Walthamstow Central isn’t quite the end of the Victoria line. There is a further stop you need to visit – a converted 1960s London Underground carriage offering a six-course, Latin American-inspired tasting menu.
My dining companion and I traveled all the way from Brixton to outer east London by Tube, then bussed it to the Walthamstow Pumphouse Museum. On the way, I was a bit worried. I’d got my hopes up – hopes that might have been shattered if my destination had turned out to be a tacky gimmick. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed.
Through the museum gates, we were met by an actual, ancient mainline train. Beyond it, the restaurant waited at a platform.There are, in fact, two Tube carriages there, one of which appears to be a den for London wildlife as it has a sign reading: “Do not leave the doors open overnight as the foxes get in.”
The other is the restaurant carriage, where original seats faced each other in Bakerloo line fashion with a moquette I couldn’t quite decipher. The rickety tables and close proximity to other diners creates a quaint intimacy. Everyone is slightly giggly and wonderstruck (you still don’t talk to fellow-travellers though).
A prosecco-based cocktail called the Tube 76 was our starter of choice, and a far cry from your standard gin and tonic. The menus come via a QR code – a touch too 21st Century for a setting that gleefully basks in its nostalgia. But that’s a micro-niggle. Look around, and there are touches of different decades: “No Smoking” signs alongside the most up-to-date Tube map. You expect the carriage to start moving within two minutes of sitting down.
Our visit took place on the hottest day of the year, which was a brave move – like most Tube carriages, this one has no aircon. But the food was a great ride – a fine dining feast very far from your standard National Rail trolley fare.
One course, a blue tortilla stuffed with corn-fed chicken for the meat-eaters and jackfruit for the veggies, was a stand-out success, paired with a spicy yellow sauce. Another, a mango and hearts of palm ceviche for me and a similar tiradito de merluza of hake for the carnivore, wanted a bit more vivacity and kick. But who cares? Ceviche mango spaghetti is a first for me, and it did the job.
An hour in, the lights dimmed, jazz notes filled the air and suddenly it was all rather romantic. On the veggie menu, my grilled mushroom “steak” was the best I’ve ever had. The glazed plantain, too – a feature of both menus – was an epiphany.
By this point I’d drunk the house cocktail and a glass of cool Chardonnay and was ready for the two dessert courses. First, a passion fruit sorbet in dark chocolate, which was a warm-up act for a truly indulgent amalgamation of raspberry and amaretto called a postre borracho – a soaked sponge cake you’ll want more of.
Between courses, chef Beatriz Maldonado Carreno told diners that in the sacred book of Maya people, humans are made out of corn – the theme for the restaurant menu. “The gods first tried making humans with clay,” she said. “It didn’t work, so they moved to wood. That didn’t work either. So they decided to make a dough out of corn and make humans. At this point in my life I’m probably half made out of corn, with the amount I’ve eaten so far.”
She knows her way around that staple food better than most, and she’s done something quite special here. Supperclub.Tube would do well if it was just a novel transport-themed venue with mediocre food, or a standard restaurant with its excellent current menu. It excels at doing both.
Seasoned TfL geeks will find it irresistible, but even your London newbie will love it. We headed back home on the Victoria line, full-bellied and buzzing, watching out for foxes on the way.
Supperclub.tube is open weekly from Thursday to Saturday. The six-course dining experience starts from £67 per person, with vegetarian and vegan options available.
Josiah Mortimer is chief reporter for Byline Times and writes occasional food and drink reviews for On London. Follow him on X/Twitter. If you value On London‘s output, become a supporter or a paid subscriber to editor and publisher Dave Hill’s Substack. Thanks.