Going Dotty for Chino Latino:
Chino Latino’s Art Night dinner at Park Plaza Riverbank inspired by Yayoi Kusama had us marvelling at the integration of her polka dot passion into an exclusive five-course Japanese dinner.
The award-winning Pan-Asian restaurant and Latin bar Chino Latino, located within the Park Plaza Riverbank Hotel London by Albert Embankment, celebrated being London’s Art Night official hotel partner by creating the ultimate bespoke, immersive dining experience inspired by renowned Japanese artist Yayoi Kusama, widely acknowledged as one of the most important living artists from Japan.
The entire menu was inspired by Kusama’s work, using Japanese ingredients and dishes referencing her most influential work.
Yayoi Kusama is a Japanese contemporary artist who works primarily in sculpture and installation. Her work is based in conceptual art and shows some attributes of feminism, minimalism, surrealism, pop art and abstract expressionism.
With great views of the Thames from the windows of the restaurant, which was a spectacle in itself, and live light Jazz this made the ideal setting for a relaxed but luxurious dinner.
We began with an amuse bouche of Beetroot, Yuzu Cream Cheese, Port reduction and Walnuts – inspired by Kusama’s Pumpkin (Red and White).
The first course featured a Komboucha and Yellow Pumpkin Soup. “The Love I have for Pumpkins” channelled through a Butternut Soup, almost too stunning to eat, was the best soup we’d ever eaten.
The second course was Surf and Turf Maki Roll using lobster, avocado, cucumber and sirloin referencing Black White Pumpkin and a Sea Bass Tiradito with chia seeds to represent White Infinity Nets. Excellent dishes which were as delicious to eat as they looked.
I then enjoyed Black Cod with an Aji Amarillo marinade, black garlic and yellow peppers as well as a Tomato Salad, Olive Tapenade, Miso Balsamic and Beetroot, both dishes being influenced by Pumpkin (Black and Yellow).
As usual, when there’s a set menu, the veggie man had been concerned if he’d get anything to eat! However, it only took a mention and the chef produced the most beautiful substitute dishes still in the style so he was not left out of the experience. A nest of vegetables creatively cut and arranged with the distinctive polka dots was an excellent match for my main course. This is a sign of a top class restaurant when they are able to cater to everyone’s needs without any fuss.
Alongside the tomato salad on the menu, we were served additional rice and beans to supplement the veggie dish. I’m always impressed when such simple food is made to look so beautiful and taste so good.
At the end of the meal, we were whisked up to the Executive Lounge on the 12th floor to experience an immersive dessert room with floor-to-ceiling views of the River Thames.
It was quite a surreal experience. The room was filled with polka dot umbrellas hanging from the ceiling, and spotty balloons alongside an array of colourful desserts.
It was a special touch to meet and chat with the Group Executive Chef, Werner Seebach, who together with his team created this exclusive and amazing five-course tasting menu.
We quite literally were fully immersed into the mind and works of Yayoi Kusama. We enjoyed a number of different Kusama inspired desserts such as a white chocolate egg served with strawberry dots, strawberry mushrooms, watermelon balls, ice cream spheres and macarons to represent Kusama’s Pumpkin (Red and White).
It was like being a big kid in some kind of Alice in Wonderland experience. Standing against the wall in the projected lights meant I actually became the artwork. You don’t get more immersive than that.
For those that didn’t make it to the night, the Surf and Turf Maki Roll will be available on the Chino Latino a la carte menu for the month of July.
Chino Latino is a modern Pan-Asian cuisine restaurant with a Latin cocktail bar located in Leeds, Nottingham and London. Chino Latino’s distinctive menu draws inspiration from the delicate flavours of China, South East Asia and modern Japan as well as distinctive Peruvian accents. The food is carefully complemented by a cocktail menu created by talented mixologists using only the finest and freshest ingredients and celebrating the flavours and colours of Latin America.
Park Plaza Riverbank
18 Albert Embankment
London SE1 7TJ
+44 207 769 2500
We were guests of Chino Latino.