Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Starry starry night

Went out the other night for a bite to eat and to have a business meeting with a colleague, so since we were on expenses I went upscale a bit and booked a local one Michelin starred pub called the Royal Oak. Owned by Michael Parkinson (off the telly) and his son, this pub turned gastro-venue owes much of it's hefty price tags to this simple fact. Whilst the food was OK, IMO it wasn't really worth the "London money" being charged (£26 ish for a main course) and their policy of forcing customers to pay extra for vegetables you'd normally expect to see on the plate (like red cabbage with duck) seemed to rub even extra salt into the somewhat over-salty crab ravioli. 

My biggest beef though wasn't the £35 steak (potatoes £4.50 extra) so much as the wine list. Along with many other Michelin starred places these days, they feel it's perfectly fine to apply mark-up's of around 4-6 times onto bottles of decidedly average wine (even more for the "trophy wines"). I must admit I was a little surprised to find that this eatery doesn't publish their wine list on-line (most do these days) and now I think I understand why. If I'd have seen it in advance I think I'd have chosen a different place to go. I really object to paying £45 for a sub-£10 bottle of wine served in clunky pub-stemware. I'm quite happy to pay a reasonable margin for any service I receive (the service was good), I do understand how businesses work! But, this wine price-fixing among upmarket restaurants these days is just exploiting people's ignorance and/or blatant profiteering, star or no star, I shan't be visiting again in a hurry.

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