Can this humble Mexican dining experience compete with Dubai’s supper club hype? 

Before I came to Dubai almost five years ago, I’d never heard of the term supper club. Then again, I’m not sure going around to a complete stranger’s house for dinner after a few messages on Instagram would be considered entirely the right thing to do in Nottingham.

However, in Dubai, the secret supper club dining trend is becoming increasingly popular. Why? Well, supper clubs are authentic, unique, intimate, and adventurous dining experiences. We’ve become so accustomed to eating out in Dubai that diners are looking for something more than just food.

There are also a handful of supper club chefs who have pioneered and taken Dubai’s homegrown dining scene to new heights. Take, for example, chef Neha Mishra and her sell-out supper club, A Story of Food, which was such a success she opened Kinoya, a permanent ramen restaurant in The Greens. Two years later, the homegrown chef is about to open her second restaurant in none other than Harrods, London.

There are plenty of other supper club success stories too: chef Penelope Diaz behind JLT’s buzzing Fusion Ceviche started as a supper club during the pandemic; husband-and-wife Sultan and Kinda Chatila recently opened homegrown burger joint Eleven Green after their award-winning bull burger and supper club Tano’s at 8; and let’s not forget, the elusive Hawkerboi which also opened in JLT earlier this year.

And, after our recent dining experience at K’iin Supper Club, we could bet there’s going to be at least one more…

After years working in international kitchens across Dubai including Zuma and LPM, chef Jon Collin knew he eventually wanted to go it alone, but it wasn’t until he experienced one of the city’s secret supper clubs, that he realised the immense power food has to connect people.

Inspired and excited, Jon created K’iin supper club: an intimate, candlelit underground-dining experience where exceptional cooking is made sociable and relatable.

There’s a lovely buzz when we enter Jon’s humble abode and are welcomed with a fresh-yet-punchy yuzu mezcalita cocktail. A dimly lit living area with Mexican memorabilia (the discrete, artsy kind not the sombreros and maracas kind) shows impeccable attention to detail and makes for interesting talking points.

The seven-course tasting menu pays homage to Jon’s Mexican heritage as well as his experiences across high-end French and Japanese restaurants, with a story behind every dish.

The refreshing avocado gazpacho is thoughtfully served in an avocado shell, each sip creating a symphony of aromas in our mouths, with hints of acidity from the Amalfi lemon and a subtle splash of cucumber.  The esquites is another extremely memorable dish; a warm charred sweetcorn and cottage cheese salad is the perfect balance of textures and flavours – smoky yet sweet, creamy yet crunchy – with a unique Japanese twist from the yuzu koshu and shichimi togarashi.

We were blown away by the boisterous flavours from the scallop aguachile, where mouthfuls of citrusy raw scallops are elevated with spicy jalapeños and twangs of ginger. Inspired by his time working at LPM, chef Jon’s creative twist on the classic French beef tartare makes for another stand-out dish. Melt-in-the-mouth Angus beef is beautifully presented under a layer of buñuelo de viento, a traditional Mexican pastry crisp. Texture, flavour, colour: it’s all there. Devoured.

Verdict: K’iin Supper Club really is a passion project. Aside from a happy and full belly, you’ll leave with meaningful new connections and a dining experience you won’t forget. Nothing compares to the sound of conversation, laughter, and excitement over the clinking of cutlery at your first supper club.

K’iin Supper Club, Dubai. Dhs450 per person. @kiin_supperclub

Images: What’s On/Social