There’s no doubt that on-screen food moments can really stimulate an appetite. If the hype around Oscar-winning film Parasite and its now-popular Ram-don noodle dish is any indication, we Singaporeans are pretty much game for any movie-inspired nosh.
And leveraging on that fact is Cookyn Inc, with an unconventional and delicious movie-dinner concept—the 5D Film and Dining Experience. Nearly every month, the cooking studio plays host to these dinner affairs within their premises at HomeTeamNS Balestier, where a food-centric flick is screened, all while the dishes shown in the movie are replicated and served.
It isn’t an overtly complicated concept or process, but the execution is actually tougher than it seems. From the theatre ambience set-up to the navigation by servers in the dark, everything is to be taken into consideration for an enjoyable experience on the audience’s end.
“El Jefe” 5D Dining Experience
Pasta Aglio e Olio; as seen in Chef (2014) Credit: SG Magazine
Cookyn’s unique movie-and-a-dinner idea would probably be best exemplified by their signature “El Jefe” 5D Dining Experience, which offers a six-course menu worked around the movie Chef (2014), starring Jon Favreau, John Leguizamo and Sofía Vergara. It’s one that resonates deeply with the local cooking crew thanks to the plot, which follows a celebrity chef who loses his place in the restaurant business before going on the road to sell his signature dishes via a food truck. Like the dining experience, it’s charming and it works.
After dimming the lights down low, the movie begins. Not all dishes in the film are recreated, especially when there are a huge number of them. But most of the dishes which extend meaning to the show are. For Chef, diners are first treated to Pasta Aglio e Olio, just as Jon Favreau’s character in the movie whips the dish up. The sizzling and searing sounds in the show are further amplified as the Cookyn team replicates the pasta dish on the spot, before plating and serving it. You’ll even catch whiffs of the various meals as they are prepared, since the aroma readily wafts through the studio.
The movie also featured a New Orleans breakfast favourite, beignets. Credit: SG Magazine
With so many film dishes to choose from, Cookyn also formulates a proper dinner menu. As such, some items (usually desserts) are only presented at the end instead of the exact moment it’s shown on-screen.
But also be sure to keep your eyes peeled for cool touches which are actually nods to the screening. We won’t divulge spoilers, but the venue will be furnished with details that are references to the movies, so try and see if you can spot any.
Jimami Tofu 5D Film and Dining Experience at the Singapore Food Festival 2019 (Credit: Colossal Pro)
Though a signature, Chef isn’t the only flick Cookyn has built their dining extravaganza around. At the Singapore Food Festival last year, Cookyn teamed up with the people behind Jimami Tofu to produce a feast as seen in the 2017 Singaporean-Japanese drama. The filmmakers even made appearances to discuss the movie and partake in the experience.
The ticket prices to the experiences vary accordingly too, as it’s based on the film and accompanying menu. For Chef, tickets go for $68, which we’d say is a bargain. With that amount, what you’re getting is a show, tasty nosh, ambience, service, and so much more. Plus, the entire dinner affair is certainly a conversation starter.
As for future screenings, expect the return of Jimami Tofu this April, and Julie & Julia for May, lined-up just in time for Mother’s Day. But Cookyn is also looking much farther ahead. This October, aka the month of Halloween, they’ve got some tricks up their sleeves—though it’s mum’s the word for now. So head down for their upcoming shows first, we promise you won’t be disappointed with the experience they’ve got on lock.
More information about Cookyn Inc and their 5D film and dining experience here.