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Banquet of Hoshena: Immersive Dining Experience, Shepherd’s Bush

What happened when we were transported to the weird and wonderful world of Hoshena?

Theatre meets food at Hoshena, an imaginary land with a story line of kings and queens and strange events that link to each course, both food and drink.

Truly an illusionary feast for the senses, if you want something completely different this is for you. Though the show is mystical, Westfield Shepherd’s Bush is less so. But once you enter the pop-up restaurant all thoughts of the exterior setting are forgotten: when the show starts you are immediately transported to a bizarre, surreal and rather wonderful world.

The mannequin next to you suddenly comes alive, talking with gleaming lips and changing expressions; fairies and animals are reflected across the table; hands and arms become patchworks of changing colours and shapes; the plates become talking faces with life like expressions. This is the highlight of the visual effects. Mine had a bad French accent - perfect.

Banquet of Hoshena immersive dining experience review

Each dish comes with a flourish. The starter, a delicious vegetable disc comes on a spinning plate with steam surrounding it; an illusion of volcanoes and flames come with juicy, spicy chilli and chicken in a charred burger bun; steam creating the illusion of ‘fog’ surrounds the perfectly delicate fish dish, reflecting sadness and nostalgia as part of the storyline. Props are given out at points which increase the level of spectacle even further: think dice to throw into the lentil soup which then burst into sparkling, flashing lights in the dish.

Each course also came with a themed drink - mostly good strong cocktails relating to the evolving Tolkien-like plot - with effects including shimmering lighting and spinning steam. The food and drink are both of a high quality, although the effects and storyline are so spectacular that you won’t be over-concentrating on the culinary details. Gladly, the service was as excellent as it has to be for the evening to work fluidly, it being after all effectively a theatre production.

Hoshena is already big in Germany and Dubai. To fully make its mark in London, the show would do better to find a more central location, like Soho or Shoreditch, but the whole experience is the absolute definition of weird and wonderful. You will not fail to have an evening filled with fun.

Banquet of Hoshena is at Westfield, Shepherd's Bush, until 7 August
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