Off the Menu

A few years ago I heard Alexei Sayle point out that the only people who should be allowed to use the term “workshop” are those who work in light engineering. I was reminded of this recently when I saw an advert in which a restaurant boasted that their chef has “specially curated” a new menu. Here I was thinking that curators  were only to be found in museums and art galleries.

Over the last few years I’ve noticed a growing tendency for pubs and restaurants to use overly pretentious language in their descriptions. I assume that they think they are being trendy and clever, but the reality is that they come across as pompous and ridiculous.

For example, not too long ago a bar in the centre of Liverpool sent me an e-mail inviting me to sample their “anthology of ales”. So far I haven’t been tempted to go in for a beer, although I was sorely tempted to ring them up and offer a lesson in the use of plain English.

While we’re on the subject, I also get annoyed with the increasing trend for restaurant menus to list prices in words and pence, i.e. “nine hundred and fifty” rather than “£9.50”. Also, the grandiose descriptions which some restaurants give to their dishes are another bugbear of mine. I can’t help but worry that it’s only a matter of time before that traditional Glasgow chip shop favourite, the humble sausage supper, is reinvented as “sausage en croute avec pommes frites”.

I am sorry if this all comes across as a bit of a rant, but as you’ve probably sussed, this really does annoy me. I really do wish that pubs and restaurants would stick to the KISS acronym; Keep It Simple, Stupid.

Actually, I do sometimes wonder if I am in a minority on this issue. After all, those venues which offer curated menus and anthologies of ale always seem to be very busy. Is it just me?




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