To understand why we went up to the owner of Rara Avis and proclaimed that “Mayawati is a babe” (password for the night), you’d have to rewind a few months earlier when we got a friend request from a Delhi Secret Supper Club on Facebook. While the eponymous name gave away what they did, we were skeptical and quite bored of the whole go-to-dinner-meet-someone-new concept.
Spy Vs. Salad
Turns out, the Secret Supper Club is very secret indeed. All we got were details on the venue and how much we had to pay (Rs 2,700 which seemed a bit excessive, although it did include five courses and wine). We arrived to find our name on a little placard along with a folder explaining the concept of the evening. A chosen person read aloud a letter of introduction, and the mysterious hosts were nowhere to be seen.
We managed to pin them down via email and asked about the anonymity. “We are hush because we feel everything in the city is just so hyped up! To some serious obnoxious levels, and we want to challenge that,” they said, but they also keep safety in mind, hosting the dinners at crowded restaurants and allowing guests to leave when they like.
We’ve eaten at Rara Avis before, and as usual, this was a dinner of hits and misses. Five set courses paired with all-you-can drink wine began with rich French onion soup with cheese crouton toast floating in it. From there, we selected duck pate with green peppercorn, but swapped the slab-like portion for a fellow diner’s warm goat cheese on toast, which crumbled as soon as we bit in. Fish roulades were recommended as mains, the meat rolled up into sausages, stuffed with vegetables with lemon butter sauce to pour over. Dessert course was by far our favourite—four different kinds of tarts, from lemon to fruit and custard.
So, should you go? Yes, if you’re tired of the same scene. Getting invited however is not as easy as writing in, you need to say why you want to go and who you are, and if they like what they read, you get asked to attend their “social experiment.”
The people behind Delhi Secret Supper Club came up with the idea after attending a secret supper in Paris and returning home to find themselves tired of the social scene here. “We came up with a small mission: Make Delhi experience a new form of dining, engaging, and socialising, all done in a quiet way.”
The guests at our event were a mixed bunch from teachers to techies to restaurant owners, and part of the fun of the evening was trying to figure out why everyone had been chosen. The organisers pick diners based on whether they are funny, doing good work, and love good food and then reach out to a group out of their pool. You could also be referred to by a friend, and the description on the placard in front of you is usually a result of either some Google searching or something your friend has said about you.
So, should you go? Yes, if you’re tired of the same scene. Getting invited however is not as easy as writing in, you need to say why you want to go and who you are, and if they like what they read, you get asked to attend their “social experiment.” Bring out the Pavlov-a?
Getting there: Email firstname.lastname@example.org, meal at Rara Avis was Rs 2, 700 per person including wine and food.
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