Saturday, January 31, 2009

Reviewers differ and diners scratch their heads.

Today’s Irish Times restaurant review by Tom Doorley features Corrigan’s Mayfair, Richard Corrigan’s new restaurant in London, which was also reviewed by the Sunday Times last December.

I was amused by the following glaring contradiction in their experiences. Reviewers differ and diners scratch their heads.

“linguini cooked in red wine with bone marrow and pecorino, fabulously intense, sharp, salty, savoury, rich, weird but wonderful.”
Tom Doorley Irish Times 31st January 2009.

“Corrigan has occasional moments where the enthusiasm gets the better of him, and there was a fashion disaster. This was the linguine cooked in red wine, pecorino and bone marrow. It looked, smelt and tasted not a little like, not a bit like, not almost like, but precisely and exactly like drunk’s puke. I didn’t finish it. I didn’t want to meet it twice.”

AA Gill, Sunday Times 14th December 2008

I prefer Gill’s prose style – shades of Helen Lucy Burke at her most acerbic.

Footnote: I emailed the above observation to Tom Doorley and got the following reply:

Hi Mollox
Gill is a great writer and can tell you a lot about the overall quality of a restaurant. But his interest in food is limited...
Curiously, Jay Rayner of The Observer adored the linguini but described them in such a way as I wouldn't recognise it.
Yes, indeed. Critics differ and I suppose life would be very dull if we didn't!
Many thanks for letting me have that quote - I see Gill's stuff from time to time. I adore his description of vegetarians as "people who take pleasure in not eating things" (even if it's unfair to a few of them).
AAG, I was told last week by a colleague of his, is paid €1m p.a. I wouldn't mind swapping columns for a few weeks!

Every good wish

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