Good reviewer gives restaurant a drubbing

There aren’t many restaurant reviewers who I trust to say clearly what they think without adding in a touch of egomania. Jay Rayner of the Observer is one of the ones I trust. He was the first serious reviewer I’d ever read who didn’t shy away from clear negative reviews, as well as good positive ones.

Why am I writing this? Because one of his most recent reviews is marvellous. Here are a few quotes from his review of London restaurant Suka from 29 April 2007.

Any attempt at conversation – ‘God I hate this place. How can they live with themselves,’ etc – kept being interrupted by waiters trudging off into the distance and back again
The one advantage of this set-up was that the waitress was so far away from me, and the music so loud, I couldn’t really hear her recitation of the menu’s ‘concept’.
Anyway, having eaten there, I can sum it up myself: ‘We are now going to extort as much money from you in as short a period as possible for as lacklustre a meal as we can get away with.’

Now go and read the whole thing. It’s great!

– DM

UPDATE: I’m not alone in cyberspace when it comes to expressing respect for Jay Rayner. If you’re interested, take a look at what Silverbrow has to say.

3 thoughts on “Good reviewer gives restaurant a drubbing”

  1. Yes, great review…I remember that Chowderey bloke from a fly-on-the-wall TV series based in New York a while back where he locked horns with the egomaniac chef…I think it was called The Restaurant or Rocco’s or something…great show, in a car crash TV way.

    My favourite review of all time is the following from AA Gill, not scathing but complimentary, whimsical, laced with melancholy and absolutely beautifully written. My mate is one of the chefs so I was quite chuffed for him, to have such a little work of wordy art written about your place is quite an honour…let me know what you think!

  2. Thanks for popping by, Davy! Yes, The Restaurant had a run of oooh about one episode on Channel 10 before it was scrapped, unfortunately.

    AA Gill’s piece is good, but my preference is definitely for reviewers who focus on the food and establishment. AA Gill spends (like some other reviewers) a lot of time on himself or random (often bitchy) factoids.

  3. Yes he does, can’t argue with that, he ends up with about a paragraph worth of actual review, but still, makes for an enjoyable read.

    The Restaurant was shown in its entirety on Foxtel, fortunately.


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