The title says it all really doesn't it. I barely need go on. But okay, lets talk about restaurants, not the warm friendly places we like to eat, the restaurants where the more you pay, the smaller your dinner. The restaurants where the confit lovingly prepared over the course of 36 hours, using only the finest ingredients including powdered unicorn and fresh Dodo, described at some length in the novella which passes as a menu, amounts to no more than a colourful smear on your plate, perhaps dispensed from a pipette.
Now you or I preparing for a dinner party, slightly overcooking the new potatoes, or perhaps dropping the colander in the sink as we drain them, might think to ourselves "dammit, I have made them look a mess. I'll just serve them good side up or use those that are a little less battered". The cunning bastards that run these self-important restaurants see opportunity though, these aren't boiled potatoes, these are crushed potatoes, infinitely more complex and sought after by all the crowned heads of Europe. Only a slack-jawed yokel would think their meal was a mess, any fool can see that these potatoes have been lovingly crushed by a chef flown in especially from Peru, using hand-made crushing spoons crafted from the crashed remains of an alien spacecraft, each grain of sea salt sprinkled thereon taken from a Narwhal's breathing spout. Shit, we should be grateful that they have only charged us an extra £10 for their trouble.
And that is what is wrong with eating out in this country, we glorify the ludicrous, the more convoluted, ridiculous and tiny the food we are served, the more we are supposed to kiss the feet of the joker that prepared it. Just so, as we drive past a fast food restaurant on the way home, our stomachs rumbling with hunger, we can pity those whose meals cost a tenth of what we paid, those whose belly's will be full as they travel home, those who don't know the joy to be had from a dribble of raspberry tickled by an albino wood-nymph whilst submerged in liquid nitrogen.
And then, having bade goodnight to our fellow diners, we sit in our kitchens and make toast, because we're starving.