This Paris Restaurant Review Is Nothing Short Of Savage
Story from: 2oceansvibe.com
It’s often easy to tell what kind of culinary experience you’re in for when you enter a restaurant.
Poor lighting, menus with the edges curling from years of grubby finger touches, staff who know that the food they’re bringing out isn’t exactly fine dining – we’ve all stepped inside an establishment like this over the years.
Oh, you haven’t? Time to live a little, snob.
Anyway what most infuriated Jay Rayner, a restaurant reviewer for the Guardian, is that the restaurant he stepped into has (or had) a top notch reputation.
His scathing review has spread across the internet at a rate of knots since being published yesterday, so let’s enjoy some of those body shots.
He sets the scene as follows:
There is only one thing worse than being served a terrible meal: being served a terrible meal by earnest waiters who have no idea just how awful the things they are doing to you are. And so, to the flagship Michelin three-star restaurant of the George V Hotel in Paris, or the scene of the crime as I now like to call it. In terms of value for money and expectation Le Cinq supplied by far the worst restaurant experience I have endured in my 18 years in this job. This, it must be said, is an achievement of sorts.
And it then gets worse:
The dining room, deep in the hotel, is a broad space of high ceilings and coving, with thick carpets to muffle the screams. It is decorated in various shades of taupe, biscuit and fuck you. There’s a little gilt here and there, to remind us that this is a room designed for people for whom guilt is unfamiliar. It shouts money much as football fans shout at the ref. There’s a stool for the lady’s handbag. Well, of course there is…
The canapé we are instructed to eat first is a transparent ball on a spoon. It looks like a Barbie-sized silicone breast implant, and is a “spherification”, a gel globe…This one pops in our mouth to release stale air with a tinge of ginger. My companion winces. “It’s like eating a condom that’s been left lying about in a dusty greengrocer’s,” she says. Spherifications of various kinds – bursting, popping, deflating, always ill-advised – turn up on many dishes. It’s their trick, their shtick, their big idea. It’s all they have…
[Next is] a halved and refilled passionfruit, the vicious passionfruit supplemented by a watercress purée that tastes only of the plant’s most bitter tones. My lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles…
A dessert of frozen chocolate mousse cigars wrapped in tuile is fine, if you overlook the elastic flap of milk skin draped over it, like something that’s fallen off a burns victim. A cheesecake with lumps of frozen parsley powder is not fine. I ask the waitress what the green stuff is. She tells me and says brightly: “Isn’t it great!” No, I say. It’s one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten…
The restaurant is never more than half full. Pictures of plates are snapped. Mind you I also take pictures, but mine are shot in the manner of a scene of crime officer working methodically.
I have spent sums like this on restaurant experiences before, and have not begrudged it. We each of us build our best memories in different ways, and some of mine involve expensive restaurants. But they have to be good. This one will also leave me with memories. They are bleak and troubling. If I work hard, one day, with luck, I may be able to forget.
Cape Town isn’t shy of food critics who loves a good moan, including one who has a whale of a time doing so, but you must applaud the effort above for such unbridled anger.
Good luck to the next place that Jay steps foot inside of.
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