Why go to our Supperclub when you have so many other options in Brighton and Hove? This is probably a question that is at the back of your mind when deciding where to have your next Indian meal. The answer is simple.
With a supperclub, the quality and authenticity of the food are paramount. If something needs to be slow cooked for several hours, so be it. If individual ingredients in the masala have to be toasted and hand ground, that’s fine too. Each dish is lovingly prepared, specifically for that event. Each menu is freshly designed and the food is never recyled. This is not always possible to achieve in an establishment that is catering to many clients for lunch and dinner with the same menu day in and day out.
Another selling point is the unique ambience of supperclubs – while you are probably not expected to speak to strangers when you go for a meal out at a restaurant, the atmosphere at a supperclub is more intimate because you share a table with others. It may seem intimidating to spend an evening talking to complete strangers, but in my experience, these gatherings work really well. You meet other foodies who are there to discover home-cooked food that would not usually feature on restaurant menus.
Supperclubs came into fashion in the States in the 1930s and 40s as underground restaurants offering clients a set menu with entertainment on the fringes of towns and cities. Supperclubs have recently come into vogue in the UK but more as popup restaurants where eclectic cuisines are offered by home-cooks and, in some cases, trained chefs looking to establish a brand outside an establishment. There are a number of Indian supperclubs in the UK now and these are mainly in areas with large Indian populations, either in London, or further up north in places like Manchester. The diversity of the food on offer is exciting; I have recently seen supperclubs advertising Bihari, Punjabi and Maharashtrian food.
Strangely, Brighton has not caught up with this scene. I do not know of any other Indian supperclubs here and considering that we are meant to be in the top five foodie cities in the UK, this does seem like a huge gap. Do Brighton and Hove have a latent appetite for home-cooked Indian food? Or are people content with the usual fare? I am still trying to find out. I will report back when I do, in a future blog..