When The Living Room launched their new menu recently, rather than holding a run-of-the-mill event, they invited a small group of us to a Blind Supper Party, where we tried bite-sized portions of several dishes on their menu, blindfolded, and then answered questions about them, pub quiz style.
It was a fun thing to do, and surprisingly difficult – even when you recognise flavours, it’s not easy working out just what the ingredients are. On some questions I did pretty well, in others, I was completely hopeless. I did kick myself when, on a number of occasions, I thought, oh it’s x or y, wrote down x and it turned out to be y. Doh!
Eating blindfolded is strange! You find yourself using your fingers like a mole’s whiskers, questing through the dark to identify the shape and location of the food, before carefully transferring it to your mouth. I opted for a bib, knowing my clumsiness even when sighted!
That one’s slightly obscene, isn’t it?
Amongst the dishes we tried, there were some winners and some losers. I really liked the butternut squash, Dolcelatté, walnut and honey tart, the Moroccan spiced lamb, the coconut and passion fruit crème brulée, and the “Basil Grande” – an Eton-mess like dessert made from Grand Marnier, strawberries, meringue, cream and basil. I wasn’t blown away by the Toulouse sausage, the pork burger or the Glamorgan sausage and I actively disliked the sickly sweet and slightly grainy raspberry cheesecake.
I also thought the quality of the cheese board particularly underwhelming. When trying to identify the cheeses, I put some blue cheese in my mouth and immediately thought “that’s either a cheap Stilton or a Fourme d’Ambert”; it had an odd bitterness that really good Stiltons just don’t have but which I’ve often detected in this French blue. I gave the benefit of the doubt and chose the latter, but sadly, it proved to be the cheap Stilton I’d initially thought of. The hard cheese we started with was lacking in age; my choices were between a young Gruyere or a Manchego, again I chose the wrong one, though I don’t think it was a great example of this fine Spanish cheese. Even the Brie was distinctly average.
Although the food was hit and miss, it was broadly acceptable with some definite highlights. However, the venue was so incredibly noisy that, especially later in the evening, we really struggled to hear ourselves speak. Music was loud, as was the volume of all the other diners, no doubt shouting like us to be heard. When I eat out, a big part of the evening is to chat to my dining companions, and on that basis, I simply can’t recommend this venue, fun though our evening was.
Kavey Eats attended The Living Room Blind Supper Party as a guest of The Living Room. All images courtesy of Katherine Sparkes.