Sunday, 16 October 2011

Making a meal of it

When it comes to reviewing restaurants, I'm hardly Fay Maschler. I'm not even Faye from Steps. However, there comes a point when a disgruntled diner (that's me by the way) has to speak out. Yet again, I'm going to be jolly English and polite about it all and not even name the offending restaurant. I can confirm that this cheerless dump is situated on London's Charlotte Street.

Enter if you will, a restaurant devoid of any personality. This should have been a warning. The clientel were less than inspiring; a middle-aged couple sat in companionable, dreary silence, two excitable Italians and a smiling Japanese couple trying to make sense of the impossibly small tables. I thought I could hear someone weeping in the background but it just turned out be an elderly recording of Marianne Faithfull singing "As tears go by".

What onion soup SHOULD look like!
On to the menu then and I opted for a tasteless onion soup, topped off with a slab of lard masquerading as gruyere cheese. Removing this from the soup was akin to prizing a manhole cover up. Not to worry, I though, sea bass to follow. I wasn't quite prepared for the transparent remnant of fish that was hurried to my table, accompanied by four undercooked new (what? In 1985?) potatoes and a shaving of something which might have been ginger. I washed this delicacy down with the delightfully warm sauvignon blanc and waited for the 'fresh' bread which "might take some time because the electric oven has to warm up".

I shuffled off home and made a sandwich, the melody of "As tears go by" reverberating in my mind long into the night.

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