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Critics


PhilD
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Speaking of AA Gill, did anyone else see his review of Richard Dawkins most recent program on channel 4, saturday times culture magazine i think. I don't know if the fact that he has forayed into TV review is indicative of his straying off the food, as in, a restaurant critic writing other things (come to think of it, im sure i've seen Rayner do other things), I certainly know it was a very annoying review. Then again, it would for obvious reasons.

AA Gill has written about TV for donkeys years, and travel. It's certainly not a recent thing.

Fair doos.

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Perhaps not a quite a Pulitzer :wink:

Thing is though, this is the sort of thing you're likely to get when you let a journalist do some writing.

There are plenty of subs who could rehash the restaurant PR's releases and dozens of juniors on the paper's payroll that can turn up, offer an opinion and expense the meal.

I'm glad when any paper still pays someone who can write to go to restaurants... they don't have to... if you don't believe me check your local freesheet.

:biggrin:

Edited by Tim Hayward (log)

Tim Hayward

"Anyone who wants to write about food would do well to stay away from

similes and metaphors, because if you're not careful, expressions like

'light as a feather' make their way into your sentences and then where are you?"

Nora Ephron

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Your right of course Tim - when I look at any reviews put out from the writer of the paper in my hometown (which I have happily been parted from for 10 years now!) the quality of writing is dire - mind you, so is his knowledge of food most of the time! Also looking at some of the free papers in London, again the writers are amateurish and again lacking any real knowledge of food - thankfully the Metro seem to appreciate the value of decent writing paired with a palette and thus becomes my weekly essential!

If a man makes a statement and a woman is not around to witness it, is he still wrong?

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You mean the Metro where Arbutus was considered "posh"? Rather undermines the purpose of the restaurant...

(yes I know, I know, to somebody who thinks Pizza Express is a romantic evening out, Arbutus is like a British elBulli...)

So far the only people who I agree with are the eG posters. When I go out to try a new place it is always based on what people here have said. I think the problem is that by the time I read the reviews the restaurant has lost most of its sheen. Prefer the classics anyway.

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You mean the Metro where Arbutus was considered "posh"? Rather undermines the purpose of the restaurant...

(yes I know, I know, to somebody who thinks Pizza Express is a romantic evening out, Arbutus is like a British elBulli...)

So far the only people who I agree with are the eG posters. When I go out to try a new place it is always based on what people here have said. I think the problem is that by the time I read the reviews the restaurant has lost most of its sheen. Prefer the classics anyway.

the metro review of arbutus: http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/article.h...25&in_page_id=9

please indicate where you got 'posh' from? and your bizarre pizza-express-romantic-evening assertion?

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the metro review of arbutus: http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/article.h...25&in_page_id=9

please indicate where you got 'posh' from?  and your bizarre pizza-express-romantic-evening assertion?

Apologies for the bad wording. I remember reading it on the tube about a month ago. Maybe it was the London Paper/Lite, which would explain the expression being used (as opposed to your far better written online review).

I know plenty of people who think Pizza Express is a fantastic place to dine. They are great people, they just don't care about food. To them Arbutus would be elBulli.

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You would all be amazed how many chefs love and eat in pizza express!!!!

....after eating in a lot of British restaurants and watching Masterchef Professional it doesn't surprise me, and it probably explains a lot.

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You would all be amazed how many chefs love and eat in pizza express!!!!

“My favorite Italian cuisine in London is PizzaExpress. That's where I eat with my family at weekends from time to time. That's where I'm teaching my children to eat properly in restaurants. For all the years I've been eating at PizzaExpress, it's probably the most consistent restaurant I've been to in my entire life.''

- Marcus Wareing

Food Snob

foodsnob@hotmail.co.uk

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You would all be amazed how many chefs love and eat in pizza express!!!!

“My favorite Italian cuisine in London is PizzaExpress. That's where I eat with my family at weekends from time to time. That's where I'm teaching my children to eat properly in restaurants. For all the years I've been eating at PizzaExpress, it's probably the most consistent restaurant I've been to in my entire life.''

- Marcus Wareing

Cancel the reservation at the River Cafe. Where is the nearest Pizza Express? He must be right he is a chef...! (PS my local McDonalds is also pretty consistent)

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Matt, your argument is not particularly logical. Because you like PE, it doesn't mean that it is the place that you would go to when looking for a special place for a special night, nor does it mean you consider it to be one of the temples of fine dining.

