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08 June 2009

Why open kitchens in crap restaurants are a terrible idea

I had lunch at Cantina Vinopolis today and I saw:

  1. a cook rubbing a nasty looking zit
  2. another cook drop a piece of fish on the floor, wash it and then cook it
  3. several cooks 'surreptiously' stuffing their faces with food that was lying around

I know that all of these and far worse go on in normal kitchens - #3 hardly being the crime of the century.  But the whole point of an open kitchen is that the chefs are on show to add some theatre.  What I saw today is not the kind of theatre most sane diners want to see.

To add to the agony I was enduring, the food was appalling.  My tortelloni were thick, leathery, dry dumplings, in a vomit-hued 'tomato-pesto' sauce (I was reminded of my stag night and my attempts at re-floweing a bush following a very good dinner of penne arrabiata).  Pesto, is pesto is pesto.  It hasn't got tomatoes in it.  Also, a note to the kitchen: balsamic reductions were 'out' before they ever came 'in'.

Normally, I end my posts about restaurants with contact details and a little summary of what others have written.  In my role as a public service blogger, I'll spare you.

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