Bring back pub grub!

Din­ers in back­lash against ‘MasterChef-mad’ menus

Daily Mail - - News - By Sean Poul­ter Con­sumer Af­fairs Edi­tor

FROM car­rot fluff to fish foam, pub-go­ers say they are fed up with see­ing fancy ‘ cheffy’ cre­ations on the menu in place of good old-fash­ioned clas­sics.

Peo­ple pop­ping out for a beer and a bite to eat sim­ply crave a hearty roast or pie and mash rather than dishes that re­quire a de­gree in gas­tron­omy to un­der­stand, it is claimed.

The warn­ing to ‘MasterChef-mad’ pub­li­cans comes from the edi­tor of the Good Pub Guide 2019, who says at­tempts to take menus up­mar­ket, sub­sti­tut­ing chick­peas for chips, risks driv­ing cus­tomers away.

Fiona Sta­p­ley said: ‘Pre­ten­tious menus are a real turn-off. Pub-go­ers don’t want the fancy stuff down at their lo­cal pub.

‘Our readers tell us they are fed up of ask­ing wait­ers to ex­plain a dish or hav­ing to use their mo­biles to de­ci­pher a menu.’

Britons are not in­ter­ested in eat­ing head-scratch­ing in­gre­di­ents and meals such as kabsa, kat­suobushi, mat­bucha, suc­co­tash, tataki or ver­jus in a pub, she said.

‘Pubs and good food now go hand in hand but many chefs ap­pear to have gone MasterChef-mad,’ Miss Sta­p­ley added.

‘We re­ally don’t want our dishes adorned with car­rot fluff [souf­fled car­rot], ed­i­ble sand [a cake top­ping] or fish “foam” [a style of cook­ing fish]. Leave that to the swanky restau­rants. We want good hon­est pub grub. We’ve been baf­fled by the de­scrip­tions and prod­ucts used.

‘In 37 years of the guide’s ex­is­tence, fancy food fads have come and gone, but what al­ways stands fast is hon­est cook­ing us­ing tip-top lo­cal, sea­sonal in­gre­di­ents – but ones that we can all recog­nise.’

The guide fea­tures more than 5,000 pubs and is based on cus­tomer rec­om­men­da­tions, backed up by edi­tor in­spec­tions. If the meals are prov­ing hard for some to swal­low, the guide’s find­ing on beer prices sug­gests drinkers might like to sip rather than gulp their pints.

The av­er­age price of a pint in Bri­tain has risen by 9p in the last year to hit £3.69.

How­ever costs can vary by £1 across the coun­try, with Lon­don com­ing in prici­est at £4.44 a pint and Shrop­shire and Here­ford­shire the cheap­est at around £3.37.

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