Rack and Ruin at The Kitchen Party

If you’re looking for a laid back eve of feasting and boozing, this little set up could be right up your street. Literally. Confused?

Let’s start from the very beginning. The Kitchen Party is a self proclaimed ‘orgy of drinking, dining and weird culture.’ The location varies (so check the website for the venue carefully) and no one chef has a residency here. Chefs, including A Moose Bush and Gastronomy Guys, tend to do a run of five or six evenings.

This evening’s Kitchen Party is in Clerkenwell and Rack and Ruin are the ones to showcase their talent. Atmosphere-wise, it’s the equivalent of going round to your mate’s house who cooks the best nosh, lounging on their sofa supping something cold and delicious and then plodding over to their kitchen table and digging in to a sumptuous, homely banquet.

Perched on stools at a makeshift bar, we kick back and get the evening underway with cocktails from Fourth Wall. Both beverages are delectable but one of them is particularly noteworthy – Port in a Storm is dark rum and port shaken with bitters, ginger syrup and fresh lime, topped up with ginger beer. Not at all bad for £7.50.

A swift examination of the place shows it to be endearingly makeshift. There’s a chipboard partition separating the cocktail area from the feasting room. It’s (mostly) covered in kitsch wallpaper which they seem to have run out of, and instead of popping back to Laura Ashley, they chucked some paint on the wall willy nilly instead. It’s cute.

When we receive the nod, we head through the homemade archway and the banqueting table – laden with baskets of bread and butter, tubs of mushroom ketchup and pickled cucumber, and pots of horseradish and pesto – which stretches out in front of a space-age style roasting oven.

The idea is that diners take their eating recepticles (beautiful dark wood chopping boards) up to the chef where he loads them up with mutton, roasted in rosemary oil, spatchcock chicken and ribs in a top secret sticky sauce. Also, there was pork, there was beef and there was lamb. All of them were tender treats. The accompaniments are great chunks of roasted butternut squash and aubergine while the carb element of the meal comes from a gigantic truncheon coated in foil. The chef slices a piece off to reveal a mashed up cross section of new potatoes, bound together with mustard and crème fraiche.

The eve ended with a pot of roasted fruit. And the meat sweats. But, oh, how it was worth it. If you haven’t been to see what The Kitchen Party is all about, you should. If you have, you should go again as the chances are, your experience will be something totally different. Booking is not essential but it’s advisable.

The Kitchen Party Pop-up
42 Northampton Road

Tel: 020 3174 1156

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