Madeleines Madteater – an almost food performance?

Reading several very positive Danish reviews of Madeleines Madteater I was very much in doubt about how I would like this kind of entertainment comprising both a show as well as a feast of some kind. When I dine out, the food always gets my 100% attention, and I was therefore afraid that I would either be too focussed on the food to miss the performance or that the show would captivate me, so I couldn’t enjoy the meal. Reluctant as I am, I had chosen to postpone the to go or not to go-decision to an undefined future date.

My luck I happened to get the chance to join my colleagues from work to Madeleines Madteater’s Ca. Cirkus show (my photos) on the Friday evening of March 28 and authored by Mette Sia Martinussen and Nikolaj Danielsen.

It was one of those very windy and cold (but few) winter days and it was very cold in the concrete warehouse-type building to have the drink of still water which the kind and attentive staff provided each arriving guest with. Some people were giving blankets to keep them warm.

In the one end of the lounge, there was a big table-high green box decorated with plastic flowers. I wondered what was going to happen. I was actually very excited.

When everyone had arrived, 13 in total that evening, soft, delightful and melodious music quelled peoples voices and our eyes turned to the centre of the box, where a dancer dressed in a white cat-suit came up. By sliding and catty movements she waved herself up from the opening in the middle of the box and finally jumped down and sprinted towards the other end of the building.

I was mystified. What was that about?

Group by group the staff invited us to enter the huge round white dining table that resembled a circus ring and that had a hole in the middle covered with a white coating. The room was very dark and by each seat we found (only) a white serviette, a fork and a knife and some butter in a tube. We brought with us the glass for drinking water.

The music played on and while the staff speedily, but quietly supplied us with a little candle for light, a bread tree, a glass of wine, which they didn’t informed me what was, then a film was projected to the white centre and showed a pair of hands preparing the food for our dinner. Washing potatoes, frying duck breasts and things like that. There were big mirrors suspended to the ceiling and tilted, so that we could visualize what was going on in the middle of the ring.

We got the first dish of King crab as far as I remember – I didn’t take notes. We were only giving little information. In the beginning I was a bit shy to ask away, because I didn’t want to shatter the performance, and I didn’t know what was suppose to happen.

Suddenly the dinner preparation-movie stopped, and the dancer appeared again coming up from the middle of the ring and sort of wearing the white cover like a coat attached to her shoulders.

The gentle and well-suited music continued and she danced through our next three courses, the first two of them were based on fish as far as my lacking memory tells me.

I loved this first act! I enjoyed the piece of it and I felt sucked into some world I had never been before. It was exiting, surprising, innovative and entertaining in a well-paced and harmonious way. The expression of the performance happening in the centre of the ring and the food and wine we were served matched nicely and refreshingly.

Then the staff told us to withdraw to the lounge, where we would find candy floss and ice cream. Only I didn’t really get to taste it as I used the break to visit the loos, because of all the water I always swill, and when I returned there was only a nip of candy floss left for me. I believe someone told me the ice cream was made of tomato. Why would one combine candy floss and a good full-bodied beer? I still don’t get this.

We were then escorted to a set of four tables gathered like giant + and the six of us were placed facing each other which was a nice change, because it allowed us to chat. After all, the purpose was to spend time and interact with my colleagues.

The staff served us the ingredients for four dishes, in four sets, and we should prepare them ourselves. That sucked. I’m sorry. This is what I do every day at home. Why should I do that attending a show? If that was something I was looking for, I would have gone to a Korean barbecue. What performance lies there? It was definitely not very original and seemed a bit like they had ran out ideas for what to do with the second part of the play. This set really let me down and justified my fear of whether this was really my kind of entertaining my foodie heart.

All in all the food was nice with some dishes more interesting an tasty than others. I wouldn’t write about Madeleines Madteater here if the food was not okay. For the main course we drank a very nice Cote du Rhône, which they poured very generously.

We moved on again to the very end of the warehouse for tea and coffee Madeleine cakes of course and the avecs, which were not included in the price of the ticket.

I generally liked the service from the staff, because they appeared very concerned about our well-being and conscious about this being a lot of stimulation to the senses. When I asked about the food and wine they were knowledgeable about it. I missed a piece of paper, though, that I could bring home with me listing the food and wine I had consumed.

Oh, one comment about the wine. The third dished offered a Pinot Noir from overseas somewhere, and it had a stiff reek of cork to it, which no one but me had noticed. I complained and they swapped all our glasses with a new clean one.

