Tomorrow sees the opening of The Lounge at ODEON Whiteleys London - a boutique take on cinema-going. Rowley Leigh will be partnering with The Lounge as Consultant Chef, developing a menu that offers a playful, grown-up take on classic film food to be ordered and enjoyed from the comfort of your seat.
The Lounge will comprise five screens, each with a maximum of 50 reclining leather seats. Each has its own call button, allowing guests to order and enjoy Rowley's menu without missing a moment of their film, while the food will be placed on tables specially designed to minimise noise.
The menu will be divided into three categories - finger, fork and spoon - for the ultimate easy in-cinema dining. In the 'finger' category are dishes such as salsify fritters with aioli, a meal of hot dog, popcorn and ice cream soda, and a hamburger 'royale' with fillet steak. The 'fork' section includes red and prawn risotto, fish and chips with gherkin, and venison chilli with beans, sour cream and onion. Desserts feature in the 'spoon' category - among them, banana split with Valrhona chocolate and vanilla bean ice cream, passion fruit cheesecake or sticky toffee pudding with custard.
Rowley Leigh is one of the founding fathers of modern British cooking. After working in some of the UK's most acclaimed kitchens, including Le Gavroche, he later went on to found Kensington Place Restaurant, before opening Le Cafe Anglais within Whiteleys in 2007.
Of his latest venture, Rowley commented, 'This is an exciting project in so many ways. By taking my food to the movies, I am just doing what I have sought to do all my professional life, which is to take gastronomy to an ever wider and younger audience.' Leigh added, 'A couple will be able to see a film in first-class surroundings whilst enjoying a fantastic meal, with waiter service and a glass of wine, for £30 to £40 per head.'
The Lounge will also offer a range of other features, including an on-site concierge desk with a dedicated cinema booking and film selection service, and a private bar area serving fine wines, champagnes, beers and cocktails.