ELLE Review: The Karl Experience

Spoilers ahead. If you want Singapore’s latest pop-up dinner to remain a secret, stop right here

First things first: If you’re shy, super critical or a serious foodie (or just plain serious) — this theatrical dining event isn’t for you. After all, The Karl Experience by pop-up restaurant organisers AndSoForth is about letting your hair and guard down with the help of amateur but enthusiastic actors, and slightly expensive cocktails.

Getting to the “secret” location isn’t hard. While the website hinted that we would get clues to lead us to the place, all we received was an SMS the day before with straightforward directions. Needless to say, we cabbed it to the doorstep with no issues. The spot: A pretty cool industrial space converted into a restaurant for the experience.

This is the perfect event for those who aren’t into mooching around and making small talk before dinner - the theatre begins as soon as you step in. The fun includes a “fashion show” with surprisingly elegant costumes and clever use of lights, but Karl Lagerfeld fans should note that the designer’s reference was barely there, save for the fact that the main character was caricatured in his likeness.

Another tip: Don’t go with friends who aren’t “on”, because the tables will be pitted against each other at some point so if your table companions aren’t up for it, they’ll be downers.

And the food? While it was posh and sounded great on paper (think courses like truffled-infused risotto with gold-dusted wild mushrooms, and slow-cooked beef cheek), the execution could have been better. Bonus points for the dessert though - a delicious chocolate mousse banana bread dish that we’d love to eat again!

Ultimately, as with most of the other pop-up events here, the delivery of the experience fell a tad short of the promise. Still, this is far more interesting than a regular old dinner. And as Lagerfeld himself once said, “Evolution is the secret for the next step.” We’re sure that’s exactly what the organisers will do.

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