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When trying to convey how different this place really is, I feel using the word different would be a gross misuse of an understatement. It’s strange how evocative i feel walking into Four Degree, I feel like if Fellini had directed Kill Bill back in the 1950s we may be getting close. Towering jungle trees line the entrance, exotically paving the way to this oriental Oz. The bar is a striking rose gold, above hang an almost intimidating 25-30 Tom Dixon melt lamps, imagine glowing lava suspended in mid air. Probably the most expensive lava outside Pompey.
This restaurant covers 120 people on the lower dining floor or you can sit at the silver mirrored tiled Sushi Bar. As I walked past the bar, a back lit serving platter had an array of Japanese entrees lounging on bright flowering moss. Informed by Pedro Miranda, the head chef, he was experimenting with some ‘textures of parsnips, eel Kabayaki, Foie Gras and Black Garlic’. The whole platter was smoking underneath from dry ice.
Walking upstairs, the mezzanine floor surrounds the periphery of the building, looming down on the rest of the restaurant. There are pink rose bushes growing out from the corners, giving a Traditional English secret garden to this Japanese zen lair. There are two sand mandalas upstairs which were created by Tibetan Monks, who, in the first month of opening, came to bless the restaurant and its diners for good luck.
In the sincerest of voices, you must watch the video of the creation of the sand mandalas on the Instagram account, two weeks conveniently sped up in 50 seconds. Patiently constructed grain by grain, Sand Mandalas are used in Buddhism to guide the individual to their path of enlightenment. Once completed the individuals who have created it will, too, destroy it. Symbolising the impermanence of life.
Four Degree requested the expert eye of a Feng Shui master to make sure all energies were flowing down the right paths and up the right streams. This explains the elephants at the front door, directly facing the Thames to suck good wealth into the restaurant through their trunks. It seems to be working.
So if you want to be seduced by highly crafted cocktails, indulge yourself in an atmosphere to worship the most decadent part of your soul.