A Bittersweet Symphony

July 14, 2015 10:09 pm Published by

How a new Brighton restaurant is using it’s USP to maximise the dining experience.

When international DJ Tim Healey launched Brighton’s brand new boho bistro last month, the vision was to provide great food with a soundtrack to match.

Most restaurants agonise over menus, furniture and lighting, but often pay little attention to ‘background music’. This, it would appear, is something of a mistake, as the music we are listening to whilst eating can have a real impact on taste.

Scientists call this modulating taste, (AKA ‘sonic seasoning’), whereby flavour perception can be altered – making the same food taste bitter or sweet – purely by sound.

The Crossmodal Laboratory at Oxford University asked volunteers to eat toffee whilst being played high and low frequency sounds, and then rate the taste. Results found that higher tones enhanced the sweetness of the toffee, whereas the low notes brought out the bitter taste.

Similar experiments have also taken place outside the lab, with restaurants exploring some exciting possibilities, like replacing sugar in coffee with a sound sweetener.

With such a diverse offering of food and drink across Brighton & Hove, each new restaurant is under more pressure that ever to find it’s own unique offering and Kooks narrative of an expertly chosen soundtrack enhancing their menu, can only be a welcome addition to the scene.



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