• Roxii Hoare-Smith

House of Wallpaper – ‘Off The Wall & Onto The Plate’ Pop-up

Graham & Brown’s House of Wallpaper pop-up is open now until 4 October 2017. I visited to check out Chef Pedro Passinhas ‘Off The Wall & Onto The Plate’ 7-course tasting menu.

For London Design Festival and International Wallpaper Week, Graham & Brown challenged Chef Pedro Passinhas to create a menu inspired by Graham & Brown wallpapers. The pop-up dining experience is on the 4th floor of the pop-up House of Wallpaper immersive wallpaper exhibition located at 19 Greek St, Soho.

With it’s gorgeous pink and white floral entrance, the pop-up is pretty easy to spot. As we walked inside we were blown away by the immaculate white walls and flooring with the odd pops of colour on the walls, chairs and staircase with Graham & Brown‘s gorgeous wallpapers.

We headed up to the 4th floor where the dining area for the ‘Off The Wall & Onto The Plate’ pop-up was all set up and it was very aesthetically pleasing…

We sipped on wine (I went for a glass of Este Alvarinho – a zesty white wine with citrus and green apple flavours) and checked out the envelopes which had been left in front of us. Each person was presented with these envelopes which inside included cards, each card explaining the 7-courses, with photos of the dish or the wallpaper inspiration behind it.

First up was ‘As Light As Paper’. Chef Pedro Passinhas came to every table to explain every course and the inspiration behind it, which was a great touch to the whole experience.

‘As Light As Paper’ was a Ginger and cumin foam dish with carrot and orange granita and even an edible napkin!

Pedro’s idea was to use the paper like qualities of the ceramic ware. Then the cup used is as light as paper and feels like paper when touched. Pedro said, “I took this and decided to develop a very light mousse that would be the first “byte” the guests would experience, this also acts as a amuse bouche, palette opener for the rest of the meal. Developing also a edible napkin that would be consumed by the guest after the mousse and Granita.”

It was a truly fascinating dish. The cumin and ginger wasn’t a flavour for everyone but I was extremely impressed. The spicy kick of the cumin and ginger was cooled down by the flavoursome granita. The edible napkin was a great twist to the dish and so different to anything I had before – plus it was totally delicious. I was already impressed by Pedro’s work and knew we were in for a real treat with the following six courses.

The ‘Off The Wall & Onto The Plate’ experience is a must visit for true foodies and for those who appreciate exquisite flavours, textures and unique blends. If you are a fussy eater then this isn’t the place for you, so go in with an open mind and expect the unexpected…

Our second course was named ‘Mineral’. This dish featured Oyster aluminium, pickled oyster, horseradish cream, parsley mayonnaise, dill. This plate was inspired by the metallic, aluminium properties of the wallpaper. Pedro wanted the main feature some sort of edible aluminium “paper” – this part of the dish was made from the product you get out from when you shuck an oyster. This was actually the first time I had eaten oysters and I was so impressed by the flavours. In fact I was so impressed I ate my guests too!

Next up was ‘Scrunched Up’ which was my favourite dish of the night. This dish featured a Scallop “sheet”, slow cooked pork neck, squash puree, pickled cauliflower, almonds. It was inspired by G&B wallpaper, scrunched up, the idea was to replicate the scrunched up effect of the paper by developing the scallop “sheet” and folding it onto the plate. The plate used also has “creases” that give the whole dish the finishing touch.

I was so impressed by the thought and the detail which had gone into each dish and how every dish had so much inspiration behind it’s flavours and textures to even the way it was served.

Our fourth dish had been in front of us the whole time. The ‘Twigs’ dish was a edible crispy mushroom snack placed in a vase on the table. We were served a tasty creme fraiche dip each to enjoy with the ‘twigs’.

Pedro wanted to pay Homage to G&B’s new wallpaper of the year 2018 so he came up with the idea of serving crispy fried cracker shaped like twigs. Pedro said: “We further developed the idea by wanting this dish to be present at the table from the very beginning, when the guest sits down, camouflaged with real blossom twigs.The guest then gets asked, halfway through the meal to reach in the flower pot and snack at these edible crispy twigs.”

Our fifth course was named ‘A Walk Through The Woods’. The innovative dish featured Edible moss, celeriac bark, smoked celeriac puree and roasted quail. The smokey aromas wafted around the room as we waited excitedly to see if it tasted as good as it smelt. The dish was inspired by the floral and autumn inspired wallpapers, Pedro wanted to recreate a forest floor scene.

The quail was served pink and utterly delicious, it was complemented by the smokey flavours which were very powerful but a great addition to the dish. I loved the unique flavours of this course, it was unlike anything I had tasted before.

Our sixth course – Origami – featured Watermelon pith and orange blossom. The white pith of watermelon is used as an origami figure with an orange blossom jelly. This dish acts as the pre dessert and palate cleanser, introducing the diner to the sweeter side of the meal.

Our final course – Terra – was my second favourite. A delicious mix of Candied beetroot, compressed watermelon, goats milk yoghurt, honey, cocoa soil.

This dessert takes inspiration from a variety of different G&B wallpapers. Pedro said that from an aesthetic perspective, it draws from an earthy colour scheme. Another key element of the dish are the various textures coming together. It is creamy and light and exploding with flavour, hitting your senses intensely – a perfect end to the meal. I was so impressed by the candied beetroot – so sweet and sticky, like eating a piece of toffee.

If you’re a foodie and appreciate good food then this pop up is a must visit. The whole experience takes about 2.5-3 hours so make sure you take the time to value and savour each course.

‘Off The Wall & Onto The Plate’ is on now until 4th October 2017 at 19 Greek Street, Soho. You can make a reservation here.

Transforming a Victorian townhouse in the heart of Soho, Graham & Brown has collaborated with leading interiors and architectural specialists SHH to create The House of Wallpaper. Inspired by the family run business that dates back to 1946, SHH worked together with Graham & Brown to reinterpret elements of the Blackburn based factory: its traditional design and making processes, the wallpaper archives and the modern design methods of today. Through installations, demonstrations and visual creations, The House of Wallpaper educates visitors on the history of wallpaper design, provide an insider’s look into the creative processes and showcase the latest innovations in wallpaper design and technology.

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