In a move that takes the attributes of colouring in a dietary direction, Soho restaurant Chotto Matte has introduced a chromotherapy menu where each dish and cocktail is given its own impactful hue.
But what is this chromotherapy concept: a rainbow meal designed to beat the January blues? Not exactly, but the idea is definitely in the alternative medicine camp, although at least it’s something different to another Veganuary menu.
The restaurant, which specialises in Nikkei cuisine – a combination of Japanese and Peruvian food – says executive chef Jordan Sclare has created the menu to lift spirits using the healing power of different colours and ingredients.
While the science of the chromotherapy is questionable, £1 from every bill throughout the campaign will be donated to support the charity Mind.
So what can people tuck into on this menu if they want to taste the rainbow?
The meal starts with hake and turmeric accompanied by a vibrant Peruvian corn sauce and paired with a Flor de Manzana Pansy cocktail. As you may have guessed, this dish is predominantly yellow, a colour that represents intellect, creativity and personal power.
Moving on to red is a plate of beef tataki served with pomegranate and red pepper ponzu, which the restaurant claims will increase stamina and vitality.
For green (said to invoke balance, harmony and nature), a warming Japanese rice hotpot with edamame, spinach and feta will be served alongside a yuzu martini with basil leaf.
To finish there’s the violet dessert of acai sorbet and yoghurt with violet crystals and a violet powder pisco sour, which aims to stimulate imagination, intuition and meditation.
The chromotherapy menu will be available at Chotto Motto until the end of March, but for those who don’t fancy a sit-down meal, Chotto Matte has also collaborated with Island Poké on a limited-edition Rainbow Bowl. Combining all the of the wheel, it’s made up of red jalapeno sea bass ceviche, den miso padron peppers, yuzu mayo, burnt corn salsa, fresh mango salsa and crispy Peruvian corn kernels.
Every purchase of the Rainbow Bowl at Island Poké will also see 25p donated to Mind in support of its #blueanyday campaign, as a reminder that depression and anxiety can happen on any day, not just Monday.
So is Sparkie tickled pink by this idea?
There is no scientific evidence for chromotherapy to be effective in treating any illness despite attempts to link it to the formation of particles at the sub-molecular level. That being said, there are no shortage of myths and legends about variations on this type of healing dating back to 2000BC and beyond in Egypt, Greece, China and India.
In terms of getting consumers through the door, people do seem to buy into this, and the weirdness will be enough to develop some attention I think. Alongside this, I am guessing the food will be pretty if nothing else, allowing for draw from those looking to take a good picture for Instagram.
Long term, though, this is undoubtedly a fad. I wouldn't consider setting up something as expensive as a restaurant based on this concept without a backup plan.