A murder mystery dining experience
*Stop Press – this production is currently closed due to health and safety precautions concerning Covid19
The Troubadour Wembley Park’s in-house restaurant Studio 5ive is the setting for Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup! – a fun evening combining a comedy murder mystery with a three-course dinner and drinks.
From the moment we arrived at the restaurant, the service was friendly and helpful. We were greeted warmly and led to our table close to the grand piano, which would be the focal point of the night’s unfolding theatrical events.
The murderous events take place in 1946, the premise being the return to the stage by prima donna, the Marchioness du Jour. The mood was set with background music from the 1940s as we looked for clues in the programme for the Marchioness’s performance over drinks. Murder-themed cocktails are available, including a Cluedo-club and Murder-tini.
We never do get to hear the Marchioness du Jour sing as she is promptly murdered off stage. Over the course of dinner, we are all led by detective Susan Gusset (played with verve by Robyn Grant) in trying to unmask the killer before the coffee is served. The suspects are all comic versions of murder mystery stereotypes: the vicar, the medium, the Italian gigolo. Francesca Fenech does a great job playing the piano throughout while in character as the Marchioness’s put-upon accompanist Scarlet Bag. Expect lots of songs and jokes between revelations about the suspects.
Before the meal and between courses, cast members interact with guests, always staying completely in character. We were all presented with a dossier including information about the suspects and clues. There is also a set of riddles to solve, which will prove vital in solving the case later on.
During gaps in the murderous goings-on, guests are served a three-course meal. From the starter menu, my dining companion chose the pulled pork arancini. The pickled fennel served alongside was a good addition. I opted for the heritage beetroot, which came in a generous portion with two types of beetroot, lambs lettuce, lightly candied hazelnuts and goat’s curd – always a winning combination for me. For vegetarian and vegan diners there’s a roasted squash soup.
For my main course, I had the whole roasted seabass. It was well cooked and tender and I enjoyed the addition of capers, finely chopped shallots and a herb salad including fresh mint. My friend opted for the beef cheek which came with roasted carrots and parsnip puree and a rich gravy. She found the meat tender and full of flavour. The vegetarian/vegan option is mushroom wellington.
Every table was served with a dish of sides to share. Buttery charlotte potatoes, roasted cauliflower and braised peas and lettuce complemented both of our mains well. It’s always nice to receive such a hearty and healthy amount of veg with a restaurant meal.
There is definitely a touch of the school dinner in the pudding menu, though thankfully far better executed than in my day. I was torn between the bread and butter pudding and the chocolate brownie fudge sundae (not something that was ever served at my school). I’d been craving a sundae for a while so chose the latter. Served with a jug of hot chocolate sauce, this was the highlight of my meal. It was dauntingly large but delicious enough for me to finish. My friend went for the jelly and ice cream. It was a very grown-up version of the childhood dessert, a ring of jelly studded with strawberries surrounding a scoop of good lemon ice cream.
Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup! is not for the serious amateur sleuth, expecting to decode difficult clues and interview suspects in incident rooms as one might expect on a dedicated murder mystery weekend. Instead, it’s a light-hearted evening of comedy and music and a little bit of murder thrown in all performed with gusto.
Waiter, There’s a Murder in my Soup! is on until 29 March 2020
Studio 5ive at Troubadour Wembley Park Theatre
3 Fulton Road, London, HA9 0SP
Box Office: 0844 815 4865