Australia

Jul 25, 2014

No, chef! Rise up against restaurant tyranny

When did the tables turn in fine dining? And how can you get a decent meal at a decent time with a decent number of courses without ingesting "fish milk"?

Margot Saville — <em>Crikey</em> Sydney reporter

Margot Saville

Crikey Sydney reporter

A few months ago, I organised with some friends to go to a successful Sydney restaurant. Like most of its ilk, it required a booking at either 6.30pm or 8.30pm — we chose the early time. As he sat down, one of my friends calmly signalled the waitress: “I’ll have a Negroni, thanks, and that 8.30 deadline? We won’t be leaving.”

13 comments

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13 thoughts on “No, chef! Rise up against restaurant tyranny

  1. Paracleet

    Get off my lawn!

  2. Lubo Gregor

    Well said Margot. However, if I ever told my grandmother that I had spent $400 on a dinner, she would probably brake a broomstick on me 🙂

  3. mikeb

    Thankfully “pub” meals are 1000% better than they used to be, and still present food as food – not as a scientific experiment in content and description. That’s what gets my money these days.

  4. Margot Saville

    mikeb, completely agree. Good food, decent wine and no-frills service. I like them too.

  5. geoff kendall

    Not to mention the arrogant waiter in some of these places who somehow thinks s/he is responsible for the entire meal and deserves to be praised for it

  6. AR

    Mine heart breaketh not.

  7. fractious

    “Restaurants, of course, are a low-margin business, and chefs are entitled to do all they can to stay afloat.”

    Not *all* restaurants are on low margins, and IMO part of the problem you complain about is wholsesale acceptance of the second part of that sentence. No, chefs are *not* entitled to do anything it takes.

    I’m not having a go at you Margot – if you’ve got the cash to splash on $400 a head eateries, good luck to you. But you can solve the whole thing just by ignoring all the hype and the circuses by trying out just about any of the places in Cheap Eats, Time Out &c, most of which serve great food in (mostly) convivial places and have staff that treat you like a sentient being. The more punters stay away from these “successful” places (perhaps ‘high-profile’ is a better adjective) the faster their proprietors will realise they’re doing it wrong.

  8. kriscolour

    Wow, feeling like Rosa Parks for standing up to a snooty restaurant? Even in jest, that’s pretty poor taste. And much as I hate the expression “First World Problems” it would have to be invented for this North Shore whinge of an article if it didn’t already exist.

  9. Mark Kennedy

    Gawd I can’t think of anything to add; except why do I have to read this at all?

  10. Darcy E

    Goodness me, what a pompous rant. Your Negroni drinking friend sounds like an obnoxious thug.

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