Monday, January 4, 2010

Can old dogs learn new tricks?

Bread & Olives £3

Ten things that should happen in restaurant world in 2010 (but probably won't):

1. The smoking ban will be lifted. Bars will no longer reek of Jeyes cleaning fluid and BO, pub revenue will soar and both staff and customers will return to being the calmer, more relaxed individuals they really are.

2. Giles Coren will stop referring to any restaurant outside of London as being in the sticks, the provinces, the country, the boondocks or the suburbs. Meanwhile, Matthew Norman will gently stumble across a restaurant that he doesn’t like, and Jay Rayner will finally admit to visiting one that he does.

3. We’ll see an end to condescending, childish or over-complicated menu descriptions. ‘Delicious soup’, ‘sizzling sausages’, ‘yummy puds’ et al will be consigned to the file marked ‘Stop it!’, where they’ll happily snuggle up against ‘pan-fried truffle of black pudding fillet, diver-caught winkles, millefeuille of sumac-infused profiteroles, liquorice jus’.

4. People who queue for two hours outside of celebrity chef-endorsed restaurants will be offered emergency counselling or forced to spend a day cooking in a hostel for the homeless.

5. Wine waiters will start offering the wine list/first taste to women.

6. Tap water will be served as standard.

7. Essential side orders will be included with your £16.95 dish of the day; if you order a steak, you’ll no longer be conned into paying an extra £3.95 for a few chips to accompany it.

8. Your neat leftovers will be delivered to you in a doggie bag at bill-time without you having to ask (or be sneered at for doing so).

9. Staff will stop asking “are you alright there, guys?” when we arrive and quit saying “no worries” when we say thank you (which we’ll all start remembering to do).

10. When the waiter asks if everything is okay with our meal, we’ll tell the truth.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

While you're waiting for me to catch up with 2010...

...go here: elegant, thoughtful, gently surreal - just like the man who created it.