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Friday, December 09, 2005

Spud -u-like

Last weekend you could have found me having a very nice dinner in an absolutely chock-a-block restaurant in Sloane Square, London. I'd ordered roast pheasant, which was on the specials blackboard. I thought I would risk the cancer-inducing chemicals the birds have been fed on in the mad headlong-rush to encourage them to become big fat birds, too big in fact to be supported by their feeble legs, - pheasant-feed that is banned in the rest of civilised Europe but not here. But I digress.

The blackboard said the roast would arrive with beans wrapped in bacon and a dauphinoise and thyme sauce. Well, I'd never heard of a dauphinoise and thyme sauce, but it sounded just the job. My friend said, "You'll be wanting some potatoes to go with that," and having received the spud-related subliminal message I thought that dauphinoise potatoes were exactly what I wanted. The waiter took my order, with what, looking back, may have been a smirk.

Of course, when the meal arrived, I discovered that the pheasant came with its own portion of dauphinoise potatoes, - which were amply augmented (Can you tell I used to work for a cosmetic surgeon?) by my extra order - but that the waiter had neglected to alert me to this. I decided it would be politic not to make a fuss, though I did tell the waiter that I could not possibly eat so many potatoes, thank you very much. My friend paid the bill so I didn't think it my place to make a fuss and when they brought me my dessert it was the biggest pavlova you have ever seen - much bigger than those ordered by my fellow diners, and very tasty too.

However, I think that if we'd been in France, where waiters apparently are held in greater regard than they are here, this would not have happened. I certainly would not have left a tip, but I fear my friend may have.


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