Monday, April 20, 2009
I had a dream about dining with the Two Fat Ladies last night. Remember them? Those pleasantly plump English lasses that loved nothing better than swilling cooking sherry and swimming about in thick, rich, salted, heart-stopping butter? Well for some reason they’ve seeped into my subconscious lately. Maybe you dear reader can shed some light on this strange scenario? OK...so here goes... We’re in some upmarket bistro overlooking the Story Bridge. Clarissa is on my left and Jennifer on my right. An emaciated looking waiter with a ponytail and a vacant expression approaches the table. ‘Today’s specials are…’ he began. ‘Stop right there pet’ I say. I look him straight in the eye and say as slowly and as nicely as possible ‘I want fish fingers with melted cheese on white bread and lashings of butter’ He looks absolutely appalled ‘Pardon moi madam?’ ‘You heard me sunshine. I want fish fingers. In fact I want a whole platter of them.’ ‘Well madam’ he began again ‘today’s specials are a crisp rocket salad with char-grilled cuttlefish’ I could see this was going to be a lot harder than I had anticipated. I looked over at Clarissa who appeared to have already been served. She was unhappily picking her way through a collection of wilted lettuce leaves that the most self-respecting rabbit would reject. Clarissa lifts her greasy head and says in her booming voice ‘and I want chips…not New York potato wedges, not shoe-string fries but really thickly cut chips with vinegar and lashings of salt!’… ‘Here here!’ joins in Jennifer, fixing the waiter with her watery, cross-eyed look through those heavy black-rimmed spectacles. ‘I want chips too, and a battered saveloy AND potato scallops with mayonnaise. Get this grain-fed veal in red wine jus out of my sight!’ Suddenly, things got out of hand. In slow motion I watched my fellow diners smashing plates and throwing mineral water and then as a mob we marched to the kitchen. The chef looked terrified as well he should – like the storming of the Bastille, this was a powder keg in the new dining revolution! We’d had enough of big white plates and miniscule serves and we weren’t going to take it anymore! Our rallying cry was ‘What do we want? Fish Fingers! How do we want ‘em? DEEP FRIED’ Ahem. Things got a bit hazy after that. Last thing I remember was Clarissa holding the dishwasher hostage and Jennifer wielding a hot spatula in the direction of the chef’s reproductive organs. How very quaint.