"It's not much but it's ours"

Saturday, March 10, 2007


Drowned at the bottom of your mystery
Down in the bottom of the Wine Dark Sea

Every time I have a duff meal a little bit of me dies inside. Admittedly eating bad food is not the worst thing in the world, but for one whose life is mostly driven by what the next meal is going to be it’s pretty much up there. I lost a whole bunch of my insides after a miserable meal at Eyre Brothers.

I’ve visited this restaurant probably half a dozen times in as many years and it’s never really convinced, indeed each visit has witnessed a decremental change in food and service. This was a new low.

The service was friendly enough, although confused. The wine list was ok. The room, all mahogany and leather, remains a handsome in which to dine. It’s just the food which is the problem. It’s crap.

A starter, smugly described as Jamón Ibérico bellota (“Quercus Magno”, Guijelo [sic], Salamanca) on the menu, took longer to read than to eat. Annoyingly, I had to send the first plate back because when I’m paying £16 + 12.5% for some jamon I want it cut properly and I want a decent ratio of moist ham to dried up pieces of leather. One of the eponymous brothers (David, I think) brought me the replacement with nary an apology but just an enquiry if it looked any better. Well I’d have to taste it first I replied. I did and it wasn’t. Please compare and contrast with a plate DH enjoyed at El Faro. I make no apology for posting it again to show how it should be done. The charred toast covered with a crude tomato concasse and a few oregano leaves was just rubbing it in (how it should have been made).

My other starter of Morcilla was forgotten so I stated on my main of Hake with poularde clams and prawns, Basque style. This was a sad piece of fish swamped by a muddy gravy. There were some overcooked prawns and clams and rather a lot of peas. The Basque nation are justly renowned for their cuisine. What would they make, I wonder, of this dish named in homage to them. I think they would be very unhappy indeed.

I really should have called it a night there and but ever the sucker for punishment I decided to have my missed starter. The morcilla was actually pretty good as morcilla goes but it was spoiled by an unsympathetic pairing with black-eyed beans and a nasty undertaste.

Oh and the double espresso was the worst I’ve ever tasted.

The shame of it was that those most upset and apologetic about this car crash of a meal were those least likely to influence things. Nobody else gave a toss. At least HS wasn’t there, not only because I wouldn’t want flesh and blood to experience such a miserable meal but also because he would have been more critical and vocal than me…and it wouldn’t have been pretty.

PS And if you’re going to get all poncy about ham at least take the trouble to find out how to spell the name of the town it comes from

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