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Restaurant Review: Saltoun Supper Club in Brixton

I think one word sums up Saltoun Supper Club (SSC), fascinating. From the food to the decor, it is all fascinating.

Now this is not meant to a slight on the food at all (for the simple reason that the food is rather good) but there is an element of theatrics to the whole experience which makes SSC special.  The whole supper club/ underground restaurant “scene” has stimulated many emotions in me but the general one has been a slight feeling of “is that it?”.  There have been notable exceptions (L&F, Nuno Mendes and Christmas at Number 42) but in general it has been a slightly underwhelming experience eating in people’s living rooms over the past year.  I don’t go to supper clubs to simply have an emulation of a meal in a restaurant (and sometimes a bad one), I think there has to be something unique about it. Be it experimental food, bonhomie or just curiosity. SSC takes this and runs with it.

Arno and his assistant staged the whole process brilliantly. You walk up a flight of stairs and the flat unfolds around you. Interesting, quirky and unique are dotted everywhere.  The living room is like the top floor of the Welcome Collection in Euston and full of little curiosities. Between each course you are offered the chance to relax upstairs in a study similarly decorated and evocative.

From the moment you enter the flat you are categorically not in a restaurant. You are instead in somebody’s house. Somebody with better interior decorating taste than you.  I was running late so I couldn’t grab my camera and only have iPhone shots of the food but the London Foodie has some good ones on is (here). 

Well a couple of hundred words later and it is time to get to the food. It is excellent. I won’t weigh down each dish with comments but I will use one as a demonstration of what the SSC is about. For our second course we had gnocchi. It was white, with white parmesan and some white cauliflower. So the theme was white. But SSC takes what is plain and gives you an aromatic assault instead. Truffle oil jumped out at you and challenged your preconception about beige food. It is a trick all the molecular gastronomy chefs do and works well particularly with such perfect homemade gnocchi.

The final unique thing about SSC is Arno himself. A perfect host with a quite transcendentally big moustache. Even when one of my friends asked him for help in using some esoteric vegetables she had received in her veg box he was unflappable and immediately reeled off some reciples.

3 Comments

  1. The London Foodie

    Excellent write up as always, I am pleased you also enjoyed your meal at SSC. As I mentioned in my reply to your comment, pls feel free to use any of my pics for your review, although you have done a pretty good job from your iphone! Thanks for the link.

  2. Fernandez & Leluu

    Wonderful review – just like how I remembered it – although food is pretty unforgettable. still dreaming of that gnocci. Arno is a genius! I would recommend EVERYONE eat at his!
    Will tell email him to be on waiting list now!

  3. Jen

    Luiz – thanks for being so generous!

    F&L – it was a great night. I would like to go to one of his on a Saturday and make it a slightly bigger night…

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