Wednesday, 23 February 2011

A Fancy Throwdown!

It’s restaurant time again. And Fancy is mad. Listen world, I’m a busy person. I don’t have time to waste. And if BBC’s Olive magazine tells me that a restaurant is worth a trip, I’m going. Especially if Time Out calls it one of this year’s Top 50 (a list we’re going to work through together kids!). But let me tell you, it had better deliver or I’m going all Fancy on its ass. Indulge me, if you will, in my public countering of Gregg Wallace’s (MasterChef!) review of Les Deux Salons.

Now that it’s all the rage, it’s nearly impossible to get a reservation on a weekend. However, I’m nothing if not persistent. So H and I handed the kids off to our trusty evening sitter (I miss my Night Nanny!) and marched on down to Covent Garden, expecting great things. Gregg tells us that the place is so “fantastic looking” because it’s “so French it almost sells you an onion.” Okay, that’s clever, Gregg. But I’m not at fucking Waitrose. I’m here to get fed. Moving on.

“Nothing wrong with the service that a bit of confidence won’t put right,” reports our trusty Professional Critic. Really? Really? Then why was sitting with H like being on the tarmac at Heathrow? His arms were constantly waving over his head (he’s not exactly subtle nor does he give a crap what anyone thinks), trying to get our waiter’s –or anyone’s for that matter—attention. I require ample booze with my meal and I need a waiter who is respectful of my needs. Water too. Needed more water. Shouldn’t have to ask twice, let alone a third time. Chop, chop people.

When it comes to the food, Gregg confesses that he was dining out with his fellow MasterChef judge, John Torode and they were recognized. Well that could explain why his service was only lacking “confidence,” while ours was downright neglectful. And might also be the reason why he called their food “brilliant” while H and I were fighting over the salt-shaker. Okay, maybe it’s my own fault. I tend to order lighter than a snail and bacon pie but again, simple shouldn’t be that hard. In fact, I made it ridiculously simple for these people. Steak tartare. It’s a French bistro. If they can’t get that right, what in God’s name is going on in that kitchen? It doesn’t even require cooking. Crikey.

Gregg’s verdict? He looks “forward to this place become iconic” with its “excellent” food and service that “is almost there.” He gave it a whopping 26/30 and says he’s going again, probably as early as next week.

The Fancy verdict? Yawn. Thank you, Olive, for ensuring that I will be able to get a table at any one of the neighbouring Fancy Covent Garden restaurants any time I want thanks to your glowing review of a place that I'm not itching to return to. Sure, maybe it was an off night. Maybe it’s because our waitress was Canadian. (They are quite relaxed over there, aren’t they?) But I’ve only got so many calories to eat in this lifetime and I’ve got to be choosy about where I use them.  The Fancy Score? 11/30. 1 for food. 8 for ambiance. 2 for service. Because the Canadians are really nice people and I’m sure she meant well.



  1. Wow you're harsh. For you it's the calories, for me it's the money - can't bear a disappointment on the rare nights out we get. Keep them on their toes Frau Fancy - you're our undercover expert.

  2. I had a similar thing at a Gordon Ramsay restaurant. Came home HUNGRY. Made a mental note that I don't like his bully boy tactics anyway and that I would never be lining his pockets again. And what was with the lack of wine? Whenever I have dinner parties my no.1 rule is keep the good wine flowing - hopefully they'll be to drunk to notice shit service or shit food.

  3. I loathe bad service in a restaurant. Eating out is a special thing these days and if you have to strip naked to get noticed, something is wrong.

    Not that I have ever done that.

  4. For me, if I go through the trouble of getting out of the house, it better be good...we've had several dinners lately at our fine dining spots that have left me stopping for fries on the way home and a large dent in the & service have been lacking this side of the pond too.

  5. Seems you and I agree

    It was me·di·o·cre!