The pop-up concept is still going strong in London, but Platform 1 in East Dulwich has shaken it up a little, incorporating the concept into a permanent restaurant where up-and-coming chefs ‘pop-up’ on semi-permanent kitchen rotations to showcase their talent. Karen Jensen-Jones discovers the ONA Chilean Kitchen…
Words: Karen Jensen-Jones
I’m not sure if it was the creamy garlic compote or the burnt meringue and coconut ice cream dessert that really fired my taste buds, but one thing’s for sure – the food at this East Dulwich pop-up concept is seriously good.
Despite the current trend for ‘pop ups’ and their temporary nature, Platform 1, with it’s relaxed vibe and pretty garden, is here to stay. Local resident and owner Chloe Gounder-Forbes is a discerning ‘foodie’ with a real passion for, as she puts it, ‘fine dining in trainers’.
The restaurant operates on a four-month kitchen rotation providing a ‘platform’ for up-and-coming chefs to showcase their food. Lucky for us that Chilean chef Marcelo Henriquez of ONA Chilean Kitchen was cooking the night we were dining and his five-course tasting menu didn’t disappoint.
First up was a single scallop coated in a parmesan crust with crisped onions, followed by chargrilled prawns and Marie Rose salsa with just the right amount of kick. The combination of complementing textures was the essence of both dishes alongside careful cooking of the seafood. Tenderly cooked mackerel on a fresh herb salsa with that unctuous garlic compote came next and tasted surprisingly moreish.
Food this good needs well chosen wine and Chloe’s choice of rare and indigenous grape varieties was spot-on. With helpful headings on the wine list to steer you towards your preferred taste, our German Riesling was delicious alongside all three courses.
Slow cooked lamb was course number four with my vegetarian option of chargrilled aubergine on a bed
of volcano paste boasting smokey overtones. Chloe explained that the distinctive charred flavours were the result of using different woods on the fire pit. A delightful Pinot Noir from the Languedoc region went well with this course.
Sweet cubes of sponge cake soaked in evaporated and condensed milk with burnt meringue and coconut ice cream was my favourite dessert. A chocolate candied orange ganache with orange liqueur jelly and orange caramel came a close second. Thank goodness this ‘pop up’ is here to stay!
ONA Chilean Kitchen returns for a second residency from 8 June until 3 September at 71 Lordship Lane, East Dulwich SE22 8EP. See platform1.london
£35 a head for a five-course tasting menu
Fine dining in an informal setting
What to know…
The restaurant operates on a four-month kitchen rotation providing a platform for up-and-coming chefs