A Secret Worth Keeping
The problem with a secret anything is that sooner or later, you’re going to be outed (recent case in point, The Local). In this town of a thousand blabber mouths, nothing stays underground for very long, which is why it’s all the more surprising that the Secret Supper Project has managed to keep its proverbial gates if not blacked out then at least opaque. Having attended a Secret Supper this past weekend, we could spill their identities, but not knowing what you’re in for is part of the lure of this decidedly professional enterprise. The collective of people who run it are friends, some with previous training in restaurants, who “are looking for those that enjoy surprise and wonder in their food as much as they do in their lives”.
What that means is inviting a motley bunch of 30 or 40 people to a venue (a building rooftop, cultural hub, or someone’s flat), every month or so and then for Rs3,000 per head, plying them with wine (unlimited, yay!; Sula, not so much) and food (in five courses, usually). The dinner we attended, which was held at The Art Loft’s cosy new digs on Waroda Road in Bandra, included a welcome drink of a Campari spritzer; an Altamura pea soup; roasted beets, goat cheese and quinoa on a bed of methi (more delicious than it sounds); ravioli lined with prosciutto piped with a filling of sun-dried tomato, parmesan and pine nuts (every bit as good as it sounds); roast chicken wrapped with bacon and filled with flaked almonds and basil (pretty good); and a poached plum mascarpone tart (even better).
A tenor broke into an aria from Donizetti’s L’elisir D’amore, and with that, we were invited to seat ourselves on tables very prettily set with tea lights, under a canopy of fairy lights and flowers. The people present spanned the range from photographers and journalists to social workers and budding restaurateurs, with a convivial split between locals, expats and those recently returned. We spotted one Page Three face, but that seemed more an aberration. There’s nothing not to love about the concept, with execution of service and food far better than many professionally-run eating establishments in town. And unless you’re exceptionally unlucky, you’re bound to come away with a few new friends, and an experience worth keeping secret (and coming back for).