There are some events I get invited to that feel like a bit of an experiment. Then there are others which actually are an experiment - sitting with a jelly bean that tasted of vomit in my mouth, I realised that Stimulating the Senses with Tabl was definitely the latter. Replused, I wasn't too keen for the rest of what the evening had in store, but was assured by the team that this was the only horrible part of the night, and for the rest of it, we were in for a treat. Luckily, they were telling the truth.

Tabl are a new pop up event company, promoting food events with a twist - think comedy nights with dinner, or the one I went to - a night composed by Heston Blumenthal's food psychologist, which would stimulate, trick and play with all of our senses. We didn't have a menu, had no idea what we would be eating, and ate some of the courses without smelling, or with headphones on that were blaring out crazy music as our dessert was painted on to the dining tables.

We started with a bitter taste test - putting this paper strip on our tongue to identify those of us with more efficient taste buds. It wasn't a particularly pleasant taste, but one that was easily washed away with a glug of wine.

Then followed the jelly bean fiasco. We were told to pick from a selection and hold our nose when we put it on our tongue - I couldn't taste anything. We then let go of our noses, and the fully disgusting taste was right there.... Moving on swiftly, the next challenge was eating these little morsels (chestnut hummus) without using our hands. They were stuck to the drinks mat so it proved a little tricky but we got there in the end.

Asparagus with hazelnut and hollandaise was delicious, and the plating apparently demonstrates the best way to serve food on the diagonal is with the top point to the right - like an incremental graph. I asked Charles Spence (Heston's food psychologist) about the rule of plating up odd numbers of pieces of food - it's said that 3 or 5 is better than 2 or 4 - but he said having done experiments around this, all people care about is having more food on the plate, so actually in 3 items on the plate vs 4 items, it was the plate with 4 items that proved more popular with diners!

Part 5(?) of the Stimulating the Senses experiment was about the size of the cutlery we were eating off. The raw sea bream with citrus fruits & olive oil was served on different size spoons to see how it affected our experience of eating it - mine was on a regular spoon and was light and refreshing.

Next up were a few of the normal menu offerings from the Parlour, some of which we ate normally, others we fed each other. They included McTucky's popcorn chicken nuggets; duck liver pate with figs, honey and bread; raw beetroot ravioli with whipped goat's cheese; in-house smoked salmon with crispy salmon skin and salmon caviar; and a blue cheese custard with hazelnut served in egg shells. 

And that was all just for starters! Mains were served, and we were given a different dish each including chicken Kyiv; the sides that went with a cow pie;  sea bass, cardoon, pine nuts and rosemary; and the dish I got which turned out to be my favourite - wild mushroom flan, bantam egg and Jerusalem artichoke. We tucked in to our own dishes, then swapped round the table whenever the bell rang!

After a relatively "normal" main course (the food, rather than the swapping of it!) it was back to the weird and wonderful with this miracle berry - the tiny orange thing in the middle of the silver shot glass. We were told to chew it, then bite in to the lime and drink the shot of lemon juice - both of which tasted incredibly sweet. The miracle berry masks all tastes, making anything you consume for about fifteen minutes afterwards taste sweet - very strange. My wine tasted like Ribena....

Finally it was time for pudding. We put our flashing headphones on and listened to crazy music while the chefs painted, squeezed, tonged and slid our puddings on to the table - an absolute feast of tarts, creams, sorbets, cake, macarons, truffles and loads more that I can't remember (so much wine).... I was so full by this point I only managed to eat one of the dark, salted caramel truffles which was wonderful but really the last thing I could stomach.

Full to the brim and a little unsteady on my feet I trundled home, wondering what the hell had just happened!! If you want to find out about other crazy events that Tabl are hosting then check out their site here - I don't think you can go to the event that we went to, but there's lots of other madness to choose from! Parlour Kensal Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. Wow this sounds like such a cool idea! Definitely dinner with a twist!

    1. Hey Sophie - so glad to hear you like the sound of our alternative dining experience! We'd love to see you at the Tabl soon?

      We'll go find you on Twitter and speak soon? :) Thanks for the awesome review Rosie!

  2. This sounds completely insane and so much fun, what an awesome event! And (some of) the food sounds/looks so yummy! Lots of love, Andrea xxx

    Andrea's Passions

    1. It was bonkers, and apart from the beginning the food was lovely :)

      Rosie xx

  3. They can keep the vomit jelly bean, but otherwise it sounds like fun!


© a little lusciousness. All rights reserved.
Blogger Template Made By pipdig