Earlier today, I get a text message from a friend asking if hubby and I were free at 1pm for a special lunch thing. I’m always keen to catch up with friends, but the “special lunch thing” really piqued my interest. Shortly after, I get an email. It tells me where to go at 1pm, what’s on the menu (a yummy sounding South Indian vegetarian banquet) and, because this meal involves traditional dining with banana leaves, how to eat the meal with hands. At this point, my ever-increasing vegetable anxiety was tempered by this oh-so-curious email.
1pm sharp, hubby and I pull up outside a lovely house in a local suburb. My friend Clare happens to pull up at the same time. We cautiously approach the front door, unsure what to expect. We’re greeted by the friendly host, Shreeya. Shortly after, more fellow diners starts showing up. We sit in the living room, warmed by the gorgeous Canberra afternoon sun streaming through the large windows. We make introductions. It’s Canberra. We’re all related in some way. I find out that some my fellow diners have just been to the snow, some have attended one of our past TEDxCanberra events, one knows a lot about Bonsai but we all have love of good food in common and we’re all pretty excited about the meal to come.
This is my first introduction to the concept of Guerrilla Dining, also known as Underground Dining. If you’re like me and have never come across the term before, it’s like a paid dinner party. It’s popular in Latin America and there are lots of similar underground dining scenes around the world.