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Life with Lavendar in London town

Friday, 8 May 2009

The Food Anger

I hate getting bad food in restaurants. It makes me so angry. In fact, it makes me LIVID.

London is not a city where the general standard of food is average or better. It varies wildly between bloody awful to exceptional. When you try a new restaurant in London, you are taking a risk.

I had dinner this week at the Giaconda Dining Room. This place is well known as being a little haven of inexpensive civility amongst the brashness of Soho. I'd heard good things so was looking forward to it.

When we sat down to order at 8pm I was ravenous. I'd been up since 5.30am and worked on a photoshoot all day long. My eyes made quick work of the menu. Rigatoni Puttanesca for starter. Baked cod with polenta and endive salad for main. Done.

The Puttanesca came and went without comment passing from my lips except for two words:

Very salty.

The Husband who was happily tucking into his Pig Trotters cast a wary glance in my direction. There was fear in his eyes but he wisely made no comment.

When my main arrived I dug in with gusto. My enthusiasm palled after the first bite. And took a rapid nosedive after the second and third. The flavours of the dish were not fish as expected but oil. The fish tasted of oil. The polenta tasted of oil and even the salad tasted of oil. I put down my fork. My husband looked up nervously from his Hashed Ham Hock with Egg and Salad.

How's yours? I asked
Good, he said. Do you want to swap?

I sat fuming and then it was upon me.

The Food Anger

When I am very hungry and I do not eat, I get a bit nuts. I'm short tempered, irrational, snappy. I would not trust myself to drive when I'm like this.

However when I'm very hungry and have paid good money to eat something at a nice restaurant and it turns out to be crap, I lose it. One of these days a plate will hit the wall. Another diner will be spattered with food as collateral damage. I will probably be arrested.

As my husband ate, I stabbed. I stabbed the oily fish on the oily polenta. In my mind I was stabbing the chef. Then I started to complain. Loudly.

I warned all the other diners not to get the fish. I also told everyone not to bother ordering fries either as they were oily and rubbery. I lamented how it was too late for us but they should all leave now if they hadn't yet ordered.

My husband continued to eat and ignore me.

I was being childish and obnoxious. But I didn't care. I didn't want to speak to the waiter politely and ask for another dish. The waiters were giving our table a wide berth by now anyhow.

When he had finished his meal my husband ushered me out as graciously as he could. He did not tip them however which was just as well as it would have meant the end of our marriage.

Two days later and I am still pissed off. But at least I am not foaming from the mouth anymore.

We went out for dinner the next night too. But that's a whole other story.


Anonymous said...

Dear Lavendar Lee,

My name is Paul Merrony and I am the owner and operator of the Giaconda Dining Room.

I would like to speak you regarding your meal and your description of it on your blog, http://lifeinthelittlesmoke.blogspot.com/2009/05/food-anger.html

I am also the chef, and would have cooked your meal, and frankly, don't want any one to stab me - i have a family and am the breadwinner.

All the best


Lavendar Lee said...

Dear Paul,

Thank you for your comment. Have no fear - I do not intend to stab you. I think my experience at your restaurant was a rarity. My husband snorted up his meal and it was bloody hard to get a table - testament to its good reputation. As you might gather, I was knackered and starving and probably got a random off plate. In hindsight, the thing that did bother me was your waiters not commenting when I sent back a 3/4 full plate.

All the best,