December 1, 2022
The Monarch Theatre – A gastronomical culinary adventure
I was browsing through TikTok when I came across a video that caught my attention; it was a review about The Monarch Theatre experience; I immediately added it to my dining bucket list! I posted the video to my Instagram story and was overwhelmed with message requests telling me how great this experience was and how I would love it. It made me so excited, so I booked in.
The venue was easy to find; it was a straightforward 30-second walk from Picadilly circus tube station and easily walkable in high heels. Once we arrived, we were in a little lobby area whilst the doorman checked for our reservation. I was wondering where the door to the restaurant was as this was just a square room with a sofa, some stalls and a giant library full of books. Then all of a sudden, the bookcase started to open, slowly revealing a chrome spiral staircase. We followed the stairs down to the restaurant, where we were given a white envelope with my name on it and were instructed not to open it until we were in the room. Of course, I wanted a sneak peek of what was inside the envelope; patience is a virtue, so I didn’t spoil the surprise.
When we arrived at the cocktail bar, we had to put some coins into the vending machine where a clown decided whether our soul was light or dark; whatever answer we got given would dictate our cocktail choice. My friend had a ‘light soul’, so hers was a Bacardi-based cocktail with coconut, pineapple and Supasawa; I had a ‘dark soul’, and my cocktail was Mezcal coffee, vanilla and cocoa. I also had a sprinkling of popping candy on the top of my drink, so when I took a sip, my mouth would start making popping sounds. Both were delicious. Our immersive dining adventure began with the cocktails alongside these yellow round balls; when you ate one, smoke would start coming out of your nostrils. The night started on a super fun, interactive note; I knew from this moment that this would be a night to remember.
This experience was an eleven-course tasting menu designed to play with your senses. It had a DC universe theme, talking about the most iconic heroes and villains; The courses each take us on a culinary and visual journey using 360 floor-to-ceiling screens showing different projections per course.
There are lots of fun, interactive elements to this experience that make it stand out from other tasting menus and not only that, I feel it would make the perfect date night (may I add, all of the individuals in the room were with their partners). If you love trying extraordinary things, love DC films or fancy an out-of-the-ordinary evening, this would be the ultimate place to visit. I won’t tell you everything that the evening involved, as I want to leave an element of surprise for when you visit!
Paired with a 2019 Zero G, Zweigelt, Wagram
If you had told me before visiting that I would be eating OX tongue, I wouldn’t have believed you but seeing as it was in front of me, I thought I would at least try it.
Caviar, scallops, white chocolate
Paired with 2019 Alsace Pinot Blanc
This course sounds rather adventurous; we all know that you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover because this was one of my favourite dishes of the eleven; to pair fish and white chocolate sounds so wrong, yet it was so, so right.
Following nine courses
I must add that the overall standard of food was incredible; I love trying new things and this was the perfect place to do so. I enjoyed many other courses, including Black cod, lobster and sea urchin, which was my favourite; they also had some other wild cards, such as Frogs’ legs and Eel. I’ll be honest they weren’t as bad as I believed they would taste in fact; they both tasted like chicken. Overall, the dishes were matched beautifully with alcohol pairings and stood out to me during this adventure. The simultaneous alcoholic pairings amplified distinct flavours in the eleven dishes which was impressive.
I would strongly advise that you arrive at least fifteen to twenty minutes early as your experience lasts about three hours and starts promptly at your booked reservation time.
The Monarch Theatre Opening Hours:
(Tuesday – Sunday)
Monday: 7 pm
Tuesday – Thursday: 6 pm and 8.30 pm
Friday: 5 pm and 8.30 pm
Saturday: 12 pm, 5 pm, and 8.30 pm
Sunday: 1.30 pm and 5 pm
It’s such a unique experience, my friend and I loved every minute of it; we would love to go back to Park Row to experience their live music events, and afternoon tea and to try their a la carte menu; they all looked great.
The Monarch Theatre experience starts from £195 per person with alcohol pairings for each course and can be booked here
The immersive experience is written and directed by James Bulmer (The founder and CEO of Park Row)
The Executive Chef is Karl O’Dell
Head Sommelier is Milena De Waele
And the special effects are by Chris Cox
Make sure you add Park Row to your bucket list!
Written by Danielle Tobin for Luxuria Lifestyle London and International