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Monday, 24 May 2010

London Supper Club – Comida Divertida

Comida Divertida

I was one of the 20 diners to get a place at the launch evening of Charlie’s supper club “Comida Divertida” recently. I first heard of Charlie’s new supper club via Twitter – the event was quickly over-subscribed, but thanks to a mate of Euwen’s dropping out at the last minute, I was able to get in.

I like the idea that Charlie is bringing to the London underground restaurant scene – that food can be fun, sociable, and hands-on. And indeed “Comida Divertida” lived up to the billing.


The evening took place at a modern and spacious loft style apartment on a street off Brick Lane. The location was ideal for the event as it was spread over two floors – as guests arrived and were welcomed with a Margarita cocktail, there was plenty of space to mingle and meet each other. Delicious smells were wafting from the upstairs kitchen and it wasn’t long until we were called up to take our seats.

(Picture courtesy of G. Beasley)

The flat is not Charlie’s and it is my understanding that future evenings may be hosted at different locations.

(Picture courtesy of G. Beasley)


It is unusual to see a Latin American themed event at supper clubs in London and so I was looking forward to trying Charlie’s take on the region. On arrival, we were served “Homemade corn chips with accompanying salsa, guacamole and re-fried beans", and these went well with our chilled margaritas.

As a starter, we had “Salmon ceviche with lime, chilli and fennel salad”. More akin to a sashimi style dish than a Peruvian ceviche, I enjoyed the simplicity and delicate flavour of this dish. The salmon, which had been marinated in lime and a dash of chilli, was served with a refreshing medley of fennel and coriander with an accompanying homemade corn tortilla.

The main dish (Antojitos) was “Slow braised lamb shoulder” which was individually hand-pulled by the guests to fill their “tacos” along with guacamole, salsa, refried beans, yoghurt and sweet corn.

This was indeed a fun and delicious dish – the meat had been rubbed in spices and slow cooked, and was incredibly tender, falling off the bone.

For dessert, we had “Chilli chocolate mousse” followed by watermelon.

(Picture courtesy of G. Beasley)

I love the combination of chocolate and chillies and Charlie’s dessert was no exception – it was rich and spicy and a very good ending to a lovely meal.


Margaritas were served on arrival; these were well mixed and had a generous amount of tequilla. Comida Divertida is BYO and charges no corkage. There were quite a few bottles of tequilla and other strangely coloured drinks being passed around freely after dessert to all guests.


A self-taught chef and a real food enthusiast, Charlie spent a month at Leith’s and then worked as a cook in France for a few months. After college, he had various short apprenticeships at some top British restaurants including Hibiscus, Ottolenghi and a six-week unpaid stint at the Fat Duck. Charlie works as a graphic designer for Square Meal and Imbibe Magazine, and is also the food blogger behind “Eat My Nels”.

The crowd was young(ish) and trendy, and mostly professional.

I met some very interesting people at Comida Divertida, like assistant editor Clinton with whom I remember speaking in Portuguese (or was that too much tequilla?!), and gorgeous Samantha, a South African and former chef who is now training to become a pilates instructor.

Unlike most supper clubs where people remain seated whilst talking to other diners at their own tables, there was such a party atmosphere at Comida Divertida that it wasn’t long until we all got up to meet and chat with the other guests.

Comida Divertida’s next event is scheduled for early June 2010.

Cost: £25 per person + BYO (which I personally believe to be excellent value).

Likes: very good cooking, mucho tequilla, great mix of people, and central location.

Dislikes: Tequilla = WORST hangover ever!

Verdict: Very few supper clubs have got it so right – excellent cooking at a beautiful location and with great atmosphere. Charlie’s Comida Divertida was indeed a lot of fun, and I look forward to attending it again in the future. Highly recommended.


  1. I want to go! Looks like a great atmosphere. Beautiful photos of course!

  2. I missed all twitter chat on this one, would love to go to Charlie's supper club, must book in to an upcoming date!

  3. Other than the food, the host and the mix of guests are other factors that made underground dining an interesting experience. Looks like you enjoyed yourself quite a bit. The braised lamb shoulder looks marvelous!

  4. This is the sort of thing that supper clubs can do so well. I also suspect that it is more difficult that it seems. Creating a fun atmosphere where guests hand pull their lamb, mix freely and eat dessert with playing cards stuck to their foreheads. The hosting is probably as important as the food really. Sounds like Comida hit just the right notes.

  5. @ LexEat! - me too, can't wait to go back there. I hope to be able to go back to yours too once you find a final home to LexEat!.

    @ Kavey - I really recommend it, he's got an amazing blog too, worth checking out.

    @ London Chow - the lamb was very tasty as everthing else and the supper club became a big party soon after the food was finished, great evening.

    @ The Grubworm - indeed, it is not so simple to get the atmosphere going like Charlie managed to. Being his first evening, he had quite a few close friends and that helped to get it going I guess.

  6. Hi Luiz - great review! We just recently held one of our Supper Club events so I was thinking of you. Glad I stopped by to read this. Yep, the camaraderie is as important as the food, I think it needs the whole package to be a success. We are fortunate to have live music too.

    Charlie's braised lamb tacos look awesome. We served braised lamb too! One of the things we learned early on is that braised meats are the best for these affairs because it is so difficult to cook meats to the right temperature to order in a home kitchen. Braise it - the way to go!

    I hope you visit LA one day, we would love to have you as our guest at the Sunken City Supper Club. Your posts are a huge source of inspiration to me.
    Lori Lynn

    P.S. Sorry for your hangover.

  7. Hey Lori, long time no see, nice to hear from you again! Been following your new revamped blog, it looks even more fantastic and your supper club evenings look amazing too. I think live music is an excellent idea, and I hope one of our supper club hosts will try and emulate.

    Braising is also very practical as free up time for the host to do other things, and slow cooked meat is everyone's favourite anyway.

    I have just come back from Miami and Key West, and would love one day to visit LA and come to one of your supper club evenings, thanks for the invite!


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