Yum! Spaghetti and... Veal? Beef? Badger?

After this weekend I will never visit a fancy restaurant again!

Last weekend I went to a smart restaurant for dinner. I eagerly scanned the menu, only to recoil in horror and confusion. The menu was all in foreign! There were some words I understood, like fried and with, but the dish descriptions were alien to me. The waiter sneered as I pretended to study the menu. He knew I had no clue, the bastard. Panicking, I picked the cheapest dish and hoped it didn’t have tentacles.

If you are intending to visit a fancy restaurant this weekend, here’s a few translations you need to know. Unless you like dining dangerously.

Mmmm, organic shitty soup with emulsion and pond weedStarters is not called Starters any more. It’s First Dish, Amuse-Bouche or whatever the pretentious phrase is this week. Soup is no longer soup, it’s bisque. It isn’t cream of mushroom, it’s organic shiitake bisque with crème fraiche emulsion . If you are unfamiliar with those ingredients, who knows what could arrive on your plate? A shit biscuit covered in cream paint?

How about panko encrusted scallops with tamarind drizzle ? Anything with a panko encrustation should be examined by a doctor. I don’t know what a tamarind is, or that it causes drizzle (or indeed any sort of damp weather).

The next danger dish is carpaccio. The description sounds innocent enough – warmed winter salad with organic carpaccio . Carpaccio must be like some kind of goats’ cheese, right? No.
Carpaccio is RAW MEAT. Just-dead. No flame has touched its bloody mass.
You end up with raw beef and cooked salad. The chef must have some serious issues.
Perhaps stick with the bread rolls for now.

Now for the main course, sorry, Dish Principal, Fourth Course or whatever the hell we’re up to by now. Attempting to impress your fellow diners, you order boneless grain-fed Cornish Rock with a compliment of seared potato shards and a blemish of spiced Peruvian tomato reduction . Your friends are not impressed when waiter serves you chicken and chips with a dollop of ketchup.

Pan-seared halibut with... green things! Eww.Those dastardly chefs can’t even leave simple Italian food alone. For years I avoided pizza topped with pomodoro, assuming it was some kind of chewy squid. Pomodoro means tomato. Why don’t they just say tomato? And calamaretti is not like spaghetti; it’s some kind of chewy squid.

Sometimes you recognize all the ingredients – except one. Roast (ok) pork (ok) with apple sauce (ok) and seared Ulluco. Uh-oh. Ulluco sounds like it may still have eyes attached. Pan-seared halibut sounds familiar, but unfortunately that psychotic chef has coated it in rocambole jus . Some poor rocambole (which I imagine is some sort of shrew) has been squeezed all over a nice bit of fish. Time for another bread roll.

Thank goodness for dessert! You won’t find any raw cow or crusty crustations in that. Probably.

Although you are reasonably safe ordering anything from the dessert menu, don’t expect your expectations to match what is plonked in front of you.

Four things are guaranteed:

Chocolate cake! With shrew!– Your dessert will be six times smaller than expected.

– There will be a single strawberry and two blueberries somewhere on the plate.

– The plate will be coated with a squiggle of unidentifiable brown sauce (probably chocolate and rocambole jus).

– Your dessert will cost six times more than expected.

If you are invited to a fancy restaurant this weekend, be prepared. Be prepared to face three courses of embarrassment, indigestible food and disappointment. Or tell your host you refuse to eat there as you contracted food poisoning after your last visit. Their carpaccio was suspiciously warm.


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16 Responses to “Is That Supposed To Be Raw? Mysterious Restaurant Meals”

Tiggy, this is hilarious! Peace, Mike.

Hilarious AND educational! Thank you!

Oh, and I read this sentence as “Panicking, I picked the cheapest dish and hoped it didn’t have testicles.” True either way, right?

(Stumbled)

well, if you went to a good restaurant the waiter usually knows that guests dont know what all the stuff on the menu is, and are usually happy to explain. atleast thats my experience. if they dont and take on an attitude then leave, and tell them why you are leaving. although i agree that alot of fancy restaurants use to pretentious names and explanations for their dishes maybe you should consider making your own food or going to a fast food joint if you dont have an open mind about different kinds of food. stop wasting you money on good restaurants.

I came across your post via the Google blogserach page, Good post, I like your writing style! 🙂 I’ve added http://tiggyblog.com/ to my feed reader, and will be reading your posts from now on.

Tiggy, way to go girl. I laughed my ass off with this one. You have got the dining thing down to an art. Stumbled so definitely.

Yeah, trial and error isn’t always a winning strategy for unrecognizable foods. If they’re even foods; I have my doubts.

Funny! Yeah, give me a Whataburger with a thick choco-shake any day over the fancy-schmancy!

So funny. And true. Encrustations should be avoided at all costs. Did you know that in America we call “starters” “appetizers”? I always feel terribly uncomfortable in places like this. And it’s not just the desserts that are tiny — every dish is miniaturized. It’s like toy food. Give me McDonald’s any day.

Tiggy, you are so funny! And ain’t it the truth, too. That was a mighty fancy restaurant you went to – too fancy for its own good, I think.

Did you ever see the Mr Bean episode where he orders steak tartare (because it was the cheapest thing there and was called steak) only to find that it is fancy raw hamburger? Your post made me think of it.

I guess I’m lucky I never get invited to go to a fancy restaurant! I always thought I was missing out but if I want raw meat, I can just eat my finger.

Tiggy, that is some funny stuff! Im never ordering bisque again, lol.
It is so true about desserts. I need to order three just to fill up the plate!!

Next time I make tuna fish casserole, I’m totally going to look for Campbell’s “organic shiitake bisque with crème fraiche emulsion” instead of their “cream of mushroom.” They make it, right?

You sound like an uneducated redneck. The people who go to nice restaurants are usually educated and excited–why would one go and pay considerable money for something they are ignorant about? Eating is a hobby to some, so eating at a fancy restaurant is a recreation. You can’t appreciate complex jazz music if you’ve only been listening to lynyrd skynyrd.

you know, maybe you should just stick with goin to horrible chain restaurants like Olive Garden and TGIVomit or something that you would go to before heading out to the tractor pull and leave this type of food for those of us who are enlightened enough to appreciate it.

Mike: Thanks, but that carpaccio part is real, you know.

Kathy: Either way, we’re right!

Shaker: I find the waiters at Fat Bob’s Fried Pepperoni Shack are usually more than happy to oblige with explaining the delicacies on offer.

Ahmat: Thanks! Sounds like you know your cocktails too!

Quirky: A whataburger or Hoozat pie is a great way to start the day!

Chat: Trial and definately error in the case of ulluco. Bleew.

Etta: Cheers, and sorry about the ass.

JD: Appetizers? Thanks for the tip, I’ll be sure to avoid them!

Lidian: That is the first time I’ve reminded anyone of Mr Bean! I hope.

Bee: I wonder if toes taste the same as fingers? Let us know!

Jeff: Three deseerts? You must be very rich.

MrsM: I’m on to their R&D department right now!

Steve: Hmmm, you pose an interesting conundrum. Skynard or complex jazz? I’m not sure which one I’d rather not listen to.

Larry: Bless you Larry, but sadly I neither posssess a tractor or an Olive Garden. These are hard times we live in.

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