Following on from successful stints at The Vaults and Borough Barista, POPdown now has a new home across two floors, in the heart of Borough Market.
On the ground floor you’ll find Ikigai (pronounced e-key-guy), meaning “a reason for being”. A small bar offering a concise selection of cocktails and bar snacks, think of it as a little helpful holding pen before you’re taken up to the main event.
Upstairs, you’re seated one by one alongside fellow diners in a large room that reminded us of going back to school (if our school had been 85% posher). We sat next to a lovely couple on their fifth date – First Dates LIVE, the dream. But seriously, this reminded us why supper clubs are so blimmin great – we ended up knowing loads of the same people and getting on like a house of fire. (Full disclosure – that might have been the wine).
Cuisson aims to break down the wall between the kitchen and the diner, making for an engaging, interactive evening. Enigmatic chefs plate up each course right in front of you, and you’re actively encouraged to go up, ask questions and generally prod about a bit (don’t really stick your finger in anything, that’s weird).
At the moment the menu has an Asian theme but expect it to change frequently, giving you plenty of reason to return. Priced at £45 for 5 courses, we started the evening with a beautifully fresh Oyster (sourced from the market below), topped with wasabi roe and soy gel, it was a wonderful start to the evening and one of the best oysters we’ve ever had.
Next up we were treated to slices of salmon, topped with rich smoked eel, all combined in a ponzu sauce, complete with crunchy breakfast radish. Our favourite dish of the evening has to be the beef sashimi though. A generous portion of seared meat came topped with nuts alongside a refreshing cucumber salad (way more exciting than it sounds, trust us!) with an incredible building heat.
Just when you thought it must be time for dessert, the main event arrives. Kimchi & beansprouts are provided for the table, while each diner gets their own portion of fatty pork loin and rice, another opportunity to get chatting.
A deconstructed cheesecake was presented as the final course, strawberries were macerated in a combination of yuzu, basil and elderflower and added to a crunchy biscuit layer. The perfect ending on a summer’s evening.
If you liked the sound of that keep an eye out for upcoming masterclasses such as oyster shucking or an Asian beer tasting evening that Cuisson will be jointly hosting with the market traders, where guests will have the opportunity to learn about the ingredients directly from the producers and culinary skills from Cuisson’s chefs.
Recently voted 6th best popup in the WORLD by American Express, we think it’s well worth checking out.