Thursday, 17 February 2011

Restaurant Review: The Price of 'Herby Fishcakes'

MACK-THE-KNIFE GOES TO 'delifonseca' on Stanley Street, Liverpool:

THEY SAY, or rather some folk from Manchester say: 'You can never trust a Scouser!' I never really understood that saying and yet, in the last year, I have felt diddled by two establishments in Liverpool: both times it was an issue of a false description on a menu. The first was last Summer when I was in John Lewis cafe across from the Liverpool Tate and I ordered tea and a scone priced lower on the menu that at the till. When I queried it the staff were rude and ungrateful that I'd made them aware of what is after all an offence under the Trades Descriptions Act. But as I had my camera with me I snapped the menu before they changed it. Returning to sip my tea I was approached by a manager who after an explanation offered me another drink for free.

More disturbing was our experience last Friday at the highly recommended (in the Telegraph) 'delifonseca', where we had two main courses from the chalked-up Blackboard and a bottle of Tynant sparking water from the drink list. The water was £3.35 for a 750ml blue bottle and served with ice and lemon. I had Sausage & Mash at £8.25, not cheap but nice - the cafe is in the Moorfield area and has certain pretensions. The three pork sausages were delightful and I couldn't fault the quality of the dish or the gravy. More or a problem was my nearest & dearest's 'Herby Fishcakes': there were two of them with potato wedges and some pickle. The waiter Angus had said: 'The fishcakes are Haddock today!' The verdict was that the fishcakes were more like potato cakes and that it was hard to detect any fish in them.

The bill came and I duly paid it on my credit card, minutes later my partner spotted that the price of the fishcakes had transformed to £10.45 on the bill while the same thing was clearly £9.75 on the big Blackboard before us. Wearily, I approached the waiter by the bar and asked for an explanation of the discrepancy? Quick as a flash he said: 'It's wrongly described up there - the Chalkboard refers to Fishcakes containing Coley, not Haddock - I ought to have told you that!'

My partner who prides herself on knowing the Trades Descriptions Act said: 'That's very naughty you!' To which Angus replied 'I'm sorry I just haven't had time to change the price on the Blackboard.' By the it was 3.30pm in the afternoon. Alas I had no camera this time.


Anonymous said...

I think Bammy must have more money than sense. These British pensioners like Bammy are mollycoddled -they`ve never had it so good. If they can afford to pay £8.25 for sausage and mash and £3.35 for a bottle of water its about time we cut their pensions. Today I bought a bottle of water for 19 pence and paid £3.00 for sausage and mash.

romanticanarchist said...

Remind me not to go out on a blind date with anonymous. Restaurant fishcakes tend mostly to be an expensive disappointment in my 'umble experience Bammy. Pass it on to the wife along with my commiserations. And remember, what the repeating anonymous manages to save on his sausages, he usually manages to lose all over his bettabuy toilet sandpaper before he's even finished reading his Daily Mail. He must fucking hate your guts. Ha ha...

Dick Dutch said...

@romantic anarchist

Who needs toilet sandpaper when you've got the Daily Mail?

Anyway, I think I know who 'anon' is, and suspect he's winding Bammy up. Although £8.25 for sausage & mash is a fortune...

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said: 'Today I bought a bottle of water for 19 pence and paid £3.00 for sausage and mash.'

Not all sparking water is the same, just as not all sparking wine is the same! When we were celebrating the birth of 'Northern Voices', in the summer of 2003, I went over to have dinner with Doctor Peter Good - editor of 'The Cunningham Amendment' and at that time a sponsor of NV, I wanted to take a bottle of wine in keeping with the English custom, but because champagne doesn't travel too well and is inclined to blast the contents all over, Peter promised me that he would supply the champagne for the occassion. I took a modest Burgundy instead. Blow me if he didn't come up with a mediocre German sparkiling wine as a toast - presumable he thought that was good enough for a workman - not realising that as pupils of Jimmy Pinkerton and in keeping with his saying: 'our task is not to ape the bourgeois but to compete with them'; I wouldn't mention this now if it weren't for the fact that as Dr. Good opened
my Burgundy shiffing it disdainfully he declared stiffly 'I hope it's good we only drink good stuff here!'