Saturday, 16 February 2019

Claire's Kitchen, Surry Hills

The invitation from Claire's Kitchen reads "Whimsical, lavish, eccentric, imaginative, join us for an evening of surrealist, fashion, theatre, food and deviant art. le SALON Dada, Liberate the IMAGINATION"  with support from the City of Sydney, Claire's Kitchen is hosting a series of pop up dinners with a twist. 

On an early Sunday evening, Matt and I eagerly enter Claire's Kitchen in Surry Hills as representatives of the Australian Good Food Guide. Something exciting is brewing! 

This series of Surrealist pop up dinners is created by Marc Kuzma (aka Claire de Lune) and is inspired by the Rothschild's lavish costume parties of the 1970's and the art of Salvador Dali, Joan Miro, Marcel Duchap and Rene Magritte. This dinner involves 6 courses and immersive entertainment art. Let me tell you more about my experience!

The opening invitation encourages a "surrealism dress code" and as I enter the intimate dining room, I am delighted and amused by how people have dressed up. I go for a little black dress in lieu of being creative. I sit down and am immediately distracted by what's on the table. 

Our City of Sydney Lord Mayor, Clover Moore opens the evening talking about the revival of dinner pop ups to strengthen Sydney's night life. We also hear from Marc and you can sense his excitement about what's to come tonight!

So what is on the table? I am served a little ice skull awaiting in a glass as I create my own cocktail. It's exactly what the doctor ordered! There's also the first course... which sits in the first aid box!! I am already amused by the table and am very curious about what's to come.

I look into the first aid box and see some canapes. I do have a photo of the canapes but I want to keep this a surprise for any future guests coming in. I enjoy the enoki flavours served up in a very unique way.  

I sip on the delicious and refreshing cocktails and particularly enjoy the caviar ball of lime juice and passionfruit that bursts into my mouth. Yum. But it's also time for wine now!! 

I also look at the stage while people are enjoying the canapes and the night of entertainment has began! "There's nothing wrong with you, you are a picasso". I concur. I sip my wine and immerse myself into the music and entertainment.

Next up, we are given menus and an extra ordinary light show that is also part of the entree. I won't spoil what part of the light show you end up eating but I can tell you it also involves Prawns, carrot, cucumber, shallot and mint. It's delicious and triggers my inner Vietnamese palette. The entree is definitely "Painted by light".  The light makes for a bit of awe and beauty as I look around the dining room.

Now I have a particular weakness for the next dish. After being wowed by the talents of juggling in the dark, I am treated to a dish containing capsicums, celery, eschallots, roasted tomato and parmesan. There was something about those luscious lips that struck an artistic chord within and I thoroughly enjoyed this soup. Are you intrigued? I was when this dish came out.

I am in awe again by the many odd and awkward positions by the next show on stage. My confusion continues into the next dish "The amazing singing fish". By first glance, it looks like there's a sweet potato on the plate but it's not as it seems. With bright colours and textures, I can tell you this dish has Ocean Trout, pumpkin, capsicum, carrot, beetroot, spinach, potato and champagne. You can't help but be immersed into the art on the plate. 

Next on stage is the singing part of the "Singing Fish" dish. The singing is sassy and enjoyable. The wine is flowing and I'm really enjoying the night!

Before mains come out, the waiters spread out in the room with a series of balloons and there's this image that comes up on the screen. Again, I am not going to ruin the surprise but you'll be surprised at what happens! This is the main... it's an apple but not as it seems. It's the "Son of a man". 

I will tell you the main has sweet and savoury tones... Enjoy!

For dessert, it's "Ceci n'est pas une pipe" aka "This is not a pipe". For cultural reference, in french slang, pipe means something else! This chocolate and hazelnut dessert is a sweet way to finish a very immersive dinner.

Summary: For a different kind of date night, definitely check out these limited pop up dinners. For those who want an ignition of the imagination and to be pleasantly surprised. Check out it and make a booking here.

Price: $110 pp for six courses, cocktail and a show!!!

Location: 35 Oxford St, Surry Hills

Opening Hours: Only available on Sundays from 17th February to late April. Please check website for this specific event.

Weekend Food Escapes dined as guests and representatives of the Australian Good Food Guide. All photos, opinions and words are my own.

Claire's Kitchen at Le Salon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


  1. In addition to an extraordinarily personal touch that meets you when you enter, the lavishly delectable food etc., this venue is truely an inspiration for Sydney restauranteurs! Unique in so many ways; art, performances and atmosphere second to none!!

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