I really enjoyed Jemma Eat World’s post from last week on her 7 most disappointing foodie experiences. She had some really corkers in there, so do give it a read.
While we’ve certainly encountered some total pish over the course of our quests, I think real “disappointment” only occurs when expectations are set at a particular level which is then not met. So while our seven don’t represent the worst we’ve had, they definitely sum up the ones with the biggest gap between our hopes and our actual experience.
Strap in, and let’s begin:
1. Mother India
I just don’t get the appeal of Edinburgh’s branch of Mother India, and this was reinforced by a recent trip to the Glasgow restaurant (review to follow in the coming days). On the three occasions I’ve visited I’ve it’s been wham, bam, overcooked seafood, ma’am.
When food arrives just a bit too quick, I can never be entirely sure whether it’s because I’m either not paying attention or having too much fun, but when it consistently happens and is the harbinger of chewy prawns and dried-out trout it eventually adds up to a place that simply doesn’t ring my bell, which is a shame because many people I know seem to love the place.
2. Chop Chop
Another eatery with a devotee list as long as your arm, Chop Chop has, in my experience, consistently fallen short of the high bar that has been set for them following lofty reviews from the great and good.
Can 1 billion people be wrong? Of course they can. How else did Love City Groove not win Eurovision?
3. Osteria del Tempo Perso
Sometimes it’s great when restaurants make mistakes as often you’ll see them at their best when they’re having to make up lost ground.
However, when there’s a sense that a place is almost deliberately making mistakes so they can give you more “free wine” to make up for it, it just gets a bit weird.
I get that for some folks this may sound like a great model, but eventually there comes a point where they should just learn how to season dishes properly and stuff their free wine up their arse.
4. The Cambridge Bar
There’s a very real sense in which the Cambridge Bar sets the standard for burgers across the city, as they’re widely considered as the purveyor of the best burgers in town.
Consequently, it’s a real shame that their burgers are horribly lean mounds of mince that consistently fail to hit winning notes with me.
So many other businesses follow their lead and plough head-long into tasteless, crumbly burger hell. I long for the day when their crown as Edinburgh’s leading burger crowd-pleaser is smashed to dust.
We’d visited Mother’s a few times having enjoyed our initial visit very much indeed. So, when along with the Book Group we visited and had a hugely negative service experience it was massively disappointing.
Everywhere can have an off-day, but what sealed the deal was when I had to directly check they understood what had taken place with them along the lines of saying “you do realise that service has been appalling, today” and it was shrugged off with no regard or comment.
Slow service, wrong dishes and failure to acknowledge or do anything about was just shit beyond belief. We’ve never been back and now actively discourage others from going.
6. Tuk Tuk
We wrote a fairly generous reviewabout Tuk Tuk when it first opened. The concept was good so it looked like it had room to develop into a good place. However, two subsequent visits have barely held a single good dish. It’s a place that gets a huge amount of positive regard, but it’s one of the few Indian places in the city that we encourage people to actively avoid.
Another place that gets a massive amount of positive feedback, Monteith’s served me two incredibly weak dishes. It reflected inaccurate seasoning and cooking across a soup and beef dish.
The owners have recently opened the Leith Chop House, about which I hear nothing but good things, even from fellow Monteith’s sceptics. It will take me a good few weeks or months to summon up a clear head to visit without a general sense of negativity, based on how totally inadequate my experience was at Monteith’s.
So, there you go. I’m sure this will prompt strenuous disagreement, but that’s all part of the fun. In the interests of fairness and balance, I am working on a companion piece which will showcase the 7 most unexpectedly great places, so keep an eye out for that.