When it comes to the politics of dinner – yes, really – there tends to be a conclusive divide between those who don’t mind a bit of a gimmick and those who really do. Whether it’s tarted-up raw fish with a maritime soundtrack or steak served under cover of darkness, the kingdom of ‘quirky’ dining is ripe terrain for accusatory style-over-substance muckraking. It’s easy to understand why – do you really need to eat dinner out of a toilet when what’s on your normal, plate-ish plate tastes like five gold-plated, Michelin-approved, manna-from-heaven stars?
And to an extent, that’s true. A restaurant shouldn’t need a gimmick – but if the food’s great, applying sensory or visual enhancers or a bit of theatre doesn’t necessarily always have to feel cheap. Here, taking one for team tastebud, is Unusual London: the food edition.
Dans Le Noir
Springsteen attempted dancing in the dark, presumably with limited success, so it would be a fair assumption that dining in similarly gloomy conditions might meet the same fate. Not the case. Clerkenwell’s Dans le Noir has been plying its shadowy trade for over 11 years now, so it must be doing something right. The sell? You’ll be brought to a pitch-black dining room by blind waiters, who use their acute sense of hearing to guide your sightless dining experience to its gastronomic zenith. The concept plays with the idea of sensory amplification; that upon one sense being removed, another is heightened and so forth (sight and taste assuming the role of victim and victor respectively, in this case). The jury’s still out on this one as an option for date night – one to consider if bae is more beast than beauty, perhaps.
Secret Indian food tour
In recent years, East London’s buzzing Brick Lane might have shimmied into the spotlight on account of its cereal-cafe-spawning hipster credentials, but really, it’s all about the curries. Raj’s Secret Indian Food Tour will take you on a foodie adventure through the best of its Indian restaurants, giving you the chance to sample a huge variety of dishes from the Indian subcontinent, taste all manner of Indian sweets and learn about the spices that go into Indian cooking. You’ll get a free glass of wine or beer and samples of a wide range of curries and dishes Come hungry or don’t come at all; there are dates throughout December, so pick one that suits you here.
The ArcelorMittal Orbit – Anish Kapoor’s towering red sculpture in the heart of the Olympic Park – reopened this year to much arty fanfare; as the UK’s tallest sculpture at 114.5 metres, your meal here will probably be the only time you’ll be able to confidently tweet about dining on top of a really massive masterpiece. Promising panoramic views stretching across 20 miles of London, you can either grab a snack at the Podium Bar or hire the area out for private parties if you’re counting stacks. Gourmet dining this ain’t – but the views more than make up for it.
Check out a Cheese & Wine Matching Masterclass
So you love cheese and you love wine. Ever wondered what the deal is with cheese and wine matching? As long as you have some wine and some cheese everything should be just fine… Right?
Well yes… to an extent. Come along and discover some cheese and wine matches that absolutely surpass the rest. Have you tried goat’s cheese with a glass of Sancerre? Or Stilton with a dessert wine, such as Sauternes? These are the matches which make your taste buds sing but generally, they’re not that well known. And if you’re still drinking only red wine with your cheese, well… you’re missing out on a whole host of tasting experiences!
Check it out Here.
Christmas arrives (slightly) early with the advent of WARMTH, The Shared Table’s charitably-minded supper club that promises all manner of festively philanthropic treats from the comfort of a cosy East London bolthole. Taking place on the 17th, WARMTH offers up a modern bistro menu in a friendly setting – plus all profits go straight to the Shared Soup Kitchen, which feeds homeless people over the Christmas period. Doors open at 7pm when you’ll be greeted with a complimentary cocktail before kicking off with a three-course gourmet meal that includes treats like cheese fondue, wild hare and whisky bread and butter pudding. Click here to book your place.
You’re either someone who will really love the idea of an interactive culinary road trip that swoops through spots on the East London overground – or you’ll really hate it. If you’re in the former camp, Gingerline delivers just that; diners sign up, wait near a station on the ginger line at a certain time for a text containing directions for a night that serves up ‘cartwheeling, cavorting and foodie delights’. Reviews suggest the food is as adventurous as the idea itself, so if you fancy yourself a bit of a gastronomic nomad, you’ll probably love this.
Looking for more exciting Foodie Experiences and Events? Have a look at Funzing.com and choose between HUNDREDS of great things to do!