If you haven’t enjoyed the frivolities of a supper club yet, you need to make a booking with Popdown by Cuisson straight away. What is remarkably enjoyable are their efforts to breakdown the wall between the kitchen and the dining room. The chefs bring the dishes out themselves and painstakingly explains the dishes to you and why certain ingredients are used. They even plate the exciting plates of food in close proximity to your dining table. Also you are sat in communal tables, where you mingle with like-minded foodies who are passionate about cooking.
The pop-up is situated on the 1st floor of 1 Cathedral Street, which overlooks the hive of activity at Borough Market and Southwark Cathedral. Although if numbers are low for that service, they may sit you at the Ikigai bar on the ground floor.
The menu is an Asian-inspired 5 courses tasting menu, which does change daily depending on seasonal ingredients available from Borough Market. An amuse-bouche of fried prawn ‘wonton’ was slightly underwhelming in that it lacked the delicacy of say a more traditional prawn tempura; it felt more like a prawn spring roll with a better name.
We didn’t have to wait long to be impressed, as the next dish of sea bream ceviche with mooli was light, delicate and appetising. Considerable thought has gone into matching the fish with the right taste profile using the citrusy taste from the yuzu, as well as the soy and wasabi and a sprinkling of tobiko on top.
The honey-glazed duck with hazelnuts was another winner with the supper club diners. It was beautifully pink in appearance with only a small amount of fat, the gamey taste of the duck shone through and a small amount of honey always helps to improve the texture of the meat. It is served with cucumber, plum and citrus which acts as a welcoming counter-balance to the sweetness of the dish.
The main course of pork loin with nigiri brought about the most controversy with fellow diners. Firstly, the large piece of pork loin needed either to be cut up to smaller pieces or the guests should have been provided with a fork and knife. It got us thinking that in general Asian cuisines, just don’t offer large pieces of uncut meat, as the dishes need to be consumed easily with chopsticks. They used golden syrup in the dish to help break down the fat in the pork, although the strongest taste was the umami taste from the soy sauce.
Sous vide pineapple was a great refreshing way to end the meal and a palate-cleanser from the strong soy tastes from previous courses. It has a refreshing mixture of curd, ginger crumble and coconut foam.
What is particularly commendable is when new staff join Cuisson creative, they are trained extensively for 6 months and ultimately they get a percentage share of the profits from the business.