An Evening of Meat Review

Walking through the dingy vaults doorway into a darkly lit room, with mis-matched furniture, a make shift bar and overhead fairy lights suspended from what looked like barbed wire, we could immediately tell this was a bit more ‘underground’ than your usual supper club. Something with a bit of an edge. Taking pride of place in the room was a wall painted with a scantily dressed lady wearing stag’s horns, bent over with a heeled leg in the air, setting the tone for the rest of the night. I’d heard about An Evening of Meat, with a friend who had herself gone describing it as a Disappearing Dining Club meets Torture Garden. I had a bit of an idea but didn’t fully know what to expect.

We ordered our drinks and perched on a wooden box and watched as the room filled up with what really was the most eclectic mix of people, this really was for everyone. The host read our names and we were lead in our groups through a hallway lined in those split plastic sheets that you find hanging from the ceilings in butchers and meat packing shops.

Lead into an arched room with long banquet tables with girls standing on top, stood very still in South East Asian fabrics and fishnets. Central to the room, the lady who we later named ‘Boss Lady’ was positioned in a chair, eyes shut, completely still, as Massive Attacks ‘Tear Drops’ reverberated through the room. We ordered a bottle of the wine from the bar, took our place at the end of the table and perused the menu. Although the menu was obviously based around the idea of it being an evening of meat, the team had curated an excellent vegetarian menu, swapping the key meat parts for similar looking plant-based alternatives.  As the music changed the girls started to come to life. Moving from the calmness of Massive Attack and Tom York, to more heavy tracks from the likes of Gesaffelstein, I was impressed by the sound track throughout. A truly great selection of some electronic greats, their actions matched the sounds, with their own unique moves uniting through some choreographed routines as sporadic moments. Although clearly exceptionally skilled dancers, there was a kind of chaotic edge to their moves, reflecting the energies of their characters. The interaction with guests was a key part of the whole performance.

Totally unnerving, they would stare into your eyes and not say a word, sniff at your food, and occasionally lightly touch you in a way to entice you whilst completely unsettling you. Boss lady would stomp round in stilettos boots, pouring water into the girl’s mouths and pulling them back into place when they got out of line. Clearly she was their master and they her pets. One of my favourite moments throughout which left me in absolute stitches was when I fed one of the dancers a bit of my vegetarian main and she started to simulate chocking, clearly unimpressed that I had the nerve to feed her something that wasn’t meet.

Whilst the entertainment was exceptional, the food was just as noteworthy. A highly creative mix of ingredients, the 6-course tasting menu offered an array of interesting dishes which matched the uniqueness of the show. The attention paid towards the vegetarian substitutes was something I had never experienced. Instead of offering a dull replacement, the chef had obviously gone to great effort to ensure it was an accurate and delicious reflection of what everyone else was eating. Mizo glazed aubergine instead of mutton, daikon radish instead of pig cheek oyster, my personal favourite was the three-day prepared watermelon. With both the look and texture of meat and a mouth-watering taste, which luckily didn’t actually taste of meat. From start to finish, we were equally as impressed by each course that came out, and although totally stuffed, never wanted it to end.

A supper club with an edgy twist, An Evening of Meat combines great entertainment with exceptional food. It may not be somewhere to take the grandparents to, but if you’re looking for an interesting night out and some top-quality cuisine, this is totally the one.

On now until the 2nd of June, so be quick as you may just miss out on an unforgettable evening!

Tickets are £35 and can be purchased here.

Address The Vaults, Leake Street, SE1 7NN

Written by Jordan Crowley