This is a site about restaurants. 

I’ve been pondering the idea of writing restaurant reviews for a while. I’ve been reluctant to do it. I'm unqualified to write about food, yet I do spend a disproportionate amount of my income on it. 

So this series of restaurant reviews is a record of why my bank account depletes as my waistline expands. 

I thought I’d set out some things I like and loathe about food, to serve as context for the snap judgments and uneducated views that my blog is riddled with.

Suspicious of:
  • Restaurants that seem to borrow their atmosphere from St Paul’s – hushed and holy   
  • And those at the opposite end of the spectrum, where the din interrupts the dinner
  • Restaurants that smell more like a spa than a restaurant (Hakkasan, we're talking about you)
  • Restaurants that look more like a spa than a restaurant (ibid)
  • Restaurants where the famous chef can be found in the bar drinking with friends too early on in the evening, when you really wish they were in the kitchen cooking your dinner
  • Restaurants that make you book an early table with a chuck-out time, then make no attempt to chuck you out 
  • Restaurants that make you regret spending the money on something that your digestive tract will make short work of
  • People who can’t possibly be into food – not really – but who pretend they are. Pippa Middleton, Gwyneth Paltrow - my knives are sharpened. (Sophie Dahl escapes this fate because she was probably Augustus Gloop as a child)
  • Restaurants that make you wait too long for the bill. This is the original sin.

Glad about:
  • Chefs who believe cooking is rock n’ roll. Take a bow Marco Pierre White circa White Heat, 1990.
  • Restaurants that push you to face new frontiers of decency in terms of the foraged and fossicked stuff they put on a plate 
  • Extra bread or crackers with the cheese course, without having to ask
  • Steak restaurants that carry A1 Steak Sauce 
  • Restaurants who stock a decent array of dry sherry for aperitifs
  • A nice busy pass (I like to see Angela Hartnett owning it on a pass or those aerial shots of the pass from the El Bulli film, everyone buzzing around but each and every person necessary)
  • Food combinations I’d have never thought of, and by rights shouldn’t work, but do
  • Waiting staff who can’t conceal their genuine enthusiasm for the menu - yet stop short of sitting next to you to take your order

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