We were seated at our table for two and knew something weird would be in store! I mean, when you get a blindfold, a silly clown nose and a roll of toilet paper, you know something fun is afoot!
We also got presented with a menu, which I asked him to sign later...and he did! Most of the pages within the menu were loaded with wine and cocktail selections, but the first page gave some insight into what would be in store for us. And, yes, he's very kind...I'm definitely more weird than gorgeous.
Bob Blumer started off the dinner welcoming us, and then showed us a few clips from his show.
This first course was called "Monkey See, Monkey Do". Hmm...since we are eating Chicken Karaage, I wasn't quite sure of the connection. To be honest, the Karaage was amazingly crispy on the outside and really juicy on the inside. The Soy Ginger dipping sauce was a great accompaniment to this dish. I didn't get the "monkey" aspect of this at all. But then, as the screen came to life behind Bob, I got it.
The first segment featured a group of monkey waiters trained to serve beers in a restaurant in Japan. Thus, Bob dressed up as a monkey to serve up the beer to accompany the karaage. Seriously, this is an offence to bartenders everywhere, but if I can tip in bananas, I'm sold!
So the next dish we got was called "The Blind Feeding the Blind"...FeeDing...not FeeLing! I took about 4 shots, while blindfolded (thus the Blind), and this was the best of the bunch. On the plate are three items and being left handed, I always start from the left. So what we have there is a Spanish avoblanco - cold soup with almond, garlic, vinegar & evoo. Since I was blindfolded, I actually dipped my finger into the soup before realizing what it was.
While were were all trying to navigate the dish, Bob calmed us all down and asked us to grab the crouton. After a few seconds while we fumbled for the crostini, he asked us to all break it in half together. And wow...the sound of 40-50 pieces of crunchy bread being broken in a relatively silent room is deafening! Then it was onto the spoons. One was the Serrano Ham Croquette and the other was a Black Cod Croquette with Butter. Both were breaded lightly and had a great mouth feel, but to be honest, I couldn't tell what the protein were in each. Try doing this next time you have dinner at home and see how well you do!
I know, this picture is disturbing. And the title of this course isn't going to make it better "Ling Cod a la John". Yes, John...as in toilet. We were served a sauce in a generic white toilet. The concept is from Taipei's Modern Toilet restaurant, where most foods are served in a commode, urinal or toilet. The fact that it was a tomato-based sauce, with some lumps of veggies didn't help with the aesthetic. So Bob scoops the sauce out of the bowl, passes it to a staff from the Waldorf, who then adds....
Two pieces of gently pan-fried ling cod to the top. This was really good, the fish was flaky and the sauce had just enough heat to satisfy. It's made with tomatoes, olives and some peppers. I enjoyed the fish more than than the sauce, but I'm not sure how much the presentation affected my thinking.
But don't worry, if it gets a little messy, no worries, that's what the roll of toilet paper is for!
We ended dinner with"Glazed and Confused", featuring the doughnuts with a maple syrup glaze, and topped with a bacon caramelized topping. These were inspired by Voodoo Doughnut in Portland, but they aren't really doughnuts...more like heavy madeleines, and the glaze was less bacony than syrupy. Given the denseness of this dish and the slightly less than promised bacon flavour, this was my least favourite of the night. However, I wouldn't have skipped this event for anything. I was served beer by a monkey (aka Bob), ate blindfolded and out of a toilet while wearing a clown nose, all in one night. That's not likely to be topped anytime soon!
And to top it all off, I got a pic with one of my favourite Food Network stars!