Once known primarily as Tab Tricolore’s main rival, Chef Mikko Tiikeri has come into his own with the opening of his new restaurant, The Feeding Station.
The restaurant, which had its soft opening in late October, welcomed the public for the first time on Thursday night. And what a welcome it was.
To begin with, the new establishment’s interior is stunning, in more ways than one. Last Spring, Tiikeri commissioned the services of Tagma Design, who not coincidentally had just completed Tricolore’s PurrBoy Café at The Park Museum.
The firm, which is known to do cutting edge interiors, went beyond expectations this time. And the results are heartstopping.
The new eatery boasts what Tiikeri calls a new concept for The Park: communal dining. What Tagma did with that concept is likely to give many an Animal pause, especially those who have experienced enforced domestication or come to The Park from a farm. In fact, it took this reviewer a few minutes, after experiencing “fight or flight” syndrome, to settle into the concept.
The bespoke tables span the width of the restaurant and each has thirteen holes carved out of it. It is into these holes that wait staff place bowls of Tiikeri’s fine fare for their diners’ pleasure. Yes, diners sit beside one another while they eat Tiikeri’s delicacies out of their own bowl only.
Tiikeri admits that the concept isn’t all his own and he’s quick to credit Tricolore with introducing The Park to the idea of Animals peacefully eating together. He does take credit for tweaking the idea, though, by stealing a little something from the domestic and industrial worlds.
“Some might say it’s not natural for us to eat in this way and I would agree with them, up to a point. But many of us are used to this, having lived elsewhere, in different circumstances. And there’s an argument to be made that our life here in The Park, with so many species co-existing, is not natural, either,” he says.
Still, Tiikeri understands that many Animals will not want to participate in his new venture. For that reason, The Feeding Station offers an extensive takeout menu, which the chef hopes will whet Animals’ appetites enough to get them to his tables.
With appetizers such as Mélange de Noix, Herbes Béarnaise, and Feuilles de Papier, and mains such as steaming hot Goulash Verde and Camión de Barro, it’s hard to believe it could fail.
One question remains, though, which this reviewer poses at the end of our interview: Just what is the idea behind the main course called “String Theory?”
Tiikeri’s eyes shine and his teeth glisten as he smiles.
“Enforced mastication,” he laughs.
The Feeding Station is open for dinner only, Monday to Sunday, 6:30 until midnight. Reservations are recommended.