So, would I pay another visit to Madelaines Madteater? I think I’ll remain reluctant until someone invites me there again. The tile of the show is Ca. Cirkus – I hope the coming performances show more Cirkus and less Ca.

5 Responses to “Madeleines Madteater – an almost food performance?”

  • Laurent V
    With your impressive itinerary you’re almost there! :o)
    Love your humour!

    Thanks a lot for this write up! Your thoughts I take it?
    I really think I’m not the right person to comment here. So won’t. 😉

    (Just hope I don’t qualify as someone you wouldn’t like to be spliced with… in the above sense I mean).

  • LoL… #11. Then I maybe have a chance to be one of them…

  • Food blogging

    The golden rules for foodies.

    1. Judge the place by consistency, not by a one time visit.
    To see if the restaurant has an “off day” takes a lot of experience.
    Do you have that?
    2. Mistakes will happen, don’t wait for them.
    ”We got the wrong wine with the second serving in an 18 course tasting menu, it ruined our evening, we give them1 star out of 5
    A classic example from newborn bloggers. If one mistake ruins’ your evening, I wouldn’t like to be in your marriage.
    3. Wine nerds should discuss the wine with the sommelier, don’t expect the busboy to know what area your grand cru is located in. simply tell the staff that you have a question for the sommelier. A restaurant is often divided in food waiters, sommeliers, runners and busboys. You may be the expert on Bordeaux, but don’t use the sommelier or the waiter to flatter your knowledge on his or hers expenses. It is a cheap trick. (oh you haven’t tasted Lafitte 59?)
    4. Remember that all chefs are flesh and blood, in restaurants with stars and stripes, they will often go to any length to fore fill your wishes, if a mistake can be corrected while you are there, they will do so. The Michelin inspectors ALWAYS ask for a colder/warmer wine if it is not the right temperature. Do the same thing.
    Complain while you are there; don’t save it for your blog.
    5. Keep your expectations on the right level.
    The Michelin guide does not give stars according to the expenses. Are you in a renovated castle with gold chairs or are you sitting in SOHO eating noodle. Both places may have a star, but that star is given for the food. The transformation happens in your head, the humble Vietnamese family didn’t ask for the star and will certainly only cost you a fragile of the castle experience.
    6. Newspaper critiques never bring a camera, often they don’t want to be recognized, always ask if it is ok you take photos. NEVER take photo of other guest, you may be in public space, but you can actually harm people be publishing your memoirs.
    All restaurant have high solution photos that you can use in your blog, all it take is an email. Under exposed photos harms your blog and often embarrass the work of the chefs.
    7. New restaurant. If you visit a restaurant less then 3 months old, expect that it is new. If you want to be with the in crowd, then you must expect the restaurant to be a little shaky, you have to crawl before you can walk. Same thing with restaurants.
    The term that you are paying full price and therefore should expect the same is simply B.S.
    8. The x factor. What is your mood of the evening, are you there on business, a romantic evening with your spouse. You are being influenced be these people. Can you with stand group pressure? Often your guests will alter your experience.
    One guest in your party can with his or her attitude poison your dinner.
    Can you stand your ground?
    9. With publishing becomes responsibility, write under your full name and keep to the truth.


    10. Admit your favourites.
    Always post your benchmark for the perfect place. People have different views on food, if you like French food and hate sushi, write it, and do not even think about reviewing a Japanese restaurant.
    With blogging comes power, never write hurtful things about a person before you told the person who you are, Michelin demands a signature that you agree with their standards. Use you’re new found power wisely.
    11 Crise de fois.
    The fatty crises that happens when you visit five good restaurants in a week.
    You are not able to separate your experiences, and your focus is blurred.
    IF NOT become a Michelin inspector.

  • Thank you Zarah for your input from “the other side of the table”. 😀 I took some photos that I uploaded to my photo site I also commented a bit on the dishes. I would be fun to get your impressions about this show too – from the servant or the adventurer!

  • I’m glad you got to go, Trine. I was mystified by this show when I read about it in the newspapers, and would really love to go. Nice to know the staff is still amiable and lovely, and know their stuff 😉

    It’s easy to say now, but if you ever do get to go again (and that goes out to anybody who may go there), ask away. Personally, I loved answering peoples questions, at least the ones I knew the answers for – there is a lot of thinking and feeling out there that you have to deal with on a personal level, but the questions regarding wine and food should be answer-able.

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