And THAT was my point. Or one of them. Regardless, I think this conversation is better stopped now before it degenerates any further.

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It seems the general consensus is to listen to those you respect, and probably rely on passionate bloggers more than the entertaining professionals in the nationals (Rayner being the exception).

So last Wednesday Dos Hermandos, a reliable source, visit Avista the new Italian in Grosvenor Square. Hermano hated it. Today I read Andy Haylers review. He liked it (or at least the cooking).

Interesting - I can only think it took a week or so for the place to settle in.

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the metro review of arbutus: http://www.metro.co.uk/metrolife/article.h...25&in_page_id=9

please indicate where you got 'posh' from?  and your bizarre pizza-express-romantic-evening assertion?

Apologies for the bad wording. I remember reading it on the tube about a month ago. Maybe it was the London Paper/Lite, which would explain the expression being used (as opposed to your far better written online review).

I know plenty of people who think Pizza Express is a fantastic place to dine. They are great people, they just don't care about food. To them Arbutus would be elBulli.

I think what you say here is that people who think pizza express is a fantastic place to dine (me) are great people (thanks), they just don't care about food, hence I don't care about food according to your statement, you do not leave room for exceptions. Then it follows that when "them" (me) goes to Arbutus I obviously think it is El Bulli ! and you are moaning about my logic!

Matt Christmas.

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as regards to critics, just take that facts and try to find a guide or person who tends to like the same restaurants as you. just be aware that critics need to be entertaining in what they write, hence the need for the critics in the larger publications writing less about food. it has to be accessible to non foodies who have other reasons for choosing a restaurant.

also they dine out all the time and can get very tired of eating in a certain kind of establishment. if they have eaten in a string of michelin style places they are going to think the next trip to the anchor and hope is just the ticket. i know i have come back from trips to paris jam packed with 2 and 3 star places and the most welcome meal is the lamb chops and jacket potato i eat when i get home, if i had to write about it i would be telling everyone to get round to mine!

Matt Christmas.

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Matt, your argument is not particularly logical. Because you like PE, it doesn't mean that it is the place that you would go to when looking for a special place for a special night, nor does it mean you consider it to be one of the temples of fine dining.

And THAT was my point. Or one of them. Regardless, I think this conversation is better stopped now before it degenerates any further.

Roger I was simply taking you to task because you said that people that like Pizza Express don't care about food. I care about food and I also think that Pizza Express is probably the best chain restaurant I know (not that I frequent many). I'm also well able to tell the difference between Arbutus and El Bulli having eaten at both. Curiously I don't think that I am an exception to the rule judging by some of the other posts here

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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Understood. It was a bad example, since they do attempt to make food, as opposed to defrosting it (at least they did when I last went 3 years ago). I personally dislike it (for some reason their pizzas make me feel quite ill, whilst McDonald's mashed-cardboard-in-solidified-milk-powder-buns doesn't). Perhaps it would have been better to pick one of the "Italian" chains as an example (just yesterday somebody told me how fantastic the food at Cafe Uno was). As for Matt's argument that I clumped all PE lovers together... are my friends representative of all PE customers in the world? It would be nice if they were, so that if I was to start a restaurant, I could do extremely efficient market research. But the set of people I know are not the set of people who eat at PE. There may or may not be overlap.

MHO, the logical flaw in your argument, Matt, is that you assume that by "the people I know who eat at PE" I mean "all the people who eat at PE", a set to which you and other posters belong, despite not being part of the first set (as I do not know you). The other "flaw" if it is one as such, is that you assume that there are no exceptions in my statement (or that I imply so). Of course, even in the set of PE lovers that I know, will there be some that also care greatly about food - this does not mean that the majority does.

Back to topic now?

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I personally enjoy reading pieces by critics - but it rarely influences my decision on whether to eat at an establishment or not. If i want advice on where to eat - i'd rather come here or look at one of the guides. You're always going to get the odd bad meal because thats the way things are. I know one pub that i used to eat at at least once a week because it was pretty good - sometimes they would produce a plate of food that matched some of the best meals i've had but other times it would be poor. Without such experiences i think life would be a little dull.

On another note, are we all now agreed that pizza express should be restaurant magazines no. 1 for the UK? :wink:

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