Early this week I headed down to my favourite venue in London, The Vaults, with a few friens to experience the second of th two immersive dining shows currently running there. Aladdin And The Feast Of Wonders is another show created by Darling and Edge, whose previous adult dinner panto Beauty And The Feast I absolutely loved. I also got to visit their run of Goosebumps Alive (before I started this blog) and it was one of the best immersive thins I’ve ever done! So I was really excited for this show as well, hoping they will keep to their high standards.
As usual, the show begins in the entance hall (the smaller theatre on the side at the Leake Street entrace) which is decorated lavishly with a launderette on one side, chinese signage all over the place (which my friend Jojo Explora translated for us and turned out to be random Chinese menu items), some random seemin portraits (which are indeed explained in the show), and a well stocked bar on the other end. As we arrived before 7pm, we got half price cocktails, including gogeous non-alcoholic cocktails as I mentioned previously in my Red Palace writeup, and hung out for a bit.
Once the show gets started, we find out this panto is filled with non-binary drag characters and millenial humour, brilliantly structured annd snappily presented. It’s right up our alleys an we enjoy it very much. Of course, being a dining show, the first course is served as soon as we’ve been given an overview to the plot and prepared for what’s ahead. One of the main characters, Mama (Aladdins mother who strugges keeping her chinese laundry called White Washing in business), serves us her noods, which turns out to be rice noodles with garlic, vegetables, tamarind, and sesame seed broth, and a health dose of two types of mushrooms for all my companions, but being a company that caters to all dietary needs, I got a special serving of noodles without those dreaded things. Served in a little container reminiscent of Chinese take away and very mildly spiced, it was a delicious start to a beautiful meal.
We’re also introduced to Aladdin, the not-so-bright son of Mama; priness Jizzmine, whose father recently passed away and stipulated she needs to find and marry a suitor by midnight to keep the throne; and the seemingly evil Jaclose, who is after the crown and means to steal it with the help of his magic lamp from the cave of wonders, wonders, wonders.
For the main meal, we are lead into the Palace, which is the well laid out upstairs dining room (if you’ve done dining theatre at the Vaults before you’ll know what I’m taking about) with its long tables, wobbly benches, a fully stocked bar at one end, and a small stage in the centre and at the other end.
Surrounded by the fun characters of Aladdin, Jizzmine, and Mama, as well as a late entrance from Jaclose, we are treated to a spectacle of love at first sight, audience-lead popularity contests, mistakes and missed opportunities, and of course a story of empowerment alongside a bbeautiful meal.
Starting off with A Romantic Vegetable, which consisted of coffee roasted carrots, pickled purple carrot, verbena harissa yoghurt, oat crumble, and coriander oil. Who knew coffee flavoured carrots could be so delicious! And that verbena harissa with the coriander oil, absolutely devine!
The main course, the Feast Of Wonders, featured beef or jackfruit tagine, spiced rice, shirazi salad, as well as a pinapple and mint salsa, all served in large serving dishes to share. I especially loved the pineapple and mint salsa, so refreshing and simple yet complex in flavours. They’re both flavours I absolutely love to begin with, and combined with the subtly flavoured rice, rich tagine, and fresh shirazi, it was just so good!
For dessert we were served Princess Jizzmine’s Milk, which was a rose and cardamom Mahalabia with toasted pistacios, very subtle rose flavour with a good dose of cardamom, it was a really good dessert after such a heavy and rich main course.
For the finale, we were asked to head back to the Chinese laundry, where Mama greeted us with fruit jellies, to witness how this wonderous tale would end.
I absolutely loved this show! Fantastic food, great story with lots of immersive elements, just beautifully done! Thinking of going back again while it’s still on as it’s just so good.
Six out of six rainbow sloths!