Sunday, January 20th, 2019

Fine dining.. and not so fine dining

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London (as usual) Delivers

Dinner at Eat Thai in London last night. Absolutely superb as usual. Perfect experience:

  • Prompt service.Being an impatient person I love the fact that they capitalise on the fact that they have a number of people serving and they don’t give you the usual Western bullshit about it being one specific person (who’s usually overloaded) serve you. Someone walks by, you ask them for something, they go off and do it. On this experience I’m likely to give a higher tip (which I assume is part of the premise behind the single server concept which fails miserably).
  • Friendly service. Service with a smile by someone who can understand English (something that’s becoming increasingly uncommon nowadays).
  • Superb food. Aside from a Thai restuarant in Barcelona, the best Thai food I’ve had outside of Thailand. I’ve never tasted meat so well cooked (tender) for a long time.

Cambridge (as usual) Fails Miserably

Contrast this to my experience in Cambridge earlier this week. Finding somewhere to take visitors is always painful. For Asian people it’s a bit simpler- Peking as they have good food. However, on this occasion a colleague had booked Loch Fyne. Not ideal for a number of reasons:

  • I don’t eat seafood. However, they have okay-ish steaks so I thought it would be safe.
  • It’s on Trumpington Street, a street filled with some of the worst dining experiences in Cambridge, where reasonably nice environments attempt to make up for some of the worst food and service I’ve had in the UK.

In this case, I wasn’t ‘disappointed’:

  • Food choice: On asking for a steak, was told it was off the menu. My question “what do I eat ┬áthen” was responded with “risotto, or duck”. Risotto I think is okay as a side, not a main dish. Ducks are designed for 3 things in life: 3 of them arranged on the walls of a house occupied by 55+ year olds, swimming in park ponds, or deep fried in a Chinese restaurant. I’m kind of surprised it wasn’t offered in an orange sauce. I asked “is anything else missing”, reply “no”. So I replied “Surf and turf then, just skip the ‘Surf’”. He had to go and check- unbelievable ! Eventually came back and said he had the go-ahead to give me only part of the main. Of course what I ended up with was a tiny bit of steak.
  • Bread: On asking for more bread we were told they were short so couldn’t oblige. This doesn’t surprise me living in a city where Pizza restaurants run out of bases, Sainsbury’s running out of a potatoes. Still, the manager could have made a bit of effort and sent someone in a taxi to Sainsbury’s to go and buy some bread.

As this was all happening, I was explaining the CEO of a US company how this was pretty typical for Cambridge. “So where do you eat” he asked – “London” I replied !

Tonight in Cambridge

Dinner tonight in Cambridge. Apparently Jamie Oliver has a new restaurant. That’s so bloody Cambridge. However, I just can’t face it. Mostly due to the people I’m sure who’ll frequent such a place. To be honest, I just wish they had a decent Fish and Chip shop in the city. Maybe I could go grab a couple of cans of Special Brew and sit in Market Square- I certainly can’t reduce the ‘tone’ of that place any further !

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