Wednesday 22 January 2014

Ten Teenagers - or maybe not

Ramsey in the middle. This is just before the lens shattered.

Ramsey is 16 (hooray)... and he wanted to celebrate with a group of friends in the civilised environs of New River Restaurant. Who was I to say no? Especially when his mum is a (slightly scary) friend of the family.

The menu negotiations were fairly simple. There was one nut allergy, but either his friends were very unfussy adolescents or they were under orders to eat their greens (wish that worked for mine).

An actual phone box
This one, unusually,
 without a puddle of urine
The table was booked for ten for 7.30, with all confirmed. However, come 7.45 and our party was still only eight. They didn't even ring to apologise to the host. Grr. Why do kids do this? I blame the endless, turnstile of possibility presented by social networking and mobile phones. When I was little you made an arrangement and bloody stuck to it or missed out. The only slight flexibility afforded by meeting by an actual phone box. Anyway, the eight seemed utterly unfazed and in all honesty, I'm not sure I could have coped with the noise level of ten young adults. I can only assume that Ramsey's mates were all hard of hearing. I know, by evening's end, I was. Ramsey was blameless of course; an angel; an utter delight (honest Pat!).

The amuse bouche was my savoury cheese and onion eclairs. Starters was a new dish, that if I'm honest is more of an amuse bouche itself: corn muffin with bacon toffee (YES!) and tomato chilli jam. I thought I'd try a playful presentation. What do you think?

Mains was beef shin with spinach, Yorkshires and roast carrot puree. I am pleased to report that by the end of the course, at least 50% more of the guests realised they liked carrots. I thank you! Dessert was an orange meringue tart.

 I do love the beef dish, and it's the restaurant's signature, but I must make an effort to develop another cow eat this year. In fact, same with lamb. Currently I only offer shanks. 

In all honesty the food seemed to be the least important element of the evening. My delicious focaccia was ignored and my signature nuts sent floor scattered.  School snogging scandals and intrigue being far more compelling, especially when bellowed and guffawed. However I am now assured that everyone enjoyed the meal and I did notice most plates were clean on their return to the kitchen.

This was the noisier end of the table.

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