Plunging into our table top plant pots, we weren’t sure what to expect from this gastronomic foray into the unknown.
Living Room has turned the gastro bar menu on its head by creating a more unique dining experience.
Our plant pot crudite (£6) was made to look like something pretty you’d find at the bottom of the garden but was actually filled with goats cheese, pickled baby vegetables and sprinkled with shaved olives to look like compost.
The vegetables had the perfect crunch and were complemented well by the lightest goats cheese I think I’ve ever tasted.
It’s meant as an appetizer or you can eat it Tapas-style with other delicacies from the new grazer menu. We chose to do the latter and ordered four of the grazers, part of the new British fusion menu which takes well-loved British classics and splices them with exotic and unusual flavours from the far-flung corners of the world. The results include Bury black pudding “donuts” and sushi-inspired slider burgers, while flavours such as wasabi and harissa give many of its dishes a distinctively exotic twist.
As with our plant pot, the theatrical presentation continued with our salmon, tuna and Welsh seabass sashimi grazer (£15). For lovers of raw fish, this is perfection in a tin – the dish is served in novelty mock sardine cans which are stuffed to the gills with a blend of the various sashimi.
The Vietnamese spring rolls are one of the cheaper grazers at £5. They came on an ever-so-trendy slate plate and you get three for your pennies that are a refreshing blend of raw vegetables which we dunked into a rich peanut or chilli sauce.
Last, and certainly not least, we got our chops around the scallop taster (£10).
Each of the three fishy treats came in its own pot and was encased in its own mouth-watering sauce.
They’re designed to eat in order of Thai bisque; wakame, sesame and soy salad and a scallop ceviche - one to appetise the palate, one as a main meal, and one as a refreshing finish.
The dénouement dish - the ceviche - had to be my favourite. I’ve never tried raw scallop before but this was divine and practically melted in my mouth.
For those after a bigger bite there are larger individual dishes to choose from on this seasonal menu including Gressingham chicken breast; roast monkfish and fried duck egg with asparagus starting at £13.
The new menu for spring has been designed to give people eating out more of an experience and what an experience it was.
For a chain venue - which are often home to ordinary food - this was something extraordinary.