There are times when you decide to go out for a meal, that you feel the need to do something different, go somewhere different and eat from a different menu. But where you go to find that ‘different’ element seems to be knowledge that only a few people are in possession of. If you are in need of a different kind of dining experience and are luckily enough to find yourself in London, well then, you are spoilt for choice. Here are just a few of the more unusual places to enjoy dinner.
The Wapping Project
Dining goes industrial here as the restaurant is actually an abandoned hydraulic power station. There is nothing plush, nothing fancy and definitely no soft furnishings in this establishment. It looks as though it could be a municipal dining hall from some old Russian film real. Yet, this is a fabulous place to go for a Sunday brunch, and while you are there you could also get the chance to take in a unique art installation as there is a small, and somewhat spooky exhibition space at the back of the restaurant. The Wapping Project is located only a short walk from Tower Bride on Wapping High Street.
La Bodega Negra
If you are really looking for something different you will need to get your nerve up before you even get through the doors to eat here. Firstly you will need to head to Old Compton Street which should be easy enough. Secondly, and this is where the cold sweats might start; you need to look for what looks like a really seedy and dirty sex shop. Put it this way, the entrance looks so authentic that you could be forgiven for backing out of actually entering the establishment. If you do make it through the doors you will find yourself face to face with a cabinet filled with erotic paraphernalia – don’t back out now! You do need a reservation to dine here, so look for a man with a clipboard, announce yourself and he will escort you down to the restaurant, something of a candlelit cavern filled with people as brave as you are.
If opera is your thing, or middle eastern cuisine then you should head for Sarasto. Located on Drury Lane you will find in house belly dancers and live opera performances as you eat. This is a restaurant filled with theatre and colour. Once inside you will experience the ‘tardis effect’ and wonder just how they managed to stuff enough furniture to fill three restaurants into the space.
Circus does ‘different’ by the bucket load. The menu is pan-Asian and in between courses you can watch the acrobats suspended from the ceiling do their thing, keep a safe distance from the fire eaters and instinctively feel the need to steady your glass as performers leap over your tables. By the end of your night you too will be up on the tables and in the mood for fun. Forget the food (which is good) and enjoy ‘different’.