If you’re looking for a dining experience that’s a little bit different, then The Bookish Banquet might be for you. The concept is simple – a five course dinner based on a book. I first heard about it a few months ago, and I managed to get to the latest – Life of Pi dinner.
I really didn’t know what to expect and I was pleasantly surprised. On walking in, it was clear that a lot of effort had gone in to creating the right atmosphere, and there had been a lot of attention to detail. It was to be a five course surprise menu, taking various themes from the book.
There were two big communal tables, to enable people to meet and chat throughout the course of their dinner, and I liked this a lot – firstly because I was on my own, and secondly because there was a lot of food to share. There were also two cocktails. One alcoholic, and one not. Of course I wanted to try the cocktail, and it was very nice (though a little strong – afterwards I stuck to wine).
I was a little worried that I wouldn’t remember the story very well, but the host gave a little overview of each section of the book, which led nicely into each course, and of course many people there had not read the book, but instead watched the film. We talked about it for about 5 minutes before moving on to other things – so if you’re worried about it being a literary evening then don’t.
The food was absolutely delicious. There were five themes: Flavours of religion, after the storm, learning to fish, the impossible island, and farewell Richard Parker. I won’t give it all away, but my favourites included the roasted aubergine with saffron yohurt, pomegranate, pine nuts and sumac, and the braised beef cheeks. Since my pic of these isn’t so good, here is a picture of the delicious salmon blinis.
Unfortunately my pictures don’t do the food any justice, but it was completely delicious and well worth it in my opinion. The next dinner will be themed around the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy. You can book tickets here.