into everything from bar, restaurant, theatre space and gallery and it is COOL AS FUCK.
We settled in at the mish-mash of tables in the bar and settled in with a couple of cocktails; the Cuisson Collins for me which was a sharp blend of gin (natch), elderflower, limeade (old skool), cucumber coulis and mint, and the cheekily named Sour Nuts for him- Four Roses Bourbon, ginger, egg white, chestnut, lemon and walnut brittle.
Before long it was time to take our seats upstairs for our DINNER. The tables are huge so it’s a great place to go with a big gaggle of your best ones. We, by coincidence, ended up sat next to a couple of Tim’s friends, and it was such a good evening, cooing over the food and drinking farrrrr too much red wine.
The Chefs came out and said a quick hiya, and encouraged us all to go and take a peek up at the counter at every course they were putting together for us, allowing us each a prime view of how these beautiful dishes are put together.
AND NOW FOR THE GRUB! For our first course, which was simply labelled ‘SURPRISE’ we were presented with a roasted cabbage with chorizo, red pepper, lemon and hazelnuts which was utterly delicious and felt VERRRRY seasonal.
After a bit of chatter and once plates were cleared we then had our fish course. Cured mackerel, lovage emulsion, daikon, horseradish snow. I KNOW RIGHT. TOTO I DON’T THINK WE’RE IN PIZZA EXPRESS ANYMORE. I actually had to google what daikon was (it’s a white radish in case you’re as plebby as me).
The main event was a steaming plate of slow cooked brisket, fermented vegetables with a ‘pick and mix’ garnish. The funnest bit of this course was that our ‘jus’ (or GRAVY to you and me) was served in an individual cafetiere, which we had to plunge before dousing our beef in it.
Stomachs groaning by this point, we perked up when our pudding was popped in front of us. Deliciously moist chunks of carrot cake with a bizarrely solid coconut custard and brown butter brittle. Whilst the custard wasn’t for me (the lavender taste just overpowered everything for me), the rest of it was utterly spectacular.
Tickets to POPdown at The Vaults are priced at £39 each, with drinks on top (with two cocktails, a bottle of red and a couple of gin and tonics, our bill came to just over £50), so whilst it’s not the cheapest night out in the world, it’s certainly one of the best quality and the most interesting! Seasonal ingredients, friendly chefs eager to talk about what they’ve created, interactive elements and a really cool social dining experience!
Each event listed on Tabl comes with a menu so you can see in advance what you’ll be eating (also saves on that inevitable food envy you get when your mate’s dinner looks better than yours) which is super handy in selecting which event you fancy. There’s loooooooaaaaadddss of different options on there to suit every palate and budget so DEFINITELY check it out next time you’re umming and ahhing about which Pizza Express to go to*!
*Just fyi- I really like Pizza Express too. COME AT ME POLLO AD ASTRA.
I was a guest of Tabl at POPdown at The Vaults, but if I hadn’t have had THE BEST TIME I wouldn’t have written about it!