“Life imitates Art” as Oscar Wilde so famously quoted in his 1889 essay “The Decay of Lying”. Well, artistic expression has certainly taken on new dimensions over the years, and most recently, in the form of art-inspired, multi-sensory cuisine. We recently sat down in the gallery space of the new Popsy Room, a little gallery tucked into the quiet, antique-filled lane of Upper Lascar Row, to experience this new form of “artistic” expression. The Popsy Room is a perspective art gallery by day and a unique dining venue at night. Founded by art aficionado, Jennifer Chung, The Popsy Room came about as a concept that merges the five senses into an artistic statement expressed through cuisine.
Food for thought: In collaboration with chef Kaze Lo, who comes from a French fine dining background, and has worked in notable kitchens such as Caprice and Cepage, the menu at The Popsy Room revolves around the interpretations of art pieces on exhibit in the gallery space. Elements that are inspired by these artworks are translated onto the plate in the form of a 9-course degustation menu ($1,388 per person), specifically designed to draw guests into a deeper cognisance with each featured exhibit. Our tasting unveiled July’s latest menu, optimistically named “A Better Tomorrow” as inspired by the creative canvases of American artist Jin Meyerson. The “New Era” amuse bouche of curried cauliflower, popcorn and purple potato was an unexpected but delicious combination, and the thick slices of “Fresh Inspirations” scallop carpaccio with lemongrass oil was a refreshing cool down from the merciless Hong Kong heat. The “Distortion” dish, modeled after the swirling patterns of Jin’s abstract media imageries, came in the form of a round duck confit ravioli nestled on a bed of nostoc flagelliforme (fat choy) and foie gras, set in a pool of effervescent, duck consommé. The tower of crispy 36-hour slow cooked pork belly rising from brushstrokes of quince puree and apple cider sauce in the “Arcology” course was beautifully seared with just the right amount of bounce, and the “Road Map” of crispy scampi with shrimp roe risotto and shellfish foam was sweet and full of umami-goodness. The “A Better Tomorrow” pistachio zen garden, dotted with panna cotta, crushed biscuit and pistachio powder, and the charcoal meringue looked like a peaceful little garden.
Verdict: Our exploratory dining experience forayed into the last frontier in the multi-sensory world of art – the sphere of taste. It was definitely a unique, and memorable experience and allowed even the most amateur art lover to grasp a deeper understanding of the artist’s interpretations. An out-of-the-box venue for gatherings, the gallery can seat up to 20 guests. A new menu is unveiled on a monthly basis to coordinate with new exhibitions, so there is always something new to look forward to.
30 Upper Lascar Row, Sheung Wan, 2234 6711