The team behind Madame Geisha’s in Brighton have made the move to London for their next venture – a Victoriana dining experience. What? Again? Yes, I know that horse has been flogged to death of late but they are putting in a few twists to keep this bandwagon rolling. The crux of House of Wolf is its pop-up chef- a monthly residency for the latest movers and shakers in the experimental food trade.
The venue is set over three floors and has tried to keep a little of its Music Hall history about it. The ground floor bar doubles as a performance area and it’s basically where the parties take place. Up on the first floor is the tiny Apothecary Bar – a reservation only room, where the experimental cocktails are brewed and the décor gets more stylised. Further up on the second floor is the Attic Room and Parlour and this is where the first edition of their pop up chef residency, Caroline Hobkinson, is serving up something pretty different.
From Caroline Hobkinson’s past efforts, we were safe to assume the emphasis would be on the sensory experience. The chef has collaborated with experimental psychologist Professor Charles Spence at Oxford University to present five courses of Look, Listen, Smell, Touch, Eat! A menu that is actually quite good fun. Bread rolls hang from the ceiling, whilst blindfolds, earplugs and a loaded syringe hint at what’s ahead. A list of instructions (the menu!) guides you through the occasion.
The menu consisted of five courses and each aim to bring to our attention how our senses affect our taste – some with better success than others. The blindfold course ‘Sight’ isolates the smell and taste sense – and was a triumph. Whilst the prevalence of smell in tasting may not be a revelation, it’s nice to have it deconstructed in such a way. The chef works the room to explain and answer any questions, which is probably good thing; the food as art concept has raised a few eyebrows already for its price to substance ratio.
House of Wolf certainly has something different about it and it’s an accessible addition to the dining experiences taking place in London at the moment. The food and drinks may need a bit of fine-tuning but the décor is stylish and not overly theatrical. Since the chef and food concept change on a monthly basis, there’s a new experience to try all over again. And, that is definitely something that will keep my attention. I think House of Wolf may just have hit on a winning formula. (Words: Laura Thornley)
For more info, visit: www.houseofwolf.co.uk