About a month before we left the cold and snow of London behind us and headed for sunny South Africa, we were fortunate enough to join Francesca's Secret Kitchen, another one of London's Underground Supperclubs, for an absolutely gorgeous evening.  I simply love the idea of supperclubs - it certainly looks like a lot of hard work and requires a fair amount of passion and talent, so I take my hat off to anyone who can master the act!


We invited Richard's parents, Lynsay and Martin to join us on this occasion, we had enjoyed the previous supperclub experience so much, we thought we'd share this one with them. Once again we had no idea where we were going to, or what exactly to expect on the menu, until 24 hours before when a "top secret" email arrived with our dinner location. (I had made this reservation some time ago - these supperclubs have become immensely popular and require a bit of detective work and patience, the waiting list can sometimes be a couple of months...)

FSK is located in an old shop, that has has been converted into an interesting home, that is transformed into a quaint little Italian bistro twice a month.  FSK is run by friends Francesca and Francesca ~ a delightful duo with a passion for food, cooking and entertaining.  It obviously brings them great joy to share their enthusiasm with absolute strangers. 

 
Upon arrival at Francesca's Secret Kitchen ~ Fussball anyone?
 

Francesca & Francesca ~ hmmm...  what's for supper???

We were greeted at the door & ushered into the conservatory by their handy helper Stephano, where we joined several other strangers mingling in a group.  You could sense the anticipation amongst the fellow diners, the atmosphere was electric. There was plenty of excitement in the air, as we waited patiently to be called to our respective dinner tables, to begin the feast!


 
Martin helping himself to a somewhat potent aperitif... (Small sips!)
 



 The apartment's decor consists of an eclectic collection of bric-a-brac from around the world, on both walls and shelves... Makes for unusual & interesting browsing! 

 
 Richard and I - lounging on an overstuffed beanbag... (Standing up again was tricky!)


Oh how I long to return to Morocco someday...

A short while later we were called to our tables.  The dinner started with a hearty pulse (lentil) and wild mushroom soup which was simple, homey and unbelievably delicious... Once we had licked our bowls clean, Stephano insisted on serving up seconds and we could not resist.  It was a great start to the meal, it certainly set the tone for the evening.


The menu ~ with a fun touch!
 

Pulse and wild mushroom soup - it was soup-er!
 
While we were still licking our spoons, the next course arrived - Tuna stuffed roasted peppers.  The tuna was tangy and creamy, sort of like a mousse and the peppers were sweet.  An antipasto that is best described as a wicked combination of flavours! Truly divine.


Stunning roast stuffed peppers
 
The diners around us were all in good spirits and having a fabulous time - especially those seated at the large table closest to the kitchen, their infectious shrieks of laughter filled the room...  


 
 
And then came the main course...  I realised at this point that I was going to need a wheelbarrow to get me home!  Tender beef stew, served with polenta and rich, unctuous gravy. The beef was fall-apart-tender and had amazing flavour, I think there was some red wine involved in the stewing process.  


Brilliant beef, served with perfect polenta ~ thick, smooth & creamy
 




 

With my belly now overstuffed, I still managed to pick at the chicory, pear & roasted walnut salad.  The pears added a delicate sweetness in contrast to the slightly bitter chicory ~ a most interesting salad I might add, refreshing after all the rich protein.


And then came dessert...  Orange tart, served with chocolate ice-cream.  Even though we were all replete by this stage, we managed to finish it.  Orange and chocolate are great companions - the dessert was light and scrumptious.



We enjoyed the evening and the experience immensely and all agreed that a lot of hard work, thought and creativity went into each dish.  Well done to Francesca and Francesca, and let's not forget their helping hand Stephano for a fabulous culinary adventure - they really have perfected the art of dining in secret!

The suggested donation at FSK is £30 per person. Bring along your favourtie drinks and make sure you arrive hungry...

To get in touch with Francesca & Francesca, visit http://francescassecretkitchen.wordpress.com