With a new wave of modern restaurants taking over the London culinary scene, food has become less of a meal and more of an experience. Food culture has steered away from traditional steak and jus, and has become a stage show filled with culinary foam, dry-ice filled cocktails and new takes on a classic bisque.
At the forefront of the London restaurant scene, Sketch has been all the rage. Found in the heart of central London, the restaurant takes food and reinvented it with quirky techniques. From the second you enter the building, you’re greeted with a hopscotch drawing that leads you to a room filled with pink chairs and illustrations; It is a child’s dream tailored for adults.
But is it still dining? The finest of dining perhaps. With Sketch’s grand decor and delicious food, this restaurant combines art and experience in a cohesive manner. David Shrigley, Turner Prize nominated and Fourth Plinth commissioned artist pushes the boundaries of art and experience. Throughout the dining room, there are 239 illustrations on the walls as an ode to Shrigley’s humour.
Dining at Sketch is not just about dinner, it is an experience of Michelin star food, combined with art and modern decor. The best part of this quirky restaurant is the ceramic tableware. On every plate there is a phrase hidden under the food that can only be found if you lick your plate clean, one of them was “an empty plate.” Other plates have illustrations of famous roads in central London, and teacups that have the phrase “forget about it” inside the cup.
As if the gallery room and entrance hallway wasn’t enough, Sketch is more famously known for their futuristic pod like bathrooms. Located in a room full of colourful lights these massive eggs are a different way to use the loo for sure.
The food however, was the star of the show. For an appetizer, I had the Chantilly Lace which was black rice, basmati rice, red pepper and wasabi in a lobster bisque. It was divine. The bisque was drizzled on table side as I tried to contain my excitement. For dinner, I had the wild-sea bass, poached in a scented butter and it was both succulent and flavourful. Every bite of the fish had me going, ‘oh my god’ so much, it stirred the curiosity of the table next to me. Although the serving sizes seemed to be small, they were perfect for a person with a moderate appetite.
There were still notes of art throughout all of the dishes which were visually stunning, yet quirky with different illustrations on it.
The only problem with this restaurant is the price. There is a wide choice of food, the average customer spends about £50 without service charge. So you really need to ask yourself, am I paying for the food or am I paying for an experience that I can not get at another restaurant? The truth is, it’s always going to be the latter. However, when visiting a two Michelin star restaurant, do you really except it to be cheap?
For an occasion, it’s certainly worth the splurge. Where else are you going to find a futuristic pod to pee in, a crazy jungle theme, a hopscotch drawing and a pink room full of bad jokes? I certainly only know one place.
Words: Tooba Haq | Subbing: Melina Zachariou