'Ban these dishes from pub menus,' chefs cry

By Nikkie Sutton

- Last updated on GMT

Pub classic: the Scotch egg is a dish one operator is bored of (image credit: Chris Brooks)
Pub classic: the Scotch egg is a dish one operator is bored of (image credit: Chris Brooks)

Related tags: Food

Foam, frozen food and a classic British bar snack are among the plethora of dishes and ingredients chefs and operators want taken off menus.

Food fads are something consumers and operators don’t like because according to a poll commissioned by Bookatable in June last year, UK diners are suffering from ‘food fatigue’ and are turning their backs on ‘fad hipster’ food trends.

The report, which surveyed 2,000 British adults on their dining preferences and featured in Michelin’s Quarterly Dining Trends Report, ​found that almost three quarters (74%) would not pick an ‘unusual’ dish from the menu, or were doubtful about taking the risk.

More than half (57%) of Brits were not bothered by new or alternative foods, feeling that they can’t keep up with the latest food trends.

The Morning Advertiser ​spoke to chefs and operators on which dishes and ingredients should be removed from pub menus.

Menu hacking

Karen Errington, licensee of the Rat Inn, Hexham, Northumberland, said: “Apart from the usual chicken nuggets, a particular dish I hate is dishes that customers make up themselves, ask you to cook and then complain it wasn’t very interesting.

“Similarly, when they ask for no sauce and then complain that it is dry. As chef says, if they want to write the menu themselves, why don’t they stay at home and cook it too?”

Rob Allcock, chef-patron of the Longs Arms in South Wraxall, Bradford-on-Avon, Wiltshire, doesn’t like frozen chips. He also despises powdered soup, stale burger rolls and frozen burgers.

Chef-patron Stosie Madi at the Parkers Arms in Newton-in-Bowland, Lancashire, is not a fan of foam being served.

She said: “It reminds me of snot. The way it sits on food, once it starts to decompose, which is within minutes, it looks like slime running off your food.

“A lot of chefs just don’t do it right when they are trying to copy this molecular gastronomy stuff but it often doesn’t taste of anything.”

Relevant to the dish

But foam wasn’t the only ingredient to feel Madi’s wrath. She added: “Those squeezy splodges (gels).

“The little tiny dots of things. If you are going to put something on a plate, the customer needs to be able to taste it and it has to be relevant to the dish.

“There’s nothing worse than something on a plate that brings nothing to a dish and it takes so much time and effort that by the time it is plated up, the food is cold.”

Heath Ball, licensee of the Red Lion & Sun in Highgate, north London, isn’t fond of a classic British bar snack.

He said: “Scotch eggs. Enough. I like it and it is a great British bar snack but it has been over done.

“It is like when you hear a song you like on the radio but after it has spent six weeks at number one, you get sick of it.

“Scotch eggs have been murdered to death. I’m bored of them.” 

Related topics: Food trends

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