Published on April 2nd, 2014 | by Gavin0
Voodoo Blues Pop Up Diner
“A night of raucous debauchery” was what was promised on the invitation and that’s exactly what I received last Friday night. Don’t panic, this post isn’t a tale of folly down a dark alley in Soho; last week I was invited to the renowned Wandering Chef’s latest pop up dining event Voodoo Blues.
Voodoo Blues takes guests on a culinary journey through New Orleans, taking in 7 courses traditionally found in the Southern states. Intrigued to learn more and having heard all about The Wandering Chef’s extravagant dinner parties, I booked my place and strapped myself in for a rollercoaster ride.
The experience takes place at pop up nightclub Roxx, above Libertine (formerly China White) just off Oxford Street. Walking through the double doors into a dark room I’m startled by a papier-mâché skull painted in neon colours; if this is a sign of things to come, maybe I should have packed a change of underwear (eek).
Once through to the dimly lit club, a dreadlocked Haitian voodoo god by the name of Papa Legba offers up treats that look like grasshoppers, but are thankfully just fried okra. In order to be rewarded with a Rebel Yell bourbon pickleback, I have to worship at the voodoo shrine, and as I’m never one to say no to good bourbon, my soul now belongs to the devil himself.
Once seated we’re informed of the many delights of the stomach we shall be feasting on, including salted beef, crab, pork belly, and crawfish. Already on the table was Papa’s Pork Rinds with relish made from cucumber, jalapeno and dill. The ever so slightly sweet relish offset the brackish rinds perfectly and had me clamouring for more while the majority of my fellow guests were sipping on the welcome cocktails.
As well as a feast of the stomach, in between courses we were treated to feasts of the ears and eyes. First up, a New Orleans Blues and Jazz band had me tapping my foot and clicking my fingers like a man possessed- the party had truly started. This was swiftly followed by my favourite course, soft shell crab sliders inventively presented on a voodoo doll. The batter was just the right consistency to give a satisfying crunch with every bite and worked well with the garlic mayo sauce.
It would have been hard to top the burger, but the appearance of the Voodoo Queen / burlesque dancer left me open mouthed (with still a bit of crab in there might I add). She seductively went from table to table revealing more and more flesh along the way, using her feminine charms to entice all the men (and many of the females) into her honey trap; if I had known this is what New Orleans is all about, I’d have booked my ticket long ago!
After cooling down, I was ready for a couple more courses; buttermilk fried turkey followed by some good ol’ Southern ‘grits’, with pork belly, crawfish and bourbon. These are the dishes from the Deep South that I’m more familiar with and was as good as anything I’ve tried in any American grill.
They definitely saved the best till last as we were transported to Marie Laveau’s lair- however I won’t ruin the surprise as what happens in the naughty madam’s lair most definitely stays in the madam’s lair.
After all the mischief and our stomachs filled, we went back into Roxx for an after party fuelled by Rock ‘n’ Roll, table dancing, and plenty of cocktails. We were offered a night of raucous debauchery and that’s exactly what we got. Warning: if you are squeamish, Voodoo Blues is not for you; but if you’re up for an unusual menu and plenty of frolics, it’s well worth the price.
Voodoo Blues takes place every Friday for 6 weeks starting 4th April. Tickets are priced at £55 for all entertainment, welcome cocktail, 7 course meal, and entry into the club. There is also a 3 course option for £35. Available from http://www.thewanderingchef.co.uk/
Thanks to Amathus Drinks for providing the cocktails on the evening.
Voodoo Blues by The Wandering Chef, Roxx Club, 4 Winsley St, W1W 8HF