The vibe: after a special, one-off dining experience? Book yourself into The Cube by Electrolux – the cool Scandi-designed, pop-up restaurant on the South Bank, complete with a roster of Michelin-star chefs and stunning Thames-side views. Situated on the sixth floor of the Royal Festival Hall (not usually open to the public), with the most romantic of London’s landmarks under your nose (Houses of Parliament, Big Ben and Waterloo Bridge), you couldn’t be in a more magical spot. Inside, the slick white space with floor-to-ceiling windows houses just one table with 18 places and an open-plan kitchen. As the lunch party got into full swing, it was as though we 18 diners were at a dinner party (admittedly, a rather swish one) and started chatting to the chef as he cooked. Not only is this place a swanky, unique experience for the select few, but also a lot of fun.
The menu: British/European with a twist. The day I was lucky enough to go, the chef was two-Michelin-star maestro and Saturday Kitchen star Sat Bains (other chefs involved in the Cube project include Claude Bosi from Hibiscus and Edinburgh’s Tom Kitchin). His food was a dream: of the six courses, the delicious salt-baked celeriac with truffle butter, Loch Duart salmon with a Japanese spin of miso, passionfruit and oyster, and slow-cooked mutton were particular favourites. While the creamy yet sharp chocolate-yoghurt-and-coffee combo for dessert was a sensation. The wines were thoughtfully matched to each course and beautifully explained by the attentive staff - and there were enough surprises to keep the oenologists among us happy too.
The details: open daily, The Cube by Electrolux (6th floor, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London SE1) offers lunch at 12noon for £175 and dinner at 7pm for £215 (prices include champagne reception, a minimum six-course tasting menu and matched wines). The booking line is open 10am-7pm, 7 days per week. To book, call 020 7288 6450 or visit electrolux.co.uk/Cube/London. Catch it while you can. This pop-up leaves town 1 January 2013.
By Louise Sugrue