Review: Dinner is Coming, The Vaults

Some properly tasty food makes the Game of Thrones-inspired immersive show Dinner is Coming an entertaining night indeed at The Vaults

“Poor Tom-Tom”

Stepping into the world of immersive experiences as a reviewer can be a tricky business. Given the sums of money that can be charged and the subjectiveness of your time there, to be able to put one’s hand on one’s heart and say you should put your hand on your wallet is rife with difficulty. I had one of my all-time greatest adventures on my first trip on You Me Bum Bum Train and my one and only venture to Secret Cinema had a moment of unforgettable pure magic but ask me about value for money, for you, and I’m stumped.

Which is a long-winded way of saying you should take this review with a pinch of salt. Although you won’t need to add any salt because the cooking here at Dinner is Coming is really, really good. If you’ve been wondering what you should eat for dinner look no further! Designed and prepared onsite by Chavdar Todorov, Steven Estevez and their team, this is the kind of meal that comes close to justifying the ticket price alone. I always thought life was too short to roast a cauliflower but not any more, the slow-cooked lamb shoulder is melt-in-your-mouth delicious and yet somehow it is the salad that I remember the most – courgette, lettuce, beetroot and peas in a pesto-flecked dressing that makes every ingredient truly sing. Continue reading “Review: Dinner is Coming, The Vaults”

Restaurant review: Kettners, Soho

A bit of a digression from the usual fare as the biggest fan of a mint-green trouser suit Rebecca (from Official Theatre) organised a rather splendiferous occasion for some of the #LDNTheatreBloggers to try their hand at a bit of food reviewing. Keen to turn my hand to a serious appraisal of some culinary delights (who am I kidding, free food!), I was more than happy to accept the invitation to sample the pre-theatre menu at Kettners, on Romilly Street in Soho, just behind the Palace Theatre

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Review: La Turista: Café Duende, Morito Tapas Bar

“I have seen the blood of Spain”

“Ni en la vida ni en la guerra se puede triunfar sin fe.” The 1937 words of the Spanish Republican Prime Minister Juan Negrín are draped across the window of Morito Tapas Bar to beckon us into the highly evocative world of La Turista:Café Duende, a piece of dinner theatre that seeks to give a taste not only of some excellent Iberian cuisine but also of life during the Spanish Civil War. The quote translates roughly as “not in life nor war can one succeed without faith” and through Jamie Harper’s intricately pieced-together script, we bear witness to the different kinds of faith that saw people through the most difficult of times.

Hobo Theatre’s aim is to produce theatre in unconventional locations and the crowded intimacy of one of Exmouth Market’s most highly rated eateries certainly fits that bill. The easy conviviality of the space, combined with the realities of informal dining, creates a decidedly non-theatrical environment, an astute choice which fits the suggestively dark moods of La Turista perfectly. Split into four acts, interspersed with three courses of dinner, the show is less concerned with a theatrical narrative than evoking the mysterious spirit of duende, of deep feeling, of an almost spiritual connection with art. Continue reading “Review: La Turista: Café Duende, Morito Tapas Bar”

Review: The Pale Blue Door, Christmas at Number 5

“Oh what fun…behind the Pale Blue Door”

A little bit of a departure for the blog, but this experience in a pop-up restaurant at the Dalston home of artist Tony Hornecker combining scrumptious home-made food, cabaret turns from drag acts and general disorientating off-beat arty kookiness sits easily well with other immersive installation pieces in pushing the boundaries of different creative fields and blurring them. This is a dinner party like no other you have been to!

Initially set up as a response to supplement income due to decreasing work opportunities (Hornecker is a set designer), The Pale Blue Door utitlises his previous experience as a chef and combines it with his artistic flair for creating magical and welcoming environments. The restaurant has ‘popped-up’ several times now, in London and in several cities across the world, becoming a massive word-of-mouth success, but as the number of tables is very limited and each incarnation only lasts for a very short while, you have to be super-quick to get in there, so this really was a special night for us. Continue reading “Review: The Pale Blue Door, Christmas at Number 5”