You don’t really need an excuse to watch the Oscar winning Studio Ghibli animated epic Spirited Away…again. However, this weekend in London, Bombay Sapphire lured a bunch of people into the very chic Aubin Cinema for a special Edible Cinema screening.
A lot of people have been asking “how can cinema be edible!?”. You may have seen the concept before, a talented chef dreams up unusual surprise dishes to correlate to the events on the screen during a film. Heston Blumanthal tried it on his TV show with the film Perfume, however, the audience didn’t take to it because of it’s very controversial nature. Bombay Sapphire have tried it once before at the Electric Cinema with Pans Labyrinth. However so far it’s a largely un-expolored experience.
Who would want to go to an event where you had to eat mystery food in the dark? A lot of people. The tiny cinema was sold out super quickly with eager experience hunters, with lots more on the internet trying to get ticket holders to part with their tickets willingly. That wasn’t going to happen, clearly.
The Aubin Cinema is possibly the nicest screening room I’ve ever seen. Hidden away in the basement of the Aubin & Wills store in Shoreditch, it’s a 45 seater screening room filled with grown up couches and arm chairs, cushions, tartan blankets, footstools and freestanding ice bucket plinths. The bar in the cinema has the feel of a funky New York style hangout. Part of Soho House group, the Aubin Cinema has public screenings and some private screenings.
The first edible treat was a specially designed cocktail as we arrived, containing Bombay Sapphire of course. On entering the cinema, we found our seats and a tray containing what we’d be consuming for the next 2 hrs. The food came in small foldable takeaway boxes numbered 1-6 and 8… number 7 was in the ice bucket, it was very tasty and very alcoholic. Some of the more unusual items included a seaweed covered chocolate truffle as a crunchy newt’s leg, a lemon grass lolly and herb sherbert as bath fizz and a strange ball containing what I later found out was lapsong suchong tea, which tasted like a living creature made of soot.
Edible Cinema’s not for calorie counters or the food wary. You don’t know what you’re going to be surprised with. It’s dark and mysterious and you find yourself sniffing the boxes before tasting just in case. They do ask if you’d prefer vegetarian or non alcoholic foods but it’s best to go into it with eyes open.
Far from being a disruption, the edible element of the event added to the atmosphere and the film. The entire audience all sharing a laugh at drinking the tears of crying protagonist Sen certainly made the cinema going event more sociable.
Edible Cinema is a brilliantly hilarious experience topped off with an amazing film, wonderfully weird culinary treats, lots of gin set in a beautifully comfy cinema. There needs to be more of these in my life.