Wednesday, 31 March 2010

'Missives from the gastronomical front' by Basford Harper

What follows are a series of extracts from Basford Harper's column in the Bolehall Gazette. His job at that publication was restaurant reviewer/toilet cleaner. He would sometimes get confused and review toilets instead, leading to a public toilet in a park taking a booking for a table of five.

Ping Ping’s All-You-Can-Eat Chinese Buffet – Burton-upon-Trent
I arrived at Ping Ping’s flagship establishment in Burton to find a decent selection of Chinese delicacies, including lemon chicken, sweet and sour chicken and chicken noodles.
There were a fair few birthday parties in, and Ping Ping’s staff marked these occasions with their own birthday song. Of course, due to the accent of the singer, it sounded more like ‘Happy Bathday.’ Although, by the look of many of the patrons, this would also be an annual event.

The Hare and Fruit Basket – Minworth
This Brewer’s Fayre on the opposite side of the road to a sewage farm offers a rather more fragrant line in pub grub.
To start, I had the prawn cocktail, which was tasty even though it came served in a half-pint glass. For the main, I had a delicious cheese burger with only a sprinkling of grease. A humdrum ice cream desert with teddy bear wafer couldn’t detract from my enthusiasm for the burger, and I tried to find the chef, Keith afterwards to compliment him, but he was around the back, fingering his girlfriend.

The George and Dragon – Barking
Although the food (roast beef) was adequate, there was something a little unsettling about the ambiance of the venue. There were St George’s flags everywhere, with pictures of Winston Churchill and Nick Griffin taking up every available piece of wall space which didn’t have a golliwog hanging from it by its neck. It took a while, but I finally realised what it was; people were openly flouting the smoking ban! I pointed this out to one gentleman with a tattoo of a bulldog on his forehead, and let’s just say that glass ashtrays are rather slippery items to retrieve from one’s back passage.

Dr Butty – Leeds
The sausage and egg sandwich I ate at this establishment was fine, although when I questioned the credentials of the so-called doctor, the woman behind the counter, one Tracey, gave me a knowing look which could have only said, “I am going to spit in your sandwich.” I can only conclude from this that Mr Butty is claiming to possess qualifications which he has not earned.

Cinemaland Multiplex – Coventry
The choice of food at this establishment was not particularly wide, but I plumped for the nachos with popcorn and coke. While the taste was adequate, there was precious little subtext, with only the ice in the drink offering a post-structuralist take on entropy. The cheese and salsa with the nachos had nothing to say, and not even in a Beckett-esque way. The film I watched was a delightful romp featuring a talking hamster. It was difficult to hear what he was saying most of the time though, what with him being concealed in Richard Gere’s anus.

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