Feast of Five Senses

Swans

Bolts of lightning, drums of thunder, spatter of rain. Black curtains open up leading to a dark room lit only by a dim candle light. The guests enter one by one, holding the invitations that promise all the five senses – vision, hearing, taste, touch and smell – to be enhanced. A secret dinner party is hosted in One Two Bar tonight by the culinary alchemist trio who call themselves Organoleptikai (The Organolepticians).

Quiet music playing in the background wooes to take a few more steps down. Some of those feet feel more confident. That’s the ones which are regular visitors of this hidden bar or who were present here during the previous pop-up dinner party. The rest with a bit of a doubt, but all equally curious.

Breathe in. The scent of leather book covers and burnt firewood. A whiff of perfume of a mysterious stranger hiding their face in the shadow.

It must be the darkness or the anticipation that keeps the senses sharpened and makes all heads instinctively turn towards a calm male voice slowly emerging from the dark. It is followed by appearance of a confident master, who invites the guests to proceed further into the room.

Observe. More faces appearing from the shadows. Some friendly nods over a distance noticing familiar features and some exploring looks, trying to familiarise with the others. Hands are reaching out for the flutes of sparking, bubbles tickling the lips and the palates.

The book shelf slides open. The other space opens up where two more masters in aprons are leaning over a table in preparation for the dinner. Now the picture is getting complete with all three organoleptic brothers, who are passionate about analysing and combining the flavours of food and other substances. They are here to share this passion with their guests. For one night only.

Mysterious lady swans from big paintings on the wall are gazing at the set table. It seems everybody are getting more and more comfortable with the theatrical atmosphere and the surrounding company.

Feel. The firmness of a handshake or the softness of a hand when making introductions to the newly settled in neighbours of the night.

The entree arrives. Bretagne oyster with lemon pearl, halibut tartare with caper leaves and basil and snail caviar on flower petals. Taste sensation almost comes first only from seeing the artistic arrangement on the plate. Could there be any better topic for a conversation?

Oyster and tartare

Bretagne oyster with halibut tartare

The next comes caramelised carrot soup with scallops, sunflower sprouts and coconut air. Creamy sweetness of the soup, tenderness of scallops, fragrance of coconut and crunchyness of the sprouts. The combination of flavours and textures is for the winner. Silent oohs and aahs can be heard every now and again from the different sides of the table.

The conversations pick up at where they were left only to be postponed for a while.

Listen. Passionately recited Shakespeare poetry sounds different in this environment. Oaky flavour of Aragon Chardonnay infused with verses lingers in ones mouth.

Carrot soup

Creamy carrot soup with scallops

Bamboo leave, apple, rosemary and mint granita is served before the mains. Maybe a tad too sweet for a palate cleanser between the meals, but pleasant coolness and even more pleasant conversations about gourmet experiences, discoveries and trips leave everything else in the background.

The main meal arrives. Beef tenderloin with asparagus, poached cherry tomatoes and sweet potato, white truffle and sea-buckthorn puree. Pleasant heat is radiating from warmed up plates. The meat is juicy due to corning it for a week, with not too much of extra flavours. You almost start wishing it had some more of a character to it,  but then the fork reaches out for the puree.

Taste. The sensation of flavour rolls down the palate and when you lift your eyes from the plate, you meet the looks of others with reflections of shared foodie euphoria. All accompanied with a glass of Monastrel. Perfection.

Beef tenderloin

Beef tenderloin

Blow torch flames spark up in the hands of the chefs. The aroma of caramelised sugar starts hovering in the air. The story of the signature dessert of The Organoleptics – crème brûlée – is being told just to increase the anticipation of it. Who would have imagined you can make crème brûlée while travelling across Europe, carrying the backpack full of ramekins of freshly baked goodness and treating people to it along the way. Warm smiles on the faces of the guests. Late Harvest Semillon is suggested for the finishing touch of the dinner before the spoons start cracking the sugar crust of the dessert.

The Organoleptic Brothers

Crème brûlée in the making

The chefs come up to the guests to thank everybody for attending. Warm applause and compliments. Friendly pats on the back and hand shakes. Chatting to the new friends and mingling with the old ones. All knowing that they would meet again soon. If not here, then in some other secret dinner party, where they’d sit at the table savouring the moment and not wanting to get up.

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Food photo credits: Martyna Jovaišaitė

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