*I was invited to The Paint Republic for review purposes through Love Pop Ups London. Although my meal was gifted, all thoughts and words are my own.
Masterchef is one of my favourite programmes. I love all the variations of it. The original is my favourite but I can’t bear to miss a celebrity or professionals version either. So, when I was invited down to Pedley Street Station to try Jane Devonshire’s menu I was over the moon. Just in case you aren’t up on your Masterchef knowledge, Jane was 2016 Masterchef champion.
The four-course feast was served in the dining cart of The Murder Express whilst we were whisked away through the countryside to our final destination of Murder. We started with the most delicious amuse bouche of edamame bean bruschetta with tomato concasse, chilli oil and pea shoots. I could have cleared the plate of all four of these. They were so lovely.
I was also blown away by the starter of roasted garam masala cauliflower with flavours of onion, puffed quinoa and herb oil. This was the course I was most unsure about. I’m not a huge cauliflower fan but the taste was fantastic.
For main course I had lamb three ways with harissa in rich olive and tomato source. This was a little on the salty side for me so I couldn’t finish it. Although, that could be my pregnancy tastebuds going a little bit crackers. I’ve been smelling and tasting things really strongly recently so it could have been down to that.
Finally, we had apricot and ginger polenta cake with brandy snaps and apricot and ginger ice cream. Now, I haven’t had a brandy snap in years and I could have eaten about fourteen of these, it was so good. The cake was moist and the ice cream was lovely and refreshing too. A perfect end to a delicious meal.
Although, if there is one thing that’s going to disrupt a lovely meal with your friends and travelling companions it’s going to be a murder! The lovely gentleman from the east-end that sat next to me for part of the journey was taken ill and died. In fact, he was seemingly poisoned!
I’ve never been to a murder mystery before so I wasn’t sure exactly what to expect but as with other immersive dining experiences I’ve had (Faculty of Eatucation and The Grand Expedition) I thoroughly enjoyed it. The story was fun and the setting was magnificent. My only negative point would be that it felt a little rushed. I’d have rather had a little more time on the train to interact with the wonderful players and enjoy my meal than spend it in the railside bar at Pedley Street Station.
All in all, though, I had a fantastic evening. If I’ve managed to whet your appetite with the details of the amazing menu by Jane Devonshire, I have to send you my deepest apologies, as she is no longer in charge of the dining cart on this adventure anymore.
Not only has the menu been updated and taken over by Masterchef: The Professionals 2018 winner, Laurance Henry the whole story has been updated too. I’d very much recommend it to anyone looking for a new twist on a dining experience and a good fun one to start with if you fancy dipping your toe into the wonderful world of immersive dining.