We were all looking forward to this one! The intrigue….. The suspense….. The fact that we only really had to pay £30 a head!!…..
All we knew beforehand is that we would be eating in some blokes lounge, in Brixton, and that we had to bring our own alcohol. Obviously, because ‘the expert’ booked it, we knew it was going to be special……
Rumour had it that our Chef, Arno who was charming, chatty and what I had actually imagined, had previously applied his skills at the infamous ‘El Bulli’….. Well now we were expecting a treat and maybe even a new leader!
Having turned up at an unassuming front door in Brixton, we were welcomed by Arno’s assistant and led upstairs. It did cross our minds that Shaf may have actually booked a Thai Massage Parlour as the decor was the complete opposite of a Gaucho Grill, with no kitchen in sight. However after another flight of stairs we were, mostly!, pleased to see the master at work at home… at home. The kitchen diner was definitely unique with abstract things on the wall, glass skulls on our table and a big black Crow on the side which pleased one of us no end!
Our bottles were opened, put on ice or left to breathe, warm bread served, and we quickly felt equally at home! A great start…..
The first course was bruschetta with 14 different leaves, flowers and herbs, and parma ham. Delicious, flavoursome, what’s next?
Next was a scotch egg. No comment but after which we were now able to have a chill out upstairs or the time to pop to the shops for more alcohol. (A very good wine bar / taster shop was just round the corner)
For main we had a chicken and chorizo paella. I personally thought it was again very tasty but obviously my exalted colleagues with a new found fine dining penchant for ‘less is more’ thought the portion was too big. I think it was all eaten.
Desert was honeycomb, white chocolate ganache & fruit…..Lovely.
With his work done Arno was then free to mingle… There was another table of two in the lounge who got first dibs. A tray of nougat cubes and strawberries was also brought out and duly eaten.
Then having had our chance with Arno himself, and asking him probably the same questions he’s had twice a week for the last six years, my abiding memory was ‘good bloke’ but ‘he curses nearly as much as me!’ Well why not? His roof….. His rules….. (as I’ve been told by my Dad several times when I was younger!)
A fabulously unique experience, where, so long as your not expecting the opulence of the Ritz, you have some great food and are very much made to feel at home.