words: catrin jones
Pop-up restaurants are, by and large, COOL. One of the many exciting fads of our generation. Particularly in East London.
As I don’t venture to either as much as I’d like, I was pretty excited to be invited along on a last minute food mission to a warehouse in Hackney (naturally) where the Wild Food Kitchen has set up its latest enterprise at The Arthaus on Richmond Road. Unfortunately the pop up in question, unlike its venue, was far from COOL.
We sauntered in just before the allotted time of 7.30 and were met by a small bohemian character who told us someone ‘should have greeted us at the main entrance’ and that we ‘couldn’t come in yet’.
Couldn’t work it out – was he playing about or just plain rude?
Well – it proved to be the latter as throughout the evening not once were we attended to or asked how the food was. They just vanished! Perhaps it’s just as well because my response would probably have put their pierced noses right out of joint.
To start, we were promised a ‘nettle gazpacho with garlic and chorizo oil’.
What we were presented with was a bowl of what can only be described as cold, liquidized Marlboro Lights.
What remained of our optimism, we saved for the main course. Sadly, this also vanished when three brown lumps posing as ‘Venison Bourguignon’ were plonked in front of us. The last time I checked, Venison didn’t taste and look like cat excrement.
To add insult to injury the Potato Dauphinoise was the length and breadth of a postage stamp, which under normal circumstances would be perfectly acceptable (no carbs before marbs and all that) but since the protagonist of this unpalatable pantomime, wasn’t enough to feed a fruit fly, a McDonald’s detour on the way home was inevitable.
I’d like to talk about the pathetic excuse for a dessert (Eaton mess in case you care, or in this case a strawberry, a blueberry and a thimble of cream) but I’m so hungry, I don’t have the energy.
I will say this though. I’m not a fussy eater and small portions are, of course, totally welcomed when the cuisine is of a high enough standard to warrant such. But when two Michelin chefs charge £36 a head for what is essentially a packet of fags put through a blender, some rabbit shit with a few mushrooms and a strawberry, one is bound to leave with a bad taste in one’s mouth. Literally.
Wild prices. Wild disrespect. But sadly nothing wildly impressive about this place AT all.
Im off to get a big-mac. See ya.