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Food, Arts

Higher Order: The Art Of Future-Grazing In Melbourne

BETA By STH BNK has launched Higher Order – the first in a series of experiential events focused on merging physical and digital, art and technology, design, food, drink and data, in the pursuit of what the future might hold. 
A multi-sensory experience of design, performance and food, Higher Order takes its guests deep into another realm where scent, sound, sight and taste merge into an Asiatic-inspired culinary hallucination at Hanover House, the home of BETA By STH BNK.
Each 90-minute session will see Higher Order guests guided by their senses as they are deep-dived into a multi-sensory exploration of the future of dining via cuisine, digital interaction, illusionary lighting and theatrical performances. A series of thought provoking installations staged by Cineart Studios – including an oversized bamboo steamer large enough for guests to stand inside – will house cuisine by restaurateur and chef Scott Pickett (Matilda, Chancery Lane, Estelle and Longrain).
Chef collaborator Scott Pickett says; “The prospect of looking at what will be in store in the future in the landscape of dining is something really special. It's about how we can look to our producers and suppliers to change their ways and means to ensure sustainability that is still affordable to the discerning diner, whilst creating interesting and evocative food experiences.” “At Higher Order, we've put together a menu that showcases local ingredients and classic processes, which are then immersed in art and theatre, to create a mind-blowing multi-sensory event."
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Experiential agency Loose Collective and creative team Studio John Fish have collaborated to deliver a future of music and video concept – ‘Hansha’, an elegant 90-minute piece of film art that aligns itself conceptually to the various sensory offerings throughout the space. Inspired by Japanese culture, Hansha is a mysterious and intriguing contemporary performance piece in which a gold-veiled figure moves throughout an endless pool of water at night accompanied by striking sculptural light elements.
Creating a visual continuum where there is seemingly no beginning and no end while abstracting the viewer's sense of time and perspective. As an acoustic accompaniment to each session, a tailor-made soundtrack – with elements of ambient, hip-hop and house music – divulges the journey of produce heroed on Pickett’s menu from the ocean to the bustling metropolis of Melbourne. 
The eight spaces that will comprise the Higher Order immersive dining experience include;
  1. Hydroponic Vodka Lab: Featuring hydroponic greenery, edible plants and gardens of herbs and moss. This foliage-filled bar embeds the natural world into city nightlife.
  2. Ceremony Room: A space where food and drink become a vehicle for escapism that showcases a modern take on the traditional Japanese tea ceremony. 
  3. Immersion: In this moody and sculptural take on a hawker den, a veil of steam creates a hazy, otherworldly atmosphere. 
  4. ArtFeel a sense of calm and serenity wash over you as the mirrored walls and atmospheric lighting set the scene for a delicate interplay between water and light, highlighted by a mesmerising performance on water by an artist dressed in a custom-made ceremonial costume.
  5. Convenience: An everyday vending machine reimagined to deliver the delicious in a ceramic frank green storage container – designed to last a lifetime and eliminate the need for single use plastics. 
  6. Ritual: Imagine a future where dining experiences can help us to understand and improve our spiritual, mental and emotional wellbeing. 
  7. Sustain: Where the future of food provides delicious food for thought as we consider the challenges of future food security. 
  8. Nourish: We pose a thought about the important social role of food in the future in an increasingly fragmented world. Celebrating connection and ceremony, we construct a dynamic take on communal dining. 
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With unique drink and dish matches to each space, enjoy a dish of puffed mushroom cracker, nori, avocado, green ant paired with a non-alcoholic cocktail of elderflower tonic, seedlip garden, cucumber, mint in Sustain, inspired by nature’s recycler fungi. Or discover a Scallop sashimi half shell, ginger, soy and Yarra Valley Caviar paired with Mountain vodka, lime, basil, yuzu in Art – inspired by the natural approach to rearing and roe production of Yarra Valley Caviar. In this dish the burst of the caviar pearls works in balance and harmony with the sweetness of the scallop, whilst also showcasing how different oceans and rivers can be. 
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The BETA By STH BNK project is designed to give Melburnians a feel for what can be expected as part of Beulah's $2 billion-plus project, STH BNK By Beulah, which is set to become Australia’s tallest building, boasting fully integrated vertical villages and drawing together leading figures in design and placemaking with pioneering creative collaborators.“With the first in our BETA By STH BNK food series we’ve reimagined our understanding of today’s food norms,” says Beulah Co-Founder and Executive Director Adelene Teh.“Imagine if vending machines – a perfunctory staple of hospitals, airports and other places one often strives to avoid – were filled with items of culinary intrigue and excellence rather than crisps and chocolate bars? Our Convenience room repositions these beacons of cheap-and-cheerful convenience as the new objects of luxury.”She concludes: “We look forward to revealing to Melbourne an innovative dining experience not seen anywhere else.”
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Booking information for Higher Order:
Address: The Attic (Level 5), Hanover House, 158 City Rd, Southbank VIC 3006
Dates: Wednesday - Sunday nights, from 10 November through to 5 December 2021
Times: Two 90-minute sessions will take place each evening at 6pm and 8:30pm
Pricing: From $148
Bookings via: