We didn’t know what to expect when signing up to Forza Win.
What used to be a pop-up establishment is now a full-blown event in an old cash and carry in Copeland Park, Peckham.
Check out their website for examples of past ‘projects’, turning basic locations like rooftops and pickle factories into feasting halls.
It’s a basic set up that really works – arrive between 7:30-8pm to take your seat (anywhere goes, it’s just a case of parking your bottom where there’s space) at one of the long tables. You’re encouraged to get to know your neighbours as ultimately you’ll be sharing dishes with them.
As soon as you enter, you’re enveloped in a warm atmosphere. Quite literally, too – the barbecue helps to heat the whole place and the woody smells reminded us of summer festivals (without the grim portaloo aspect, obvs).
Forza Win’s forte is Italian food using locally sourced ingredients. It’s a set menu and the price of the food (and aperitif – here it’s a limoncello mojito) are included in the £35 ticket price. Water is readily available on the table but if you want more drinks, you can order at their makeshift bar.
It’s a smooth operation run by a small group of individuals splitting duties into front of house, drinks server and a group of chefs. Dishes are served one by one; first up we had their homemade sausage with carrots and cabbage, then followed a series of greens before the main event – their 100 day old spring chicken.
Let’s just say you don’t go hungry. The ingredients might seem simple but everything has a delicious twist – think lemon and chilli infused broccoli with almonds and cheesy leeks. Platters of food are laid down with the intention of splitting between six people, and even if you think you’ll struggle to share fairly, you don’t – you won’t go hungry.
For those who aren’t ardent meat eaters, the chefs offer a vegetarian option too, so there’s no missing out. For those who are, enjoy some pictures of chicken.
The atmosphere is so friendly, it feels like a party. The staff seem to have just as good a time as you even when they’re flat out, and while you can’t always guarantee you’re sitting next to sociable people, usually your love of food translates and that’s it, you’re off chatting away.
They’ve just added some new dates for this particular event in May, so sign up before it’s too late.
As well as this seasonal event, they’ve just started ‘Awesome Sauce’ on Wednesdays, serving a plate of pasta with a glass of wine for £10.
As for us, we’ll be stalking their website to find out what their summer project is set to be…