Monday, July 20, 2015

The Wall SE1 Supper Club: Delicious 8 Course meal of American food with a British Twist


When I heard Cult Events was back with Chef Ian Ballantyne at the helm of a new supper club called The Wall SE1, I instantly bought tickets to check it out. I’ve had Ian’s food at two supper clubs in the past and I’ve always enjoyed it. The first time I witnessed his creative skills in making a simple salad look like a piece of art and the second time he cooked a dinner in a Hackney cafĂ© with all the ingredients sourced locally from within Hackney.

 This time the supper club was held at the Vaults i.e. the Arches underneath Waterloo Station. It’s a vast cavernous space recently taken over by the House of Vans brand and is home to an indoor skate park, an art gallery and a cinema. And now on certain nights during the weekend, will feature The Wall SE1 Supper Club: a fun, casual dining experience focusing on all the things we love about American food with a British twist.



To start, there were some crunchy Chiccarones (a.k.a. fried pork skins) to nibble on. Next, we were served country Ham with mayo and fresh baguettes. Initially I was like ‘eh, some ham and bread’ but the ham was so tasty and the mayo had a special secret ingredient (ok not really a secret, Ian mentioned it but I don’t remember if it was pork fat or beef juice or essentially something I would totally not think of putting in mayonnaise). It was delicious and a great start to the meal.

Then came the Grilled Mackerel with pickled tomatoes and sweet corn custard. The fish was perfectly cooked but to be honest, didn’t really work for me with the tomatoes. To be fair, there were others at my table who liked it but I didn’t like the combination. I feel like mackerel usually works best with strong punchy Asian flavours.



The ‘Bramen Noodles’ were a whimsical take on the ever-trendy Ramen noodles and were served  ‘British Style’ in a dainty tea cup. The noodles were topped with slices of veal and a quail’s egg and the most utterly gorgeous meat broth was poured over it. It was the perfect portion size though for a few, the tea cup was a bit awkward to eat out of but I loved the concept! 

Next was the Buttermilk & Brined Fried Chicken – free-range chicken fried till it was a golden crunchy piece of delight. Without any shame I devoured about four pieces.

Then came the palate-cleansing Watermelon slices that had mint and peanuts sprinkled over it and were a much needed respite after I wolfed down that fried chicken. At that point, quite a few of my friends thought the meal was over. They even the watermelon was dessert. Little did they know! We had another main course coming up …one of the highlights of the dinner: Slices of Bavette Steak with curly fried spirals of potatoes and pickled courgettes.

Grilled Mackerel

The first dessert was a lovely refreshing strawberry milkshake served in cute little medicine bottles. It looked like you were drinking Calamine Lotion or Peptol Bismol but tasted way better! The second was a filo pastry Apple Pie with cherries and clotted cream ice-cream which was big favourite across the table.

Looking back, I think perhaps one less course would have better. The portion sizes were not huge but some people felt a bit overwhelmed with the number of courses.

The dinner was held in the Green Room – on the plus side, it’s a private room with small bar lounge which gives it a nice intimate feel but it can get quite warm so ensure coats are off and a fan is positioned near you!  There is also a bar where you can buy wine/beer and other drinks from. Tickets were priced at £25. For an 8 course meal, that was a steal. I went with a big group of friends who couldn’t get over what great value that was. And there was no tip included so tip generously in cash at the end if you like it!

Bavette Steak

The only thing I had a problem with was finding the venue. I went around the entire station before I figured out where the entrance to the House of Vans was. So directions must be given with event invite as practically everyone in my group got lost.

FYI: The best way to get there from the Waterloo tube station is go up to the Waterloo railway station. Take EXIT 1. Turn Right and walk down Station Approach Road. Just before the bridge is House of Vans. Do NOT go down the stairs to graffiti covered tunnel.

Future Supper Club dates will be posted on Grub Club here or you can follow on Twitter @TheWall_SE1 or @Cult_Events 

If you'd like to just generally check out the food Ian & his team serve or are looking for a place to eat and chill out (or skateboard!) near Waterloo station, check out the The Wall SE1 cafe at House of Vans.




*P.S. This is not a sponsored post. I was not asked nor paid to write this review. My friends and I paid for our tickets.

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