Watching nitrogen smoke emit from my companion’s nose was a surreal part of a theatrical dining evening. A five course tasting menu, inspired by the five senses, has been created by Tim Anderson, BBC MasterChef winner 2011 but sadly, the thrills of this pop-up restaurant are only available until Saturday.
The purposes of this temporary delight are to promote the new DS5 Citroen and to raise money for food poverty charity, FareShare. If you’re lucky enough to have won a table in the ballot, you’re in for a treat.
In a spacious warehouse in Shoreditch, on a table flanked by two gleaming cars, the innovative menu kicked off with ‘textures of duck’. This included tea rubbed jerky, crispy skin and liver parfait ‘like a duck Easter egg’. For vegetarians, the melon concoctions oozed with intense flavour and the silky melon terrine was perfect spread on the quinoa crunch.
My experience of beetroot is of the purple pre-packed variety so the ‘visions of beetroot’, a multi-coloured surprisingly sweet selection, with the creamiest goat’s cheese disguised as a beetroot, was divine.
Next up, ‘cheesy, mushroomy, nutty & fruity’ flavours using either beef or mushroom. In awe of the skills on display, we wondered how the rare fillet of beef was so perfectly cooked and admired the swirls of prune sauce and cashew butter which I lathered on my wild mushroom and blue cheese risotto cakes.
To titillate the fourth sense, a choice of potato or pork rind popping candy came in a little sealed pack with instructions to tip straight in and enjoy the sizzle and crunch. We were transported right back to childhood as the candy exploded in our mouths in a mixture of sweet and savoury flavours. Continuing this theme, we then tried a pancetta lolly dipped in sugar.
As a pre-cursor to the main pudding, a lemon meringue appeared from a box of nitrogen, making me feel as if I was a judge being wowed in a creative cookery show. Encouraged to eat it quickly before it ‘lost its power’, we obeyed but were both too distracted by its temperature and our smoking orifices to taste much.
The ‘aromas of Syrah’ pudding was a once in a lifetime finale. What looked like a mini bush appeared on the table and with a magic dose of liquid, began to smoke and fill the air with incense and spice. The edible part came in a sealed jar, which, when opened, released a powerful hit of tobacco and dark fruits. Although intriguing, the tobacco tasting mousse tasted too similar to a cigarette for my taste but I happily tucked in to the rich spiced mocha ganache dotted with grapes.
The award winning cars on display also pumped out ethnic spices. Just kidding. They smelt of new car and are the first production Citroen to feature a full hybrid diesel drivetrain – Hybrid4 – which delivers savings of up to 35% in city driving.
All this excitement, a welcome prosecco and the fuzzy feeling of helping charidee for a mere £5 donation. An impressive night out. Delicious by DS5