A Guide to Supper Clubs & Pop Ups:
Coming to any supper club / pop up is a unique experience. We have many guests that are new to the concept and can find it all a bit daunting. Lots of questions: How does it work? Can I come alone? What will I eat? Etc.
These are the general rules and guidelines.
We recommend you read this before attending:
Most important: come with an open mind.
We, as the supper club brigade, are pushing the boundaries of what a dining experience can be. We’re a group of chefs who are either highly qualified amateurs or professionals with our own visions.
Either way: we’re dreamers.
Set menus are the name of the game. This means that if you’re open to the experience, you’ll get the chance to try new things that you almost definitely wouldn’t choose off a menu.
It also means that it’s imperative that any food allergies / preferences are announced far in advance (RANDE requires a minimum of 48 hours’ notice) and there will be some requests that we just can’t accommodate. If you want to be really mean, mention that you’re lactose intolerant upon arrival and you’ll see terror in the organiser’s face as they send someone running off for supplies! But seriously, please don’t do that.
The nature of the set menu also means that if you’re very picky, these experiences probably aren’t for you.
Golden fact: supper clubs are not a professional kitchen.
In fact sometimes, at RANDE, we have no kitchen at all. Have a closer look when you arrive, we’re cooking on camp stoves, with sous vide machines and portable fryers. Someone once complained that they saw everything “coming out of Tupperware”. Yes – of course – because the mise en place for the evening is done in an off-site prep kitchen. Very often, the entire kitchen / tables / benches etc. etc. are all constructed at the venue on the night.
The wait and kitchen staff are often one-off volunteers and more often personal friends of mine, so go easy on them. Normally these chaps and chap-ettes are very successful in their day job – we’ve had naval architects, management consultants, interior designers, nurses and even paediatric surgeons. But perhaps this is their first night as a waiter so treat them well and they’ll love you in return (perhaps they’ll even sneak you an extra shot or two). If you have any questions, relay them to your waiter and they’ll pop back to the kitchen for an answer.
Supper club tables are almost always communal and so it is a RANDE. You’ll get to sit with your friends (although you need to email ahead if you haven’t booked together). But do be prepared to make new friends. People at these events tend to be like-minded and generally really interesting. The unique surroundings make for a great conversation starter. This also makes the night ideal for those who turn up on their own. Please do come on your own if you’re tempted!
Supper clubs are a lovely experience and if you understand the above, you’ll love the experience that much more. We, the supper club brigade, absolutely love what we do. We’re passionate about producing great food and making our guests happy. We hope that you’ll join us on the adventure.