One of the pleasures of living in London is the abundance of places to eat. Harden’s recently announced that some 158 new restaurants had opened in the capital: apparently, we are in a ‘golden age of dining’. If you want to be cosmopolitan, there’s no better place. Fancy a Thai chow-down? Almost every street has a pub dishing out green curry and pad thai. If your tastes are broader, you can nibble on Vietnamese, Nepalese and Chinese. Italian bistros and French cafes abound, Spanish tapas (top tip Barrafina in Frith Street, run by the brilliant brothers Sam and Eddie Hart, has the best chorizo and gambas this side of Madrid), German sausage and Swedish herring can all be found a stone’s throw from any bus stop. Polish vodka, Japanese sushi and Russian tea are as common as coffee.
Which makes it all the more galling to be served bad food. A restaurant I went to last week appeared to be filled only by those who failed to get into the Mexican place next door. After we had complained ‘minute steak means 60 seconds, not tiny’ we were offered the fare for nothing, and just left a huge tip for the beleaguered waitress. Spoilt, aren’t we?