Enveloped in mystery and excitement, the 20th century tradition of underground supper clubs has made its way into India. By Shrimayee Thakur
The concept of underground supper clubs first came into existence in the West. A group of strangers, thoroughly vetted by organisers, are invited to a meal with a specially curated menu in a secret location. The attendees are all chosen on the basis of wit, intelligence, passion and experiences. A very exclusive and hush-hush affair, secret supper clubs are an alluring option for people who want to enjoy a gourmet meal in a sublime setting with like-minded strangers.
Ironically well-known, the Delhi Secret Supper Club, founded in 2013, is the one name that jumps to mind when people think of underground supper clubs. The founders of Delhi Secret Supper Club insist on absolute anonymity, to the point where even the people at the table do not who know who the organisers are. The invites are sent through Facebook, along with a password, which you have to enter at the location, or you might be turned away.
While Delhi Secret Supper Club’s organisers choose to stay hidden and move their venue from restaurant to restaurant, Mumbai’s Salt Water Cafe and Silverspoon Gourmet choose to operate a little differently. The venue is set: at their own premises.
Salt Water Cafe’s supper club is named Swine Dine, and, true to its name, serves up pork delicacies. Held once a month at their Bandra outlet, the feast has 12 to 15 diners, and delicious cuisines on the menu — such as pate made of cheeks, tongue, feet and smoked bacon fat; a salad with watercress, pomegranate, dill and re-fried belly; ribs soaked in bottle masala and tamarind; chorizo and chickpeas in a cider stew; and brioche garnished with maple bacon. Silverspoon Gourmet offers an experiential dining experience in an informal space, and is not picky about its customers, provided interested parties send them a mail first. Menus at Silverspoon are created specifically for each event.
The concept is very beneficial for budding culinary artists who have the skills but not the venue to host an event. It offers a unique opportunity to blend socialising with delicious meals, and is currently enjoying a very successful run in India.