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Pretentious Menu

(54 Posts)
Esmerelda Wed 14-Aug-19 14:47:11

Time for a rant (if YOU have the time). Had a Day at the Races last week, but I think the chef has slight delusions of grandeur. The menu really makes the mind boggle as some of it, and the accompaniments, are truly bizarre!

Nothing wrong with Sundried Tomato and Basil Profiteroles for the veggie starter I suppose, although a bit pretentious, but it was served with Bloody Mary Coulis and Basil Oil - Parmesan Wafer. Ditto the Roulade of Confit Duck and Foie Gras served with White Onion and Thyme Marmalade - Port Reduction, Parsnip Crisps and Roasted Hazelnuts (although the portions were so tiny I imagine you might only get one hazelnut!). I could go on with the starters, but let's move onto the mains. Imagine ordering the Full English Breakfast (some people did for their main course) and getting an Oak Smoked Bacon Chop, Lansdown Baked Beans - Home-made Brown Sauce, Fried Quails Egg (only one of these tiny eggs, you notice). Not what I would call a Full English! And as for the desserts, well ... nothing wrong with the main description but if you ordered Tea & Cake would you want to get Earl Grey Pannacotta, Lemon Drizzle Eggy Bread, Raspberry Semifreddo - Baked Fig puree? But what really takes the biscuit (and one would no doubt be grateful for a biscuit after the miniscule dots of stuff that were scattered around the plates, whatever you ordered) were the Strawberries and Cream. How could you mess these up, you might wonder? Hmm, serve them as Pickled & Ice Filtered Strawberry Consomme, with Baked Vanillla Cream, Bee Pollen - Black Pepper Meringue 'Kisses' ... actually I don't think you would get any strawberries as such, do you? What pretentious twaddle and just muck, really (and tiny muck at that as I can't overemphasize the acres of white plate confronting one on which these miniscule blobs of ridiculous foodstuffs were placed ... what's Bee Pollen, for heaven's sake, it's surely pollen or do they scrape it off the bees legs?).

Am I being silly to have expected a decent meal for the exhorbitant price we had to pay? I was far from full at the end and, as this was a birthday treat for a friend, I felt extremely embarrassed. That place is definitely off OUR menu for the future.

Still, once the horses started running we had three winners and a second so the racing itself was splendid! 😀😀😀

EllanVannin Wed 14-Aug-19 14:55:34

You forgot the Rennies at the end of the list.

Gonegirl Wed 14-Aug-19 15:16:03

But did they do free wrapped biscuits? And did you bring home a bagful?

M0nica Wed 14-Aug-19 15:20:19

I absolutely agree with you Esmerelda. I always see it as a sign that those behind the scenes have no knowledge of food themselves, have hired a third rate chef and assume that the majority of the punters (I use that word advisedly) do not understand good food either and just think complicated foods like those you describe are a sign of 'class'

You are clearly not one of them. If you do go to a really good restaurant, one of its outstanding qualities is usually the simplicity of the food.

At least you won on something that day!!

Mossfarr Wed 14-Aug-19 15:33:15

I've just read an article entitled "48 hours in Valletta", Malta.
One of the paragraphs headed 'EAT' went on to describe a 'dinner crane' where a 22 seat platform is suspended above the city. On the menu - lemony ceviche with a touch of chilli and feta foam!! what the hell is "lemony ceviche" or "feta foam"?

That must be the absolute height of pretentiousness (pun intended).

paddyann Wed 14-Aug-19 15:48:27

I've been watching "remarkable places to eat" on BBC,I know I 'm sworn off BBC but my friends son works for Tom Kitchen and his restaurant is featured in the 2nd of the series .Its a really good look at restaurants,the food they produce and the behind the scenes .So far Venice ,Edinburgh ,Paris and San Sebastion have featured.Its worth a watch .

SalsaQueen Wed 14-Aug-19 15:59:38

What a lot of poncey twaddle. I prefer proper food, with proper portions and simple wording for it all.

Septimia Wed 14-Aug-19 16:10:08

Along with all the pretentiousness and tiny portions, I notice on these chef programmes that the food is often put on the plate by hand, not using utensils. Are their hands really clean? Have they touched something that might have allergens? What happened to the food safety training I had to have for our village hall? Does it not apply to fancy restaurants? Perhaps the Michelin stars kill all the germs.

Minniemoo Wed 14-Aug-19 16:13:29

You're lucky to get plates in some places. Scraps of driftwood, marble worktops, mini shopping trolleys and whatever else they come up with. My daughter was somewhere where the puddings were served in plant pots.

