Elena had decided to surprise me with this place for my birthday and I mean surprise. So as I followed her around the side streets of Baker St starving as we arrived at this door which looked nothing like a restaurant all I could think is ‘I am starving and it’s my birthday and this bxxxh has brought me to look at art’. We were greeted by a gentlemen who ticked us off the list, I look around and there are candles heading to a basement (brain wakes up, she is making me join the illuminati). We walk down the stairs and she continues with the sheepish smile I have received for the past 30 mins which has now turned to nervousness, geez she clearly didn’t know what was happening. We got to the bottom of the stairs and then as I furiously scanned the place I realised that this was a pop up restaurant. My heart settled as I realised there was to be no mass slaughter on my birthday. We were greeted with a cocktail, very ketch and in a jar with a store, the ‘in thing’ to do these days. We were seated on a long trestle table with a whole bunch of strangers who were equally as clueless as we were but it was the perfect seating arrangement for this setting as we all got to know our neighbor which was fun. Any other time, no way. Slowly the clues were coming together, we were settling down for a five course meal linked to a colour. The food it’s self was lovely. Our first course was green. The room was filled with green lighting and three potted plants which were nothing in a room of about 80-100 diners. The paper table covering was also green and there was ‘green’ music in the back. This was the extent of execution for the theme which was rather disappointing as for each course the lighting would change and three plant would be replaced with other object but it didn’t really matter as it’s not like you would see then in the sea of people anyway. The most enjoyable part of the process bar the food was the changing of the table cover process between courses. Diners were expected to rip off the table cover to reveal the new colour and the best part……you could throw it on the floor. I got so into it that when I got home that night I continued to throw my clothes around my room and when I got to work the next day I was throwing exercise books at children. The food was lovely I must say. A truly section of fine ingredients. My particular favourites were course green which was quail wrapped in vine leaves with a freekheh salad. It was small yet exquisite, a lot of zesty and fresh flavours, not something I would have thought when thinking of quail. My next favourite course is the black course which particularly fun when eating in the dark. It was roasted aubergines with wild mushroom and onions. The aubergine had the most amazingly soft texture and the skin was cooked to perfection of it just melted in the mouth, the mushroom and onions as a sweet yet salty flavour, I’m salivating just writing about it. We adored the final orange course which was a lovely piece of orange polenta cake which was soft and juicy and even though in theory it looked tiny on the plate it was just enough as your tummy is already full with four courses. Now I must mention Elena’s rant about the white course and I do agree. The almond ???? Soup was not which at all and pretty much looked like puss in a bowl. The favours were so subtle that they could be missed. All in all the food was lovely and I did appreciate sharing the experience with strangers but the execution of what they were trying to communicate was poor. Do we think it was worth the £50 per head, hmmmmm I suppose it is based on the different experience and the fun and laughter along the way.
Star Rating: ***
The Art of Dining