Saturday, 25 September 2010

Brodsky and Bizarre

Cage Performance

Cage Performance

Last night saw me at the familiar place that is the RNCM. Although it seems that much has changed since the last time I was there, but that's another story. There was Jazz and CAMRA Beer Festival on it seemed, but I don't drink beer and have mixed views about what some call Jazz, but last night's performance was no ordinary Jazz. I won't go on about this too much, as this is a food blog after all, but I'd just like to mention a few bits.
There was a performance of John Cage Uncaged, which was a performance of his Song Books. If anyone who doesn't know who I mean - yes he is the 4'33" guy. It really was a bizarre and random night, and intentionally so. Performances happened across all the RNCM's public spaces including in the middle of the coffee shop - most notably for me, the one performance of the chef cooking mushrooms which he handed out. More like a cooking demonstration than a musical performance, but that's Cage for you. All performances happened at random times, and in random orders, and the whole idea was that everyone could wander round it all, each getting a different combination and therefore experience of the night. Kind of like a bizarre interactive museum. Anyway, more about the performance here.

Towards the end of the performance The Brother and I decided to eat at the newly redeveloped Brodsky restaurant which is part of the RNCM. I saw some ongoing building work to the side of the restaurant and I believe that the plans are to be able to run the restaurant as a self-contained establishment which doesn't rely on the events at the college for opening times. Earlier in the day enquiries had been made about the gluten free dishes and it seemed there was quite a good selection.
When we arrived, the lady who seemed to be in charge presented us with a menu on which the gluten free options had been labelled. (not pictured) Excellent service!

Brodsky's main courses
The prices didn't seem to be as expensive as expected, but there was a limited choice. I think that the menu offered changes as per what type of event is running, to cater for special pre-show 3-course meals, festivals, and multiple events. I chose the Tex Mex Chicken and The Brother chose the Tuna Steak with garlic and herb butter which was on the fish bit of the menu.
Brodsky's now run table service which was efficient, and the whole lay out and decor of the room was rather pleasant. Lots of white walls, and dark fittings.
When the food arrived however, I was a little disappointed. My food was OK, nothing special at all. My chicken dish looked like it was canteen food, and maybe a big pot had been kept bubbling. It didn't really seem to be Tex Mex either. It was a "generic" tomato sauce with added peppers and chilli. The side of veg seemed not to be too fresh, although they had treated it to a knob of butter, and it wasn't overdone.

Tex Mex Chicken
The Tuna was good. I haven't really eaten much Tuna and it looked a bit overcooked to me, but according to The Brother, who has been eating lots of it recently, it was fine. I did try some and it wasn't dry, and it was quite tasty. The butter was good too, although if you look closely at the picture, you can see that they had left the cling film on! Nevermind.

Tuna Steak with Garlic and Herb Butter
I'm not sure if I was expecting too much from the new restaurant, as it does serve a college as well as the general public, but I think it could have potential. Once it has established its own identity it could be great. I may consider eating there again next time I'm up Oxford Road and at the RNCM, but this time choose something that would have been cooked fresh rather than maybe sat over a burner for a while.
I should have grabbed at the mushroom giveaway earlier to see what they were like.

Back, briefly, to the Cage thing. The night was very odd, funny, crazy and different, so that got me thinking about trying to re-create a dish which I had some time ago that produced a similar reaction in me. A few different flavours and textures that are not normally put together producing an unusual mix and a smile to the face. I'm not trying to be Heston or anything, but watch this space for something a bit different soon!

P.S. I know at least 3 readers will know who it is in the first picture - just shows how bizarre the night was really!

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