While speakeasy bars might be commonplace, secret restaurants haven’t proved as prolific (or perhaps they’re just too well hidden). Giving the Sherlocks among us a run for our money, tucked away under The Blue Posts pub, is Evelyn’s Table. At the centre of the basement space is a single chef’s counter, with room for just ten diners. It’s an intimate, romantically lit space, with a ‘private’ sign on the door, and a name that references Faye Dunaway’s femme fatale in Roman Polanski’s 1974 film Chinatown.
Most surprising of all is that there’s not a hint of pretentiousness. We’ve all been baffled by bucketloads of cutlery and cheffy ingredients at fine dining restaurants, but here the menu is annotated with drawings of which implement to use for which dish, plus each course is accompanied by a detailed explanation of the processes and ingredients which went into its evolution by the chefs who both plate and serve.
At the price - £75 for five courses at the time of writing - we can’t think of a better value restaurant given the level of care in every detail. Plus, this is dinner and a show. The three Selby brothers head up the evening and work as one unilateral well-oiled cheffing machine as you lazily watch from the side-lines.
The menu centres around French techniques paired with Japanese ingredients. Highlights included the freshest mackerel, sliced thickly, and served in a tart plum dressing, addictively crisp tempura oysters with a rich umami mayo and the most amazing venison main. The joint was brought smoking to the counter over pine before being portioned up into perfectly pink pieces accompanied by earthy beetroot, buttery celeriac puree and sweet shaved nuts. Seasonality can be banded about a little too enthusiastically, but this was a true depiction of autumn on a plate. Elsewhere, wine pairings are expertly matched while even non-drinkers are furnished with interesting serves like an acorn negroni.
Pudding was a comforting, warm almondine sponge topped with pear and caramel sauce, plus there was a pre-cursory milkshake and miso fudge in edible wrappers come teatime.
With so many moving parts it’s almost hard to sum up a night at Evelyn’s Table, but without it sounding to cliché – it’s special. It feels like a secret supper club with incredible food, attentive service, and the bonus of being able to watch your meal come together at the hands of three very talented chefs.