Bring back pub grub!
Diners in backlash against ‘MasterChef-mad’ menus
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.