Every so often you hear about something so quirky that you can’t help but immediately book a ticket. One of these was the Colour Pallet dinner run by the clever kids at the Art of Dining. My imagination was running wild, each of the courses was going to be themed around a colour…but what exactly did that mean?
Arriving at the Colour Pallet we went straight down stairs only to be smacked in the face with green…green everywhere. The walls were green, the lights were green, the tables were green, and just in case you weren’t maxed out by green there were trees lining the walls. I have never been in a room quite so emphatically green. Sitting down there was a lot of nervous laughter in the room, not something you normally hear in a London restaurant (unless its first date central), it sounds like we weren’t the only ones eagerly anticipating the evening to come.
We started with quail wrapped in vine leaf with wilted herb salad and freekeh. My first bite was the start of an evening long mind fuck that I am still bamboozled by. Nothing on the plate tasted quite as expected; it wasn’t bad by any means (the entire meal was fantastic) it just tasted indescribably greener than it should. The colour of the room/lights/cocktail/plate/table was totally messing with my head and taste buds.
Throughout the green course the Audio Wave Ninja and I were debating just how we would move on to the next colour. How would the Art of Dining crew turn this green pleasure palace into a mellow yellow dream boat (yellow was our next course). Would we go into a different room? Would there be a massive delay while they made our green world yellow?
This was partially answered when the waitress had a quiet word in my ear “start ripping”. Seeing my confused expression she demonstrated and ripped part of our green table cloth. Trading joyous looks of disbelief, the Ninja and I started ripping away the green paper tablecloth to reveal the yellow beneath. The discarded green was thrown over our shoulders and onto the floor. Then the lights changed, turns out we were in a white room and all the colour was provided by the lights. Genius.
Throughout the yellow course we kept ordering the colour cocktails and getting a bit grumbly that they didn’t fit in with the colour themes. The ‘yellow’ cocktail looked more orange, and similarly the ‘yellow’ food appeared white/orange/brown. It wasn’t until the white course that we all shut up. Turns out the food and drink colour had been entirely on point, it was the colour of the lights that was distorting our perception of colour – total mind fuck.
The next question was how we would enter into the black course…there isn’t exactly lighting that fits an absence of light. Well, easy solved really… they turned the lights off. The waitresses all put on mining head lamps and we were in the dark to eat the soy aubergine with fermented garlic and black sesame. If we thought the lights had changed how we tasted food, wait till you can’t see a thing. Absolutely amazing to experience food in this way.
By the desert course (orange) we had managed to make our way through every colour of cocktail. So it seemed totally reasonable to make friends with the couple next to us and wage war on the other long table. During the final table cloth rip, instead of quietly depositing it on the floor it was a paper snowball fight – with extra points if you could hit someone without incriminating yourself.
It was such a fun and unique evening, I will for sure be keeping an eye out for any future Art of Dining events.