Lab grown meat – Bistro-in-Vitro

I regularly get invitations to new restaurants opening so I can write about them for my blog,  some I go to and some I don’t. It all depends on if I have time or if the theme of the restaurant meets the story of my blog.  However, last week being invited to a new restaurant of ‘Lab Grown Meat‘ piqued my interest.  I mean, Vegetarian friendly re-newable meat.

Scientists and politicians are always talking about the global protein crisis in 30 years time.  I’m sure we have all seen the media about eating insects as they are full of protein and, yes, I have tried those ‘wasabi crickets’.  My review, well, crunchy and taste of almonds, but not quite as satisfying as a sirloin.

An invitation arrived from ‘Bistro-in-Vitro‘ by email asking me to join them at the opening of their new restaurant.  I was very curious and emailed my reply asking for a table for 2 as I normally do only to find out (after a bit of digging) that it was in Amsterdam.  Many large restaurant chains will fly food journalists like myself abroad for dinners and I kept the date 6th May free, organised my postal vote to ensure I would not miss the UK elections and heard nothing.  Then, I mentioned this on Twitter and a great conversation started about this ‘artificial meat’, my main concern in my naivety being the ‘texture’ of most likely a post ‘nouvelle cuisine’ that would probably made a new edition in it’s self of the amazing ‘Modernist Cuisine’.

With a world population growing to 9 billion people in 2050 it’s impossible to keep producing and consuming meat the way we do now. Global warming, energy usage, animal diseases and a expected worldwide food shortage are just a few of the food issues that are facing us. And we haven’t even started talking about the broadly discussed animal welfare in the bio industry. Lab grown meat, produced with animal cells in a bioreactor is a durable and animal-friendly alternative.

April Fool is long over, however this is not a restaurant per say.  Everyone is invited to the opening on-line.  No plane tickets required.  Just a home cooked dinner in front of the computer.  After all, that is the current state of play for many of us with food these days.  Rightly or wrongly, I can be guilty of it too.

Food items at Bistro-in-Vitro include the Throat Tickler, described on the online menu as:

This unique creature is wet, slippery and wriggly and occupies the grey area between a sea anemone and a sex toy. The throat tickler beckons from your plate with its come-hither motions and clings to your lips as you slurp it down. Because they have no organs or nervous system, Throat Ticklers are not truly alive. Their seductive movement is caused by sodium altering the voltage differentials across cell membranes, causing the muscle tissue to contract. A dash of salty soy sauce gives the throat tickler’s tentacles a sensual surge. Never before has a tickle in your throat been quite such a hedonistic experience.

A video introduction to the food items even shows one how to eat it.  For me this is not new, Chef Da Dong, the most famous molecular gastronomic chef in China who is famed for making the best Pecking Duck in Peking has videos on his walls about how the satisfaction and sensual joy from eating his prepared sea cucumbers.

Other food items include:

  • ‘See-through Sashimi’ – mimicking the same physical structures that make glass frogs look like glass or jellyfish look like jelly, creating nearly invisible meat with a pure, delicate flavour.
  • Liquid Turducken combines turkey, duck and chicken into a hearty drink that’s practically a meal in itself
  • In-Vitro Oysters

So, come join me, on 6th May at 5pm Central European Time, 4pm in the UK at to watch this science-fiction documentary about a future restaurant.  It may not be a work ‘jolly’ to Amsterdam on this occasion, but I have no doubt the only nourishment I will receive from this is ‘food for thought’.



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