During this ‘dry January,’ ‘dreary January,’ ‘oh the start of a-whole-new-me’ January…I’ve been sort of quite good. Less boozing, more staying in, a bit o’ excercise and even yoga.. Which has all been great, but you can imagine my excitement when the opportunity arose to go to Back in Five Minutes, a night curated as part of the Disappearing Dining Club’s fine private dining concept. Having already been to The Great Barn in Devon (see earlier post) I took my frnd Char, who had been longing to go for some time, and the evening took hold in the form of a roaringly good time!
Feeling a little out of sorts as I tentatively walked the whole of Brick Lane…yes peeps, apparently it is really really long…and yes, Back in Five Minutes is third from last, at the opposite end to that at which I started! East London, mega trendy…me, not so but it’s all ok becasue everyone is friendly! The Bar that Char has chosen for a wee pre-drink (Casa Blue) was like something out of Moulin Rouge, Bohehiam and wonderful, so there began our night!
We then popped two doors down, to Ante, the shop that looks like a shop, and is a shop….but unlike most shops you’ll find in London, this one has a secret dining room behind the till at the back! Down some steps we went, into a dimly lit room; In my mind, a kind of Scandinavian, Hockney-esq interior, 70s themed with the full cocktail works and three tables and numerous clocks and lamps and books. And red and white glass cloth linen tea towels for napkins. All in all? Pretty darn cool.
As we sat down, we were handed the renowned Grey Goose le Fizz, something which Staurt Langley, the founder of The Disappearing Dining Club describes as his apperitif of choice, as the Grey Goose blends so well with the elderflower, lime and soda. It was delicious and every inch the drink I could have done with that evening, to begin what was to be a cracking night. Char and I nattered away, as we girls do, but silence fell momentraily when the food arrived. The starter was a delicious crab and Gravad Lax salad, and came with the DDC’s epic sourdough…since Devon, we have all been making the bread, with some tremendous results, and others, epic fails. But nonetheless,it has been fun and we seem to spend our time picture messaging the fruits of our labour to each other – ‘nailed it!’ or ‘uh oh, here’s one for the birds…’ Anyhoo! I digress. It was scrummy. I think that crab is something that should be eaten MORE in England. As children we used to go crabbing all the time. Such fun, and with excellent crab spots all over Britain (Norfolk, Cornwall, Studland…to name but a few), I suddenly felt mad to not buy it more often. This starter was yummy and fresh and I tried to eat it as slowly as possible, for I didn’t want it to end!
Next came the main course. Sirloin steak with roasted root vegetables and puy lentils. The steak was generous in size and beautifully rare, and the vegetables that accompanied it were divine, especially the beetroot. The vibrant colour is a sight in itslef, and as a beetroot worshipper, I was in heaven. And the lentils went very well too, a welcome change from the usual potato-in-some-form option, being overidden this time!
Pudding was good. Not my favourite, but good. Initially, we were under the impression that we were having a White chocolate and lime cheesecake. However, we were told of a change, and instead we had White chocolate panacotta with a berry compote. The flavours were lovely, but for me personally, it lacked that creamy, velvety texture that a panacotta should have, and instead was rather thick and sticky. This is not to say however, that others may not find this delicious! Each to their own, our tastes are all different!
As the evening got going, we also met some lovely people. As well as fulfilling the ethos of quality food and a chance to escape, this was also a chance to meet new people, to mingle and to just kick back and relax. We had a good time and everyone was very much at ease. There were no false pretenses and we exchanged stories and recommendations of places to go, things to see and restaurants to eat, and it was refreshing to make our way past ‘small talk’ quickly…as often when meeting new people, ‘conversation’ can be stacked with the stuff!
All in all a delightful night out, and one that I think all you lot should try and make your way to. With the feel of a pop-up, but in no way going anywhere any time soon, it is an evening that you will love! A date, a place to meet people, a place to eat good food and something that’s for anyone, I say what are you waiting for!
Grey Goose le Fizz
Crab and Gravad Lax Salad with pickled carrots and cucumber served with DDC Sourdough
Sirloin steak with Roasted root vegetables and lentils
White Chocolate Panacotta with Berry Compote
Back in 5 Minutes is at 224 Brick Lane, London, E1 6SA, behind a clothes shop called Ante.