Monday, 26 May 2014

Sound Bites Society - May Dinner

"Sound Bites Society?" you ask? Here's the skinny:

"Hear the food. Taste the music.
Sound Bites Society is a pop-up dining experience like none other: gourmet food and drinks paired with music in unusual spaces.
Every month, radio personality Seano challenges celebrity chef Sue-Ann Allen to create a 4-course meal based on a unique music selection. From house to rock, pop to dance and even Irish indie folk, no two events are ever the same."

How amazing does that sound? Our venue for the evening was indeed unusual - we were hosted in Lights By Linea, a lighting showroom! While unusual, the venue made perfect sense as the array of different lighting added another dimension to the dinner. As we were all seated at one long table, there was another addition to your normal restaurant experience - meeting new people.

On arrival, we received our welcome drinks, with a cryptic twist - we had to guess the ingredients! Fear not, all my years of careful wine-tastings have not gone to waste, and my nose and taste buds managed to pin-point the cocktail's components - pineapple juice, mint, and vanilla-infused rum! Thanks to De Senic for the drinks (and for my prize for the winning guess!).

Then it was time for the meal to begin! We all took our places at the long dinner table, got to know our fellow diners and were introduced to the concept of the dinner. We were then treated to four unbelievable courses. 

First up - the amuse-bouche, inspired by "Spectrum" by Florence and the Machine, was a butternut, spinach and beetroot mousse shot served with a pastry crisp. The flavour of the colourful spectrum of vegetables was lovely.

Next up was the starter. This was served with another cocktail - this time cranberry-infused vodka with soda water and a slice of orange, very refreshing! Our dish was inspired by the song "Sail" by Awolnation, which has a rich, gotta-get-more/pump-it-up sound but rather dark lyrics. Sue-Ann decided to pair the song with crumbed mushroom risotto balls, black truffle aolli and a shot of pino noir - personally my favourite dish of the evening! As an added bonus, we blindfolded ourselves before the food was served. We could then use our other senses (such as touch and smell) to experience our food, only taking the blindfolds off once the lyrics of the song started.

Our main for the evening was set to "Burn" by Ellie Golding. This dish incorporated several components associated with the element of fire, with a touch of earth - rack of lamb with pommes pureé, watercress salad, apricot and rocket pesto and red wine jus - delicious! The main was also paired with beeeg glasses of wine from Stellenbosch Hills.

Of course, no meal is complete without dessert! Our musical inspiration for this dish was none other than "Royals"  by Lorde. Based on the song, Sue-Ann served us bread and butter pudding, crème patisserie and a gold dust sugar shard. Of course, this had to be accompanied with Méthode Cap Classique from Lords Winery - served in tin cups! 

We also were given a little something extra - macarons from Glaze Patisserie!

 After dinner, De Senic also allowed us to taste a variety of the Bear Hugs Infusions, my favourites included the papaya-infused tequila, the chocolate-infused vodka and the espresso-infused vodka, as well as the vanilla-infused rum from the welcoming drink (very good over ice!).

Thanks to the members of the Sound Bites Society Team - Sean, Sue-Ann and Martin - for an unforgettable evening! Thanks also to Lights by Linea, De Senic, Stellenbosch Hills, Lords Winery and Glaze Patisserie for their involvement.

If you're interested in attending a Sound Bites Society dinner in the future, be sure to go visit their website and follow them on Twitter!

Photos by L.J. van Laeren unless specified. Image tagged @SoundBitesSOC from their Twitter page. Images tagged VIN taken by V.I. Nikolayenko and used with permission.

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