Review: Banquet of Hoshena, Westfield Shepherd's Bush

Banquet of Hoshena is a truly memorable dining experience that links intricate food with sophisticated beverages. This is an absolutely original concept and an intriguing evening out.

First we are introduced to the Queen of Hoshena who welcomes you into her kingdom. We are then treated to a fairytale-like story about the Kingdom and how it learns that acceptance and love are the key to living. In between each interlude of dialogue you have a meal and drink, totalling to five courses. While the sweet anecdote is charming, it is predictable and uninteresting. Instead, the main event is the delivery of the food (and the courses themselves).

Each course is themed to its moment in the story. When fog fills the magic kingdom, our food is served in a bowl of dry ice and our plate looks like it’s on fire when anger hits the land. These deceptions make the evening truly unique and separate it from any other meal out in London. I particularly enjoy the constant projections on the table that are utterly beautiful to observe and animated charmingly, not to mention the clever hoovering plates that our amuse-bouches are served on.

After these magical illusions, the major event of the show is the curious food. Both the vegan and meat options serve delicious food full of complex flavours and versatility. But this is somewhat inconsistent and while the amuse-bouche and main course are stunning, the other meals feel basic. My vegan dessert that replicates a big Jaffa cake is a little dry and the main bean burger is nothing special. However, the ticket itself includes the experience which is ultimately one of a kind. I would recommend that you go with an empty stomach, as you wholeheartedly get your money’s worth and enjoy big portion sizes for all five courses.

All of these meals are then matched with a specific cocktail or glass of wine, which is exquisite. These add an extra layer of complexity and are hard to resist, but be cautious as they are very strong. In the second course of fire, our spicy burger is complimented elegantly with a cool, creamy cocktail. Then for the dessert of love, our rich chocolate cake is matched with the classic scotch on the rocks. Each meal and drink is expertly thought out and the explosion of flavours in our mouths is truly magnificent. A true highlight of the evening.

Overall, Banquet of Hoshena is a fantastic dining experience, and while the actual story is uninspiring and basic, the main event is the presentation. Each course is thrilling and unique and I am excited by the magic land it takes you into.

Banquet of Hoshena is playing Westfield Shepherd’s Bush until 7 August. For more information and tickets, see the Banquet of Hoshena website.