Sunday 8 February 2009

The Underground Restaurant

It was indeed a great pleasure to have attended the very first evening of MsMarmitelover’s The Underground Restaurant. The long and short of this kind of unofficial restaurant is that you invite friends or total strangers round to your abode and charge them for the dinner that you cook. It takes guts and confidence to organise an event like this; MsMarmitelover (MML), an excellent host I care to add, came up trumps with an enjoyable and glitch free evening.

The hub

The one and only AGA

The setting was obviously planned with a degree of interiors know how- the thus by defaulted Shaker chic effect of the dining room was welcoming and warm. As you would expect with food related events like this, it was great to meet other bloggers like Foodrambler and London Eater. Worth bearing in mind that the wonderful service was provided by MML’s daughter.

We started with Homemade herb Focaccia and Roasted Tomato Soup. The Focaccia, as only a perfect homebaked variety can be, had a golden, dimpled, salty crust and a deliciously soft centre. This bread was clearly made with aspirations.

The soup was intense, garlicky and beautifully seasoned. The soup and the bread were the highlights for yours truly tonight.

The Gratin Dauphinois was utterly irresistible and oozing with flavour, no doubt aided by the addition of some smoked salmon.

Utterly delightful jelly to refresh the palate. This was a guest star dish from Bompas & Parr at

The reverential pudding of Chocolate Mousse was dark, concentrated and scrumptious. The chocolatey intensity of this mousse reminded me of the Sanguinaccio (sweet paté of pig's blood and chocolate) I had at Bocca di Lupo. The mere mention of blood in a pudding must have agitated MML!

This is eating out, but with a difference; it’s the consumption of decent home cooked fayre that makes it all so worthwhile. At ten quid a head, it’s great value. I believe that MML has plans to have more openings of The Underground Restaurant, if that’s the case then it’s more than likely that you’ll bump into me as a result. MML, bravo and thank you, see you soon.

NB Just had a thought, I'm pretty damn sure this supper club thing is going to spread like wild fire, especially with the current climate. Just don't expect me to put a foot in it or else Spam (nowt wrong to me!) and
exceedingly good cakes from Mr Kipling will feature on my menu.


thora said...

Great post, both the photos and text give an impression of a good atmosphere and delicious food.

bellaphon said...

Thora- thank you. If you aspire to something similar, I might just pop over to Dortmund. :)

Anonymous said...

Wow! It looks like a great night! I agree, the underground restaurant thing is certainly going to be huge. I must get me a seat. Every weeks too - that is brave!

bellaphon said...

Helen- if you decide to take the plunge yourself, I'll be there like a shot especially if pork belly is included!

Anonymous said...

I love the concept, seen about it in the states, and will be inviting some random people from the Birmingham Twestival for dinner.

One day I can aspire to actually doing it regularly

bellaphon said...

Hi Neil- you're a braver soul than I am.

Anonymous said...

It was great to meet you at The Underground. And you helped me get back into my blog, so thank you!

bellaphon said...

Abi- Thanks, I daresay we'll meet again!

Anonymous said...

Oh, this seems like a wonderful evening! I'd love to have tried it. Seems like you had lots of fun and some wonderful food.

bellaphon said...

Niamh- it was fun. As mentioned before this is going to be the beginning of an evolution in dining.

Anonymous said...

hey mister.

Just a wee notelet to invite you and your readers to come along to my home restaurant in Newington Green - The Secret Ingredient, which has only been going for 4 weeks so far but was the inspiration for Ms.Marmite lover to take the plunge. The Food is currently a 9-course japanese meal - it may change at some point, but people keep booking on the strength of it being japanese, so i'm finding it hard to change the menu!

you can contact me either via my facebook page at:

or email:

love, light, and ganmodoki - horton ;o)

bellaphon said...

Horton- thanks for the prompt. Looking forward to chez vous soon.