A good meal is about far more than just food, and Post Dining recognises this. Created in partnership by a dietician and an events co-ordinator, it combines food with music, performance art, literature and a healthy dose of absurdity.
As we enter, a tasting board lays on the table in front of us and servers dangle grapes in front of our faces. If we attempt to grab them, they are pulled out of reach and for much of the evening there’s a sense that we’re playing a game but don’t know the rules.
Next, milled ingredients including strawberry gum and anise myrtle are placed before us. They seem ready to be made into teas but this never transpires and instead we’re asked to write down memories evoked by these aromas. That the reading preceding this course comes from Emily Dickinson rather than Proust merely deepens the mystery.
This year’s Post Dining event apparently draws inspiration from the Australia 2050 project, though it’s hard to see how. The four courses are named after common themes in stories of the future – Growth, Restraint, Catastrophe and Transformation, but the nature of these links is mysterious indeed, and the clearest link to the future seems to be the use of native ingredients and insects.
These are showcased individually, so it’s a wonderful way to taste fashionable natives like finger lime, green ants and river mint, even if there’s no explanation of what we’re eating during the event.
Post Dining is all about interaction – with our fellow guests, as well as the food – which is fortunate as some of the courses are not appropriate for all dietary requirements. Our vegan tablemate was dismayed to read “this course is not your course” at one point, but the food is just one part of the experience.
As the evening progresses, each new surprise pushes the conversation into unexpected places and it makes for a memorable evening, one that prioritises anticipation over satiation.
Post Dining was reviewed at the Market Kitchen on Saturday, March 4 and will have another sold out session on Friday, March 10.