‘So we cool?’ ‘Yeah, we cool.’ | Pulp Fiction At The Gaucho Film Club
‘Hamburgers: the cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast.’ I couldn’t agree more with Jules Winnfield’s words of wisdom, I even have the t-shirt to prove it. When we stumbled across a themed menu whose first item was a Big Kahunu Burger, we just knew this wasn’t going to be your usual run-of-the-mill Saturday afternoon.
As if you hadn’t guessed this was a Pulp Fiction themed event, the latest from The Gaucho Film Club. Now, Pulp Fiction is simply amazing and even 22 years after its release it is still Quentin Tarantino‘s best and possibly most quoted movies (yes, it was released in 1994, I couldn’t believe it either). So what can Gaucho do to improve on this?
Well, these are screenings with a twist, the twist being all of the films will be interactive. Don’t panic you’re not expected to ‘pop a cap’ in some gangster’s ass, do a dance like Mia Wallace or snort a couple of lines (well not quite). You are given the opportunity to immerse yourself within the film in the gastronomic sense, if it’s on the screen, it’s on your plate or in your glass.
We rocked up a little late in true hit-man style (eat your hearts out Vincent and Jules – not) and stepped in to a cosy, darkened room with candles twinkling and reflecting in the chrome with tables positioned in a slight arc around a central screen. Gaucho had been transformed, it was more like a decadent private screening room in some A-listers mansion than a restaurant. The only reminders were Gaucho’s signature cowhide and occasional flashes of fire from the grill tucked away at the back.
So after a quick introduction and a warning NOT to actually snort one of the courses the film began. Cue title music and opening scene. I’ll quickly run through each dish, not in too much detail, the menu will obviously be different for each film they show.
Not too sure if they repeat the films. Hope they do, we were gutted that we missed the screening of Chef, Jon Favreau’s food porn vanity project – I still dream of that grilled cheese. We left the screening of this film craving the food we saw in the movie, ending up at Spuntino, it had to be somewhere that wouldn’t let us down. It takes a brave man to take on the food in Chef.
By the way the numbers in brackets are the times at which each dish/drink appears on-screen. And I’m glad they printed them, it set our eating pace as we knew just how long we had before the next item arrived.
BIG KAHUNA BURGER (14:09). Served up during what is probably the film’s most famous scene. A huge slab of ground beef topped with crispy bacon and mature cheese. Not served as rare and as dirty as we usually like but a quality burger never the less.
JAMESON WHISKY (32:15). A single measure (with or without ice) served in a heavy tumbler and with a large slice of Mia Wallace attitude. ‘I’m getting dressed. The door’s open. Come inside and make yourself a drink.’
DOUGLAS SIRK STEAK (35:26). Burnt to a crisp or bloody as hell, served with fries and peppercorn sauce. Another quality piece of meat, cooked really well with a good fatty crust. The fries were a little hit and miss. Saff wasn’t keen but I loved them (especially dipped in the peppercorn sauce).
$5 SHAKE (35:41). Served “Amos & Andy” (chocolate) or “Martin & Lewis” (vanilla). We had one of each, I preferred the sweet and creamy vanilla and Saff the rich, slightly nutty, chocolate shake. ‘That’s a pretty f___ing good milkshake. I don’t know if it’s worth five dollars but it’s pretty f___ing good.’
CEREAL BOX (popcorn) (52:59). Basically a box of salted popcorn, a time filler. I think they missed a trick here and could have served some actual American cereal or Milk and Frosties, like do for brunch at Dirty Bones.
ADRENALINE SHOT (58:10). Really liked this bit, very clever. First four lines of white powder (sherbet) with a straw were brought to the table. Shortly followed by a syringe filled with a sweet strawberry purée, genius. ‘I’ve never had to give an adrenalin shot before! I don’t go joy-poppin’ with bubble-gummers! My friends can handle their highs!’
BLUEBERRY PIE (01:20:00). Now we were starting to get full but we still managed to polish off this big ol’ portion of puff pastry lattice pie with a big dollop of cream. ‘After that, I’m going to have a slice of pie.’ ‘Pie for breakfast?’ ‘Any time of the day is a good time for pie. Blueberry pie.’
PANCAKES (02:08:00). To be honest this was a dish too much. Maybe they should have kept it simple and served up a small stack of American style buttermilk pancakes with maple syrup (and maybe crispy bacon, mmm, bacon…)
That was that. One thing I was glad of was that they didn’t serve coffee every time it appeared on-screen, we would have been awake for days. We loved the film, the food and, above all, the concept – so clever and so much fun. A little word of warning, any additional drinks are put on a separate tab. We ordered tap water but were given still and at £4.50 a bottle, we thought it way overpriced especially as the rest of the meal was a much more reasonable £55 per head.
Next up is an interactive screening of Skyfall on March 5th from 12.00-2.30pm at their Charlotte Street branch. I’m very curious to how this will translate, I don’t remember food playing much of a role in the film. In fact I don’t remember James Bond ever eating much at all. But if it is anything like the Pulp Fiction event then you won’t be disappointed.
I think it would be fitting for Vincent and Jules to have the last word (and aptly the very last words of the film). ‘I think we should be leaving now.’ ‘Yeah, that’s probably a good idea.’
We ate as guests of Gaucho, this does not affect our review in any way. We always write with complete honesty.