Why Evelyn’s Table is London’s best kept culinary secret
The Blue Posts on Rupert Street is a firm favourite amongst Londoners. Less than a minute walk from Chinatown, the 18th century pub is situated in the bustling heart of the West End, but the real magic is to be found downstairs in its cellar-turned-restaurant, Evelyn’s Table, an exclusive counter top dining destination.
Heading up the kitchen is British-Filipino brothers Luke, Nat and Theo Selby (the older siblings of emerging fashion designer Reuben Selby) an evening at Evelyn’s Table is one of pure theatre. On arrival, you’re guided down a dark and narrow staircase to a door marked ‘private’, and inside awaits an intimate 10-seater dark hued dining room.
The Selby brothers took over Evelyn’s Table before the start of the pandemic, but regardless of the tumultuous year and several lockdowns, it is still thriving. As our evening goes on, it’s clear to see why reservations at the restaurant are snapped up within minutes of bookings opening.
Propped up on our counter-side stools, we eagerly glance at the evening’s menu, which is kept secret from diners until arrival. The five course feast sees an assortment of seasonal British produce prepared with a fusion of Japanese and French flavours and culinary techniques. 30-year-old Head Chef, Luke, has an impressive CV – he worked under Raymond Blanc’s wing at Oxfordshire’s two Michelin-starred Le Manoir Aux Quat’Saison, before training at Tokyo’s Nihonryori Ryugin restaurant, as well as undertaking a stint as Head Chef at society favourite Hide.
Watching the Selby brothers at work is just as mesmerising as the picturesque plates of food that you are served. In the intimately close and warm kitchen, the three young chefs remain focused, calm and undeterred by the prying eyes of 10 hungry diners. As they begin preparations for the first course, the charming maître’d and wine expert, Aidan Monk, kicks off a global journey of tipples with a perfectly chilled, sweet and refreshing Sake, made locally, he says, in Peckham. The taste is elevated when the first starter arrives – a divine bowl of sashimi mackerel and gooseberries (or crispy shaved fennel for vegetarians) dosed in a vinegary yet sweet elderflower juice.
Next, a taco-style battered shiso leaf is filled with wild mussels, miso and tomato, and is served with a clear ice cold tomato drink. It’s an unforgettable pairing, and the distinctively rich flavour of the two is simply delicious. Larger plates follow: courgette flower (stuffed with either Cornish crab or spinach) swimming in a light dashi broth is a standout favourite, followed by duck that is theatrically blasted over the fire before being sliced and plated with a poignantly citrus sticky marmalade, chunky mashed turnip and sweet raisins.
The meal then comes to a close with distinctly British blackcurrant jelly, creamy savarin and hay-infused ice cream, followed by the perfect palette cleanser: miso fudge wrapped in rice paper. If you’re not ready for the night to end just yet, head upstairs to the well-stocked wine bar The Mulwray, for a well deserved digestif.
With an constantly evolving food and drinks menu, no two visits at Evelyn’s Table will ever be the same – if you can secure a table, that is.
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