Cuisson's new pop-up restaurant POPdown reviewed.
Last Friday we 'popped down' to see what all the fuss was about at Cuission’s new interactive dining concept in Central London.
At POPdown, Cuisson are serving Michelin- star level food at affordable prices, at just £39 per head and up to 7 courses to drool over, value for money is unquestionable. They serve their elegant menu Thursday through to Saturday in the unassuming basement of a small café after hours.
High end caterers by day, Cuisson come into their own playing pop up restaurateur. Chefs Pedro Passinhaus, who has previously worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck, and Chavdar Todorov led the cooking, and were very much on hand to answer questions about their techniques and ingredients, creating a truly immersive dining experience. The participatory events encouraged diners to come up to the pass and enjoy having a go at plating up… though some of the more technical stuff was admittedly left to the experts.
With diners spread across just three large tables, we soon got to know our fellow foodies, which created a laid back atmosphere as soon as you sat down.
The menu was simple, and didn’t give much away, leaving the courses to come to our imaginations. Like any good meal we started off with bread and butter. Now, let’s get this right- cultured butter claiming probiotic properties, with a touch of truffle oil served with sour dough focaccia- divine. The attention to detail here really is particularly impressive.
No picture, sorry- we ate it too quickly!
Next up the fun really started as we got involved in creating the buttermilk, cucumber and dill based cold soup. Some of the guests really got into the swing of it with a precise production line assembled in minutes.
The combination of textures is what really made this dish, creating a surprisingly refreshing soup.
On to carrots. I think this was one of the prettiest plates. Delicately placed edible petals served on top, along with a lentil tuille really made the humble carrot sing! Cuisson used some serious technical know how to create spaghetti from just egg yolks!
Next we tucked into a textured delight, with sausage made from pork shoulder and Asian flavours all served on a rich and tangy tomato fondue and crisp bread.
This was followed by a super fresh tasting octopus pil pil, garnished with crunchy popped wild rice and fresh micro herbs. This international menu didn’t disappoint, as we moved onto salmon with some more of these delightfully intense Asian flavours of soy and wasabi, served on a bed of rainbow chard and fennel.
This was all finished off with a chocolate-lover’s dream of a dessert. A smooth chocolate ganache twist, accompanied by slightly crunchy dehydrated chocolate mousse, and set off with lime curd and an avocado sauce. The result was a rich, decadent affair, that rounded off the evening nicely.
All in all, the evening was a great success. The group tables ensured conversation (and wine) flowed freely all night, and the opportunity to get involved with the plating up of the food made for a truly engaging and enjoyable experience, offering something a little different from your usual evening out. The food was first rate, with the only slight let down being the shabbiness of the ‘pop down’ restaurant’s temporary location.
For more information on Cuisson and POPdown click here.
Words: Jade Crossland & Max Duffield for The Version