What is an underground restaurant?
Wikipedia's definition -
An underground restaurant, also known as a supper club, is an eating establishment operated out of someone's home, generally (though not invariably) bypassing local zoning and health-code regulations. They are, in effect, paying dinner parties. They are usually advertised by word of mouth or guerilla advertising, often on Facebook, and may require references to make a reservation.
Underground restaurants are popular in Latin America, where they're known as either a paladar or a restaurante de puertas cerradas (locked door restaurant). While technically illegal, they're built into the culture, and often have higher standards than many licensed establishments. They are becoming increasingly popular in the U.S.
The attraction of the underground restaurant for the customer is to sample new food at low cost outside the traditional restaurant experience, which can be expensive and disappointing—underground restaurants have been described as "anti-restaurants." For the host, the benefit is to make some money and experiment with cooking without being required to invest in a restaurant proper. "It's literally like playing restaurant," one host told the San Francisco Chronicle, "You can create the event, and then it's over."
In the UK Underground Restaurants and Supper Clubs have started to blossom, with reviews in leading newspapers such and The Times and The Guardian. They range across the UK but are mainly concentrated in London. These are advertised by word of mouth and on social media networks such as Facebook and MySpace. They have grown so much in popularity that you can now find social networks dedicated solely to underground dining. supperclub fan group.
I've been fortunate enough, to be on an exclusive list of invitees, of one of Honolulu's best underground restaurants.
The chefs in this restaurant are from popular restaurants around town. In this venue, they are given the freedom to cook, what they want to cook, and use local products they want to work with.
Attendees enjoying the pupus:
Main course - the opportunity to eat in homes you've always wondered about: