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Luxury Hospitality Magazine speaks with Head Chef of the Supperclub.Tube, Beatriz Maldonado Carreño

Firstly, how does it feel to be back after everything shut down due to Covid?
It feels great to have reopened post-COVID and it’s been wonderful to see people want to come back to dine with us to reunite with friends, and enjoy the whole social experience. We didn’t know how well the restaurant would be received with us having no outside space, but we have adapted and diners have been more than happy.  There is no social sharing at the moment, so our 13-seater table has been divided into two and seating has been rearranged to create a feeling of space, plus we are using QR codes for our menus, we wear masks and test regularly, and diners have the choice to wear a mask when they are walking around.

The venue is really unique – tell us a bit about the Supperclub.Tube
We are indeed in a unique setting, but the attention is towards the food and focused on the six-course menu featuring ingredients and techniques from all over Latin America. The train has been converted to make it feel welcoming and comfortable, and we’ve kept many of the original features e.g. the cushioned booths, and the tube doors which open and close making it feel like a very authentic experience! The social atmosphere is important too, and we have designed the restaurant  to really feel like a supper club experience, so it’s like inviting your friends over for dinner; you curate a menu and decide what they’ll eat, join in with conversation and enjoy time with friends.

What inspires you the most about working here?
My inspiration comes from my connection with customers – interacting and engaging with them. is a different experience to coming to a normal restaurant. I act as host and I go out to greet people every night, I walk through and talk to them about the food and we have conversations about the menu and ingredients – they really inspire me to dig deeper and showcase new ways with Latin food. In the UK, most people only know about Mexican food from this part of the world, so it’s great to be able to offer them all the flavours of Latin America and the hearty dishes that we’re so proud of, served in our own refined way.

Talk us through the menu and what cuisine is explored
At we explore cuisines of the entire Latin American continent, from Mexico to Argentina. We mix countries within a single dish, so for instance currently we are serving a first course of dumplings – Envuelto y Esquites – corn dumplings (Envuelto) from the Andean region of Colombia and a corn salad (Esquites) from the region of Xochimilco, what nowadays is southern Mexico City. Other current dishes include Causa, one of Perú’s most traditional dishes which features a dough made from mashed potatoes, chilli and lime, served with seasonal British produce: asparagus and beetroot. For dessert, we’re serving Napoleon de lulo y amaretto – layers of amaretto cream and shortcrust pastry with lulo (tropical fruit) cream and lulo gel – a traditional French dessert served in a Colombian style.

What is your favourite dish and why
My favourite dish has to be ceviche, as you can experiment with many different ingredients and styles. For instance, Ecuadorian ceviche is less spicy and includes tomatoes. Almost all countries have their own take on ceviche and their own combination of ingredients and levels of spice. It’s a popular dish and always features on our menu in some way. Currently we serve ceviche Ecuadorian with hake and prawns cured in lime and chilli, tomato, red onion and coriander

Is it important to create a dining experience?
It is definitely important for us to create a dining experience at From the unique setting, to the set tasting menu and the style of service, where your hosts talk through the dishes and their origins. Collectively, these elements all come together to connect people through food.

Do you use seasonal ingredients at all?
We do use seasonal ingredients wherever possible. We change our menu every 8-10 weeks and it’s important for us to know what is in season and available to incorporate into our dishes. When constructing a menu, I first look at what is available and then look at what we can create. As we offer authentic Latin American food, some ingredients – like chilies and condiments – need to be imported. Some ingredients are sourced very locally, like our Chingford grown pumpkins, salad leaves and herbs.

What or who inspires you?
I am a Colombian living in London, and my family now is half English. This is exactly what I want to convey with my food, the origins of Latin American food, the variety and the people and stories around it and my new life in the UK. Like my children, half Latin, half British.

What feedback do you get from guests; do people like the concept of dining in a tube carriage?
We get amazing feedback from our guests and people really have fun with the surroundings. For some people it really changes the concept of the tube from somewhere mundane for commuting, to a more romantic and charming place that you want to spend time in. We often find that people book for the novelty factor, but once they come and try the food the experience goes beyond that and they realise that the food is central to the experience, and they return to us as a result. As it’s so visually appealing, diners are often taking photos and posting on the social media channels too.

What are the plans for the future? Is there anything you are currently working on?
Our next menus for the winter include pork belly Michoacán style, brisket served in the Colombian way – hearty and warming, slow cooked with tomato relish, pumpkin and ginger purée  and for dessert we’ll have an indulgent cake from Brazil. We are working on our wine lists and we’d like to have Sommelier-led evenings with wine pairings to compliment the food in the future.