FOOD & DRINK, THE NOTICEBOARD

Pay-by-poker restaurant All-in Kitchen opens

All-in Kitchen poker restaurant The Trip Space Kitchen

Play your cards right and you could enjoy a three-course meal free at the All-in Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Haggerston, courtesy of
PokerStars and Jones & Sons.

“But I don’t kn-”. Don’t say it. If you’re not familiar with poker or if you haven’t played a hand for some time, think of this as an opportunity to brush up on your skills and line your stomach with some pretty darn tasty food as a reward. There is, as you will see, much to gain and very little at stake.

Before you dine, the cost of your three-course meal will need to be determined with a game of poker. You’ll play three hands against seven other tables which should take no longer than about 20 minutes. Everyone begins with 10,000 chips and your final count will determine how much you pay:

  • 10,000 and above: meals for your table will be free
  • Between 5,000 and 10,000: diners on your table will pay £5 each
  • Less than 5,000: diners on your table will pay £10 each

A cheat sheet is available to remind you of the various combinations of poker hands but plenty of step-by-step guidance is also provided by your dealer during the game so novices needn’t be nervous. In fact, even the most clueless could come up trumps – we were a prime example of that, we won a round with precisely zero experience.

But even if you end up chipless, a maximum of £10 per head for a three-course meal (includes one cocktail), worth £50, is brilliant value for money. Essentially, you win even when you lose so it’s a no-brainer.

And the food really is worth playing for. Here’s what’s on the menu:

Starters
Jacks – bourbon-glazed pork belly
Queens – queen scallops, salt-baked swede, bacon marmalade
Kings – chargrilled king prawn cocktail
1 Pair – port-soaked pear, Stilton and walnuts

Main
3 of a Kind – confit, roast and pan-fried duck, blackberry reduction
4 of a Kind – lamb chops, rump, kidney and shoulder, rosemary jus
The Nuts – butternut and chestnut gratin, Waterloo soft cheese (vegetarian)
The Royal Flush – king crab thermidor, straw fries

Sides
The Stack – triple-cooked chips
The Pot – boiled charlotte potatoes
Split Pot – mixed seasonal vegetables
Limp – green salad

Dessert
2 Pair – pear tarte tatin, pear caramel, ice-cream
Millionaires Tart – salted caramel and chocolate, whiskey cream

Cocktails
The Bluff (mocktail) – elderflower, lemon, sugar, soda
The Semi-Bluff – gin, elderflower, lemon, fizz
The Raise – home-smoked rum, orange and raspberry liqueurs, grilled orange
The Call – earl grey-infused gin, lemon, egg white
All In – top shelf white spirits, Cola
The All Nighter – espresso martini

The pork belly is every bit as deliciously indulgent and New Year diet-busting as you could imagine and the roast duck leg is so tender, you won’t need your knife – the meat falls away from the bone with next to no effort. The warm, palate-cleansing pear tarte tartin will wrap up the meal nicely.

Onto the cocktails, the Semi-Bluff is sweet and endlessly refreshing, a reminder of summer if you can remember what that’s like, and The Raise is a lovely, smokey-sweet orange concoction for those who just want to sit back, sip and relax.

All-in Kitchen poker restaurant

It’s time to get your game face on – this is an unmissable poker night.

From Mon 19th – Wed 21st Jan. Bookings for Mon 26th – Tue 27th Jan can be made on Billetto from Wed 21st Jan.
All-in Kitchen at The Trip Space Kitchen, 339-340 Arches, Acton Mews, Haggerston, London E8 4DG.
The pop-up will then travel across the UK to Nottingham, Bristol, Dublin and Edinburgh in celebration of the 2015 UK and Ireland Poker Tour.