Tag Archives: restaurant

just chatting

19 Jan

london 3.8C 9.59pm tuesday 2016

so here i am sitting in my living room , didnt feel the need to have the heating on, quite comfortable, because i am dressed warmly. my indoor thermometer reads 15C. it’s forecast to be -2C later on, in the early hours of the morning.

but i have noticed these forecasts do not apply to central london where i am. last night was supposed to go as low as -2C , but it was only 0C in actuality. so i suspect it will be the same for tonight. i think the suburbs might be colder. i see someone using a drone to show the view high above to show the sprinkling of snow in crystal palace. but no snow where i am.

i am seeing a tv program about bargain brits in the sun; living in benidorm, in spain. quite a sad program in a way, showing a elderly couple from bournemouth who winters there. and walking a mile and half to get to an exchange currency bureau that will give them 1.32 euros or so for their £s.

i think they must have got the reasoning for being there wrong. the logic is not correct. why not stay on in uk? after all, the only thing going for benidorm is the weather, and allready i hear him say it is getting too  hot and he is glad to be going back to uk… at the end of his sojourn there.

they are staying at a caravan park, and i was thinking their place in uk is allready paid for , they are still paying rent on it whilst they are in spain, and here in spain they are bearing the burden of paying rent for the caravan. maybe the caravan  is cheap but still, it is money that is avoidable, if they just stay in bournemouth. i personally dont think the hot weather is enough compensation for the increased costs. in the past, when the euro was weaker, it makes sense for people to winter in benidorm, the monthly rental for a hotel room can be cheaper than the heating bills back home, even when u include the flights as they were so cheap then. not any more now.

now, if u tell me, that  they dont have to pay rent in uk whilst they are in spain, then it makes sense to go to benidorm and winter there. but that is not the case. they only save on the heating costs. it certainly cannot be as much as the air fare, the caravan rental , transport in spain.. (in bournemouth they will be able to travel on the buses for free on their freedom pass).

added. perhaps it is the change of scene, that may be the one big benefit they get , like migrating birds flying south for the winter. and seeing how cheap they can stay in spain is part of the fun of going there. i can relate to that actually. haha.

then there are the other expats featured… all trying to make a living whilst not knowing the lingo, so they try to set up a bar, thinking they like to drink, so running a bar must be a doddle… to find that they have to stop building work because it is august and it is not allowed … and then to find the council wants them to get a architect to draw up plans for the renovation… so that is another delay.

there was another chap, saying he had to find work,as he got a wife and his daughter with  him; because they cannot claim benefits or anything… when in uk they willbe able to get benefits, and housing, and god knows what else all on the dole. to exchange it all for a bit of sun??? its silly really.

somehow i dont think that is my idea of enjoying life … the hot weather is just not enough to compensate for all these petty troubles. 

( a lot of the eastern europeans know that if they work in low paying jobs in uk, they become eligible for work tax credits, and it could double their salary at a stroke). that was meant to help the low paid uk citizen, but of course the eu wont allow discrimination against eu citizens either, so they get the benefit too. so that means that tax credit is now in danger of being abolished or reduced. another reason why the poor uk citizen is paying for the huge influx of people coming into uk from the eu. if i were poor in uk,and need the benefits to help with income, i would vote to get out of the EU.

then there is the tv program about tricks in the restaurant trade. how they reuse left overs from yesterday and create a dish and call it the daily special. haha. there is nothing wrong with that of course, i do it all the time at home, but it costs nothing extra when i do it at home, so i benefit. when i go out to pay good money to eat in a restaurant, i dont want to have that done to me… haha. and they were showing how the restaurants buy ready made foods and selling it at a mark up. desserts especially.

they showed the presenter who is a chef hand- make a cake, and in the time he made one, the men using machines were able to make 18. i dont blame the restaurants for these short cuts, but i dont want it done to me when i eat out, so that is why i dont eat out much nowadays.

i guess u should pick what u eat, sushi, would be hard to buy in , though the supermarkets do them and sell them cheap at the end of the day… and they taste quite good still. and if u want sashimi, it is easy to just buy fresh tuna, or salmon, and cut it up and eat it at home with some wasabi and soya sauce. (they say u need years of training to be a sushi or sashimi chef, but i cut up the salmon anyway i like, and it tastes just as good. haha)its delicious and taste the same as in any fancy japanese restaurant…

or how about u go to a malaysian restaurant where they stir fry… a char kuey teow dish have to be freshly prepared … but then it is quite easy to do it myself.

ah well, i suppose go to a restaurant to feel the experience of being served and have the ego boosted by respectful waiters… and not have to do the washing up. haha.

sigh, looking at all these things, it makes me feel very world weary and jaded doesn’t it?, like saying , done it all, and bought the t shirt, so what’s new? and not want to repeat it . 


usually food reviews are high on praise but not this one

4 Oct

london 8.57am sunny 11.7C

a sharp contrast this food review of a restaurant called sackville’s. it is rare, in fact, i have never read one like this ever. most food reviewers are in the business of working in cahoots with eating places to boost them, not to tear them down. it is a survival tactic, no one will ever ask you to review them if u are known for your critical reviews. so this place must have really been bad … but so bad that the reviewer could not finish the food on the plate??? and when food is returned uneaten, it did not prompt the maitre d’ to ask why? has anyone else eaten there, and is it really that bad? 

something he said make me sit up and notice. he said when he was younger, he would get excited at the mention of truffles, quote ‘I began to notice something:  fresh truffles don’t taste of much or, to be honest, anything at all’.unquote.

i have not eaten truffles, and feel i have been left out of that experience. everywhere i read,  truffles are to die for and you hear of pigs snuffling it out in the woods and people going gaga over it. but it does not taste of anything… is it the smell that is nice? and  is that all there is to it? just the smell? like the smell of freshly brewed coffee?

food or service, which is more important?

11 Jul


I was browsing the newspapers and read this article

Average food, with great service, will result in a positive experience, but the best food in the world combined with bad service can make you want to end it all. 

When i was growing up we eat in restaurants for the food, nevermind the service. as long as the food comes in good order and at the time it should we are happy with the service. but woe betide that restaurant if the food is no good. haha.

I doubt we will bother if the waiter or waitress smile or wish us bon appetite or say ‘enjoy’ when they serve us. But from what this guy says, that is not the case with the western customers. are the chinese weird in that respect? to us the food is the thing, and that is why we go eat at that place.

Many times in my life i have seen restaurants that are bustling and busy and the service is minimal, and no one comments on it, because to everyone the waiters are there just to bring the food in good order and promptly and to set the tables and clear the dishes quickly to accommodate the next lot of waiting customers. it is the food we have all come for.

I think it is the way chinese food is presented. in that the dishes come all at once and in no particular order. we dont have starter nor dessert as such. we only have mains, and they all come in whatever order the cooks make them, so that they are piping hot and everyone piles in and help themselves or (if they wish to show hospitality they serve each other ). so the waiters are not crucial .

If it is a 10 course banquet, that still applies, each course comes separately but everyone helps themselves to it. the waiter just brings the food and dont have to serve each individual. 

Whilst take the western way of eating,they all involve separate courses necessitating the clearing of dishes and the serving of the next course in the appropriate time, and in the set order, and will involve a different dish to each customer; that really puts a strain on service and the waiter/ess.

its no wonder this writer says service can outweigh food. in the western way of eating out, it does.