The following letter was sent to a mystery pub in North London following an inedible lunch, I am still waiting for a reply
I am writing to complain about a lunch I had in your lovely pub the other day. First of all let me say what a nice pub you have; the décor is classic, the staff are friendly and you have a wide selection of ales and ciders, which were very pleasing. However the meal I had was one of the worst I have ever eaten. Lets start with what I purchased was described as "Massaman Beef Curry". In my experience this is normally a sumptuous beef curry made with coconut milk and potatoes flavoured with Thai spices in rich gravy. What I received was a bowl full of coconut milk with some raw cabbage, four pieces of chewy beef and 6 giant roast potatoes. Roast potatoes in a curry for a moment I thought I had stepped into a Heston Blumenthal restaurant not a quaint pub in Highgate Village.
The whole point of a curry is to cook all the ingredients together and let them become tender and full of the flavour of the curry. Putting a load of separate ingredients in a bowl full of coconut milk does not a curry make and should certainly not cost seven pounds. I'm all for culinary innovation but your "roast potatoes curry" was a bridge too far.
Needless to say I am very disappointed as when I walked past the pub it looked like a lovely place to come and have some lunch. I would definitely come there again to eat if the issues with the food were addressed.
I understand the need to seek extra revenue streams due to the troubles that pubs are going through. What with the smoking ban, being undercut by the supermarkets and all the other problems. I am loathe to write this but your "Massaman Curry" is not only verging on a breach of the trade descriptions act it is daylight robbery.
P.S. To add insult to injury ten seconds into Tim Buckley's Dolphins, one of the most beautiful songs ever recorded, in my opinion, and a track seldom heard out of the comfort of an up-their own-arse music fans home a member of staff saw fit to turn it off and replace it with the Stereophonics. Cutting Buckley off in his prime was bad enough but replacing it with not a single track but what appeared to be a full Stereophonics album is not only a crime against music but one against civilized society that should be punishable by hanging. Any landlord who thinks a customer should be subjected to a roast potato curry whilst listening to a full Sterophonics album should be frog marched out of the hospitality industry and into a mental institution.