There is no better way of saying ” I love you” that grossly overpaying for stuff. Be it a sparkly thing, some amputated herbage or elaborate calorie replacement.
And so I enter into the realms of one of my biggest fear, the Posh Meal.
The posh meal is an evolutionary thing. If you can spend resources on something non-essential, something not critical to life then that means you are in some sort of surplus and therefore a good mate. It is why women are attracted to men who play football, paint pictures, sing songs, write poems, pretend to be someone else in films and TV and of course like to spend three hours eating a meal.
I was here to demonstrate my Darwinian prowess, to confirm that my children will be strong and healthy, to show that I can deal with any future uncertainty for me, my wife and my family in whatever apocalypse, world war, global warming, meteor strike or alien invasion should befall us. What better way to do that than paying some slave lots of money while he labours for hours on end blow torching a stripe of chocolate sauce onto the side of a kumquat?
A restaurant is posh if any of the following are true
- The chef has a name
- The waiters look like they have just knocked off a shift at Ciro Citterio
- Words like äperatif”, “digestif” and “Amused Boosh” are employed
- There is fuck all beer
The chef here did have a name. It was Tim Allen. Obviously I had never heard of him in a food sense but was pretty sure he was the voice of Buzz Lightyear. Should I warn him in advanced that my Credit card does not go to infinity and beyond?
We decided on the “tasting menu” which meant we entitled to consume the amount of calories that a reasonably popular person would while licking 50 stamps to stick on cards around Christmas time. With each of these 7 courses we were going to be treated to a wine that was carefully selected by a Silmarillion to go with the flavours on our plates.
The first course didn’t even come on a plate, it was on a spoon. It was some kind of cheese ball in pastry. I have to be careful here, bigger things have gone up my nose while running outdoors. I had to at least force it to touch the sides of my mouth so that I can at least feign an answer to the loaded question “did you enjoy your course?”
Next up sounded delicious, a cauliflower and curried lentil puree. With this I had wine. It was brought over especially from the foothills of south east Spain where the dry warm climate of the small valley combined with the rotational winds from the Atlantic help to produce a uniquely exotic but classically flavoursome grape that produces this crisp and aromatic cacophony of sweet flavour which is perfect for floretted vegetable creams.
OK he didn’t say exactly that but I’ll tell you the two things I remembered about it. It was white and it tasted like wine.
Now we were heading for the two main courses the first being a fish dish expertly arranged by someone with too much time on their hands. I looked down at my sliver of fish and wondered what they had been doing instead of providing food on a plate. With this I enjoyed the history of another wine, this one I believe from Italy, where the reflective glare of the olive fields resonates with the sound of people yelling “Mama Mia!” and filtered through the volcanic ash of Pompeii a number of years ago which creates a perfect accompaniment to anything that eats plankton.
I exaggerate once more, all I remember about this wine was that it was white and it tasted like wine.
I felt very underdressed for this, I was wearing jeans with a smart shirt. I felt eyes on the lower half of my body in ways I had not experienced since I went to the doctors to have a hernia checked out. I pulled my trousers down and he said “hmmmmmm, I can barely see it” as he squeezed my balls. That was at the doctors not the restaurant though oddly I left this place with more of a feeling that my balls had been mis-handled.
This repeated for another course where the main course changed to pork. It was hard work ensuring the food did actually touch the sides. Course 5 I think was some sort of Lemon sorbet with four different ways of preparing a lemon. This was presented as a “palette cleanser”. I was tempted to say “Nah, it’s alright mate my palette isn’t dirty”.
At some point the wine changed colour and then it turned into a port which I actually really liked and decided that I might become a port drinker. My last drink was a beer, I just wanted to see if the beer was sold like the wine, with a back story. It was. This was a fine Spanish premium beer from Barcelona, almost like a pilsner but with a more botanical character. It was Estralla, you can get it in Sainsbury’s for a lot less than in here. We were in there for more than three hours in total, I’ve run marathons faster than that.
The other day I stopped off at one of those disgusting “chickoland” places to get some chips on the way home. The Wife piped up and glibly asked the chap at the counter whether their chicken was free range. He said that it wasn’t. I warned her that next time we are in a posh restaurant and they sell foie gras I am going to ask them whether the gooses “volunteered” to eat all that food. I have recently been taking some painkillers for an injury, my doctor said to take them three times a day after meals. I’m not sure whether this counts.
There is an “all you can eat buffet” at a place near where I work. I once smashed 1.5kg of food there in one sitting. For the price I paid for this I could have had 101 1.5kg meals.