We had a trip to Hell’s Kitchen for dinner at the end of last week. Our table was right by the pass, meaning we got to watch Marco & the celebs cooking up close. Interesting to do, as you end up not talking, just staring in at the frenetic activity: celebs, Marco and two chef helpers running up and down the kitchen to get things done in time.
The most fascinating thing is when the programme ends and service is over, almost everyone leaves, and the remaining celebs clean the kitchen for hours. Watching Linda Evans, once super-glam Crystal from Dynasty, scrubbing out an oven is a bizarre sight.
I wasn’t drinking and opted to have a diet coke rather than the wine. Interestingly they still gave it to me in a wine glass filled up to the right level, probably to make it look like everyone is feasting in there.
Mini-blogging while there…
As they said “treat it like a normal restaurant, feel free to wander around” I decided that included being allowed to do a mini-blog as I was there, posting in the forum from my phone when I could (see Hell’s Kitchen Twitter-esque blog).
It was fun to do, and see the reactions in the Forum, each time I posted. As for walking around, the only person we knew there was former Apprentice Raef, who’d appeared on It Pays To Watch in the past, so we said a quick hello to him. It turned out to be toff night as we found out later; unsurprisingly we didn’t appear in the Toff Montage!
The food itself was great, a much better menu than when I went about eighteen months ago (see A night at hell’s kitchen blog). For the starter I had Smoked Salmon, a beautiful piece that covered the plate, and a lemon in netting to squeeze on it. Yet I only gave it a 6/10 which is marked as “very good” rather than a higher grade (e.g. 9/10 – very impressive), because it doesn’t actually take that much work.
For the main course, I went for the seared tuna and frankly I was under-impressed, it was fine just rather bland, partly because it was covered in olives and other veg, and i dislike olives so simply brushed that off. There was also the fennel on the plate, which tastes of aniseed, an interesting taste, but not for me.
Dessert was some of Danielle Bux’s trifle, and my comment, which I discovered the next day was read out on the comment card, was “I hate trifle. I didn’t hate this. That in itself is impressive”. I was pleased about this as watching Danielle throughout the evening, she’d looked under stress, and even though we’ve never met her when we smiled she smiled back seeming, quite rightly, to like any support.