On Good Friday, I had dinner in Wonderland.
And this is how my trip down the rabbit hole turned out.
On Thursday, my phone buzzed: “To gain entrance into Wonderland, one must be sure to wear mismatched socks, say the secret password. Long Live The Queen, Ka ka-ka! and be sure to carry your manners. Dress code: Smart Casual and avoid wearing anything white. Doors to Wonderland will open at 7.30pm and close at 7.55pm tomorrow.”
We were also given specific directions on how to get to Wonderland, which was only a short bus ride away from Toa Payoh Interchange.
More than two weeks ago, I signed up for an immersive dining experience by ANDSOFORTH. The theme was Alice in Wonderland, and it was going to be a fun, trippy fall into Wonderland – or at least, that was their pitch.
A friend had gone for an earlier run and said it was fun, so I bought tickets for the Good Friday event. It would be fun; I had not heard of an immersive dining experience before. I figured it was going to be a play-cum-dinner – you know, I could wolf my food down as the actors did their thang in front of me. Sadly, no. It wasn’t quite like that ☹️
Arriving on time at the Location, we were greeted by someone who was clearly in character from the get-go. The “experience” was on. After reciting the secret password, my date and I had to enter via the smaller Rabbit Hole entrance (Because I flouted the mismatching socks rule. Don’t break the rules, kids! Stay in school! Wear your socks!).
The dining hall was set up as a garden; we were in for a garden tea party with the Queen of Wonderland. I’d have to say that the set was really interesting: the bouquet centrepieces, the painted walls, the place settings – all really cool. We were made to sit across from other couples, and were told to INTERACT, MAKE FRIENDS WITH STRANGERS, which kinda killed me, but I had the complimentary lychee martini 🍸 in me by then, so I was good 👌🏼💯🔥👏🏼
We sat there and INTERACTED and tried not to seem like greedy pigs by eating too many of the appetisers, but dinner was only served around 8.30pm. So you know, don’t go on an empty stomach. Or just eat more of the appetisers; you certainly paid enough for them.
Before dinner started, we were introduced to Alice, the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. The actor for the Mad Hatter was good – he knew how to work the crowd, and his interactions with the crowd were very much in character. The best character though? The Frog-Footman, hands down 🙌🏼. The actor was amusing and fun to watch, especially in his interactions with the Fish-Footman.
Click on the photos for details on food
The actors were double-hatting as waiters as well. While in character, they were serving us our food, interacting with guests and each other, and entertaining us all at once. It was fun watching them, but after a while, you just want your food, you know what I mean?
It really wasn’t a play-cum-dinner. When they said it was an experience, that was really what it was – an experience. The actors would play out little skits that unfolded in front of you, but there wasn’t really a story linking all these elements together. Like an experience, the night unfolded in dribs and drabs.
They also made the diners play games. Thank fuck 🙏🏼 I was sitting towards the end, so they didn’t try to pull me out of the crowd. Having to slow dance in the middle of the room? To be serenaded? I swear I would have died otherwise.
I could tell that some of the people they pulled out weren’t too happy to be singled out. So here’s a tip, if you were going to attend an “immersive dining experience”, you better be prepared to be part of the fun.
TLDR: Food was good – I enjoyed the main and the dessert (I’m such a sucker for chocolatey treats ya know). Experience was interesting; I’m glad I signed up for it, but 8/10 would not repeat. The hefty price tag isn’t quite worth it, even for the delicious chicken. Company was 10/10 though ❤️