An Outlandish Experience
“Dearest Karl enthusiast, we bring with great pleasure news of our evenings dress code from the man himself…” was the first message that we received 2 days before the dinner, evidently only with the intention of informing the guests about the dress code but none about the location.
Staying mysterious as usual with ANDSOFORTH.
The next SMS tip regarding the location finally came in but only 24 hours before the show and it reads “Are you ready for lift off? Your journey begins at…”
All the guests were sent this slightly cryptic explanation on how to get to the venue although there were, at some point, a little confusion going on. You won’t get lost no matter what, though (it’s not that hard to figure it out).
The story: Karl Lagerfeld as seen above, awakens one day, in 2070, to find himself cryogenically frozen against his will by an underground organisation called The Elites, 50 years ago in the year 2020.
Earth has become a barren land as its natural resources gets exploited and eventually, exhausted. There was nothing fashionable to speak of and human race is close to extinction. Karl knows that he is the only one who can save humanity from this total fashion disaster so he embarks on a journey back to the past in 2015, as he tries to change the world from its own destruction.
Drama starts right at the doorstep even before entering the place, followed by a few enthusiastic futuristic characters flocking towards the guests shortly after with great enthusiasm.
We were served cocktails before being seated; an extensive range of drinks are also available for purchase at the bar counter.
This year’s theme was Space and according to the themed storyline mentioned above, we were on a spaceship trying to escape from The Elites throughout this blue neon-lit pop-up dinner. Commendable effort were put into the decor- there were flashlights even in the toilet to really get your into hyperspace mode.
Various assistants to Karl on the spaceship were assigned tables to take care off, entertaining with jokes and keeping the energy level up.
Courses were served in between the staged play.
First course- Black and Gold Harmony, a risotto infused with truffles and mushroom puree topped off with gold dusted wild mushrooms, was served. A distinct truffle taste that wasn’t overpowering though we feel that the risotto was too dry, perhaps a creamy broth texture would be great.
Risotto was cold when served and we weren’t sure if it took too long because of the number of servings that needs to be prepared.
A short while after our first course, all guests (grouped according to tables) were invited to take part in a mini fashion game.
One person per table was chosen to be the model while the others help to brainstorm for ideas. Different groups were given the same materials and 5 minutes each to dress up the models.
It was all university orientation camp games all over again. But hey, if you’re with the right crowd everything becomes fun. Especially after a few glasses of wine.
While the futuristic dressup game was ongoing with each group taking turns, the second dish, The Bronze Medallion appears on our tables. A 12 hour slow-cooked beef cheek with chunky mashed potatoes infused with garlic oil, the beef was tender albeit lacking in flavour. The mashed potato could do better with more seasoning and if it was more moist.
The Karl Experience dinner also had their own fashion model put up a real show at various intervals throughout dinner, showcasing three different out-of-this-word outfits with accompanying lights and outlandish designs.
Then it was time for the mini fashion show amongst the six contestants from each tablet showcase their inebriated creativity on the runway like a boss.
The winning team gets a round of drinks on the house!
After which, it was time for the third course: Future Sap – a refreshing Japanese cucumber and basil gazpacho (cold soup). Frankly I wouldn’t call this a proper course given its size, rather more like an amuse bouche or palate cleanser before dessert.
It was finally time for the most anticipated course of the night- desserts. Named Stars and the Moon, chocolate mousse banana bread with banana ice cream bits was served. It wasn’t too bad although I would have preferred a different flavour ice cream bits, one that could complement the banana bread instead of having everything banana-flavoured.
Presentation of the dish was… perhaps keeping with the whole dehydrated space food theme, but really not the most photogenic dessert.
Something to note, the waiting interval between each dishes was relatively long and it was hard trying to keep ourselves occupied, especially during the fashion dressup segment.
Seth: All in all, the food was sadly, the Karl Experience’s greatest drawback. From my experience, it seems that finding the right chef is the issue – the event chef doesn’t seem able to cater hot foods to multiple guests at the same time. Perhaps the dinner theme was too challenging. Or it could also be due to a lack of proper kitchen facilities, but I’ve seen many capable chefs still deliver a decent meal to a sizeable crowd with just a couple of stoves. I reckon that getting the right culinary professional to advise on the food is a challenge that ANDSOFORTH faces.
The experience of the whole pop up dinner though is something new to catch. I just wish there could have been more engaging activities that really kept the energy of the room going like The Heist last year without as many pauses as this year’s secret dinner.
Kudos to the cast for their enthusiasm, but more plot refinement is definitely needed to keep the crowd entertained.
The Karl Experience premieres 19th August 2015, running every Wednesday to Saturday till 12th September 2015.
Expected damage: $98-$108 per pax depending on day.
*Use promo code: sethluixandsoforth for a 10% off your tickets.