Splurge

The Banquet of Hoshena, Westfield London

The Banquet of Hoshena is an innovative dining concept that promises to be an illusionary feast for the senses. Guests are transported to an imaginary land where flavours and emotions are intrinsically linked and kings & queens, fairies & volcanoes come alive on the table. 

This one of a kind dining experience takes guests on a journey through a mystical land known as Hoshena. As the dinner starts and the lights dim, the queen of Hoshena tells guests of a once green and luscious kingdom that has banished bad emotions, such as anger, sadness and fear and as a result removed love, happiness and courage leaving the land bare, dark and empty. 

Ever saved a land from destroying itself while dining of five courses of decadent food and drinks? I have. An empty unit in Westfield shopping centre is the home of the Banquet of Hoshena, the latest brainchild of Nadine Beshir who also brought Dinner Time Story to life. 

Entering a room full of stark white beautifully laid tables with empty white frames and mannequin heads at the end of them I had no idea what to expect. I’ve taken part in a couple of immersive dining experiences before but these have always involved real actors (e.g. Gingerline and The Murder Express) so this was my first time with technology taking the lead and I have to say I was impressed. As soon as the lights dimmed and the show began I was blown away by the colour and precision of the projections. 

As my plate spoke to me (no really) our server removed the cover to reveal our amuse bouche of mushroom arancini magically suspended in thin air. Still warm and served with a delicious date and tamarind sauce I could have eaten half a dozen of them. 

For starter there was a (not so) spicy lentil soup which could have been more flavourful in my opinion but which was severed with flair as liquid nitrogen created a fog of fear across the table while we tucked in.

An “angry” first course of a fried chicken slider with a variety of spices to heat it up depending on your own inner anger (be warned adding a bit of everything is definitely for the brave hearted) is offset by the second main of “sadness”, a delicate cooked piece of fish sitting on cucumber, apple and lime juice sauce. While both incredibly different dishes these were my favourites of the evening.

Having rescued the people of Hoshena it’s time to celebrate love with a double chocolate dessert of gluten free and dairy free chocolate cake with a vegan chocolate sorbet. Just the right size to finish off a very decadent meal. Each course was also paired with its own perfectly matched (and very strong cocktails) which makes this an even bigger feast for the senses!

Tickets for the Banquet of Hoshena start at £85 and I do think this is a little overpriced despite how good the food was especially when comparing it to Gingerline which also has to pay the actors on top of the rest of the production. That said I do think this would be a good choice for a special occasion, perhaps an anniversary or to celebrate a promotion etc. Tickets available until the end of the summer here.

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