Culinary question marks

July 26, 2010

Is the British food revolution a myth? According to this article it is: The myth of British gastronomy.

I agree with some of what it says, but much of it seems to want to have a go at something for the sake of it. There are good things and bad things in British food – i’m not sure all the bad things it details add up to the conclusion that it’s all a myth.

The difference between what i eat today and what i ate as a kid is light years away from the dry pork chop on a bed of dried out jacket potatoes. I would now much rather spend £25 on a very nice meal than an item of clothing. I care where my food comes from and i find the prospect of eating one value sausage roll rather than the 25 i ate in one week as a student rather un-appealing (but i’m sure i could manage it).

What i think is a bit off the mark is the idea that the only ‘good’ restaurants worth mentioning are the ones in the £50+ a head bracket. I’ve been to one michelin starred place and although it was very nice food and we chose a reasonably priced set menu i found the over attentive waiting staff and hushed atmosphere a bit, well, unsociable. I much prefer the numerous well priced places i can find in London; but i also know living in London spoils me with choice i probably wouldn’t get anywhere else. But surely there are places in Leeds, Manchester and other such places that apparently exist outside the smoke? The other day i even saw a review in the Guardian for a great place in somewhere called Sc-arb-oro-ugh.

But it’s true you can often feel rinsed for what is a very average meal in a bog standard gastro-boozer. London has an abundance of paint by numbers gastro-pubs in addition to places that are good value and decent quality and this is where i think there’s a lack of imagination. There’s only so much justification for a £14 burger, a £3.50 pint of euro fizz and the best of zero 7 on the stereo.


2 Responses to “Culinary question marks”

  1. tbm7 said

    Agreed. It’s ludicrous to suggest that the “food culture” (for want of a better blanket term) in Britain hasn’t evolved and improved massively. That said, I am now firmly of the opinion that Gastropubs are, by and large, for tw*ts. Give me a good £7 Turkish feast and a bottle of Efes anyday.

  2. copelington said

    Gastropubs are for tw*ts but organic gastropubs are for silly tw*ts. At the risk of being done for libel, that place in Islington – it’s name fortunately escapes me – is the absolute pits. Worst. Meal. Ever.

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