Prawn cocktail, scampi and chips and a slice of Black Forest Gateau was my idea of heaven back in the 70s.

They'd probably throw me out if I asked for that now

Esmerelda Wed 14-Aug-19 16:18:35

Agree 100% SalsaQueen and MinnieMoo ... and no Rennies required as we definitely had not over-indulged.

Callistemon Wed 14-Aug-19 16:22:35

Lansdown baked beans

I can guess which racecourse, dahling! grin

I have had deconstructed prawn cocktail and deconstructed Black Forest Gateau in the past year or so.
Not as good as the real thing with steak, chips and trimmings in between, which was standard fare at a 1960s Berni Inn.

quizqueen Wed 14-Aug-19 16:22:51

I prefer Toby Carvery myself. Huge portions of wholesome, good basic food at a reasonable price (we are often sent money off vouchers too). BTW, I think horse racing is cruel!

Jane10 Wed 14-Aug-19 16:27:33

The daftest meal we ever had was at Tom Kitchen's Michelin starred restaurant. I wrote a thread about it at the time. All I can remember right now is that the pudding was rhubarb seven ways and that the bill for 2 (with one glass of wine each) was £250! Lucky we weren't paying as it was a treat from a business partner.

Callistemon Wed 14-Aug-19 16:33:16

rhubarb seven ways grin

I bet it didn't come with custard either!

Jane10 Wed 14-Aug-19 16:36:53

No it didn't - would probably come in a cunningly carved brussels sprout if it did!!

Teetime Wed 14-Aug-19 16:51:57

I suppose its our fault for paying for all this nonsense. I used to love fancy restaurants but the chefs have really gone nuts now. This type of menu just puts me off and I really like nice food but the descriptions and some of the torture the food is put through is silly and as for the drinks prices....

ninathenana Wed 14-Aug-19 17:13:53

As DH is fond of saying " little bit of nothing on a big white plate"
Or as Minimoo says on a roof slate/chunk of drift wood

M0nica Wed 14-Aug-19 17:30:44

We stopped using one restaurant when I was served a 'deconstructed' mushroom risotto:
Along thin plate with a couple of spoonsful of cooked rice one end, a spoonful of mushrooms at the other and a handful of salad leaves in the middle, for a price I am too embarrassed to admit to.

Funnygran Wed 14-Aug-19 17:39:41

We stayed at a hotel where the dinner offered a ‘tasting menu’. That’s exactly what it was! Each tiny little plate was brought out with a flourish and a long explanation as to what it was. And each time we had eaten it before the waiter even got back into the kitchen and there was a long wait for the next dish. The food was lovely, just not enough of it and b****y expensive ☹️

Charleygirl5 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:40:42

I no longer watch any food being prepared by chefs or anybody on TV because of the constant touching of the food and using hands to rearrange it on the plate. Yuk.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 14-Aug-19 17:42:44

Jane10 Oh no we are going to Tom Kitchins restaurant in Edinburgh at beginning of October.

( I have never been to Scotland, we are going with our dear friends for 5 days and I am so looking forward to it)

Nannarose Wed 14-Aug-19 18:01:30

Just to say that if you go to one of the old fashioned jump racecourses in winter, you tend to get better food! Or you can always take a tailgate picnic!

annodomini Wed 14-Aug-19 18:03:17

Prawn cocktail, scampi and chips and a slice of Black Forest Gateau was my idea of heaven back in the 70s.
My idea of heaven in the 70s too, Minniemoo. Mind you, anything I didn't have to cook myself was a treat.
My DSs, then sub-teens, were so hooked on Black Forest Gateau that, well into their teens, they insisted on my making my version of it for their birthdays.
Maybe a retro menu like that would be an attraction for an enterprising restaurateur, though where would they find a chef that would agree to produce it?

Jane10 Wed 14-Aug-19 18:06:18

GrannyGravy best save up! I gather that the lunch menu is more reasonable. He also has a 'bistro' style place called the 'Scran and Scallie' with rather silly menu wording but the food is good and the staff are nice. Less OTT pricing but still not exactly a bargain.

GrannyGravy13 Wed 14-Aug-19 18:28:23

Jane10 We are going for dinner!

Mr.Gravy and "his pal" have been looking at the menu, but I shall wait till we get there, although I eat some meat I predominantly eat fish and he is known for his fish cookery.

I do adore rhubarb though 🤔