Thursday, 23 January 2014

Berners Tavern: Veni, Vidi, Vici?

Empires are funny things to us iPad-owning, European Union, One Direction, generation. Which, funnily enough, all represent an empire of sorts. Empire in traditional command & conquer, "do you have a flag?" meaning; is so remote to us that the brutality and suffering they perpetuated seems almost fiction. Empires are spoken of with some nostalgic pride in the UK, a great force now spent and rendered to the annals of history. While eschewing evidence that immigrants bring added value to us, while also conveniently forgetting we asked a lot of them to come in the first place, we are content to think that we were merely benevolent dictators. We bestowed upon them a parliament, democracy, cricket, medicines, road and railways. We even gave* them our religion (*ahem).

Monday, 20 January 2014

Sushi Tetsu: No Place I'd Rather Be

Many things have to come together to make a meal truly memorable. Environment, attitude, company, perception, taste, timing, skill, even prior experience. Only a few of these are in the full control of a chef and the staff and even if the parts that can be, are, sometimes the smallest things that ruin a meal. Be it a diner talking that bit too crassly and inevitably loudly, a baby crying in a restaurant just not meant for babies, or where the service simply leaves you cold. Consultants go to great lengths, and charge far too much, to make restaurants as unoffensive to as wide an audience as possible. Slickly dressed servers, non-imaginative interior design, techno-ordering systems - too many places now fit into neat buckets that pre-describe the clientele before anyone has even walked inside. Funny then that every great restauranteur already knows the actual answer - genuine friendliness, passion and an unashamed lack of compromise is what makes great atmosphere. Sushi Tetsu knows this too.

Akami - Perfection