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Tuesday, 18 January 2011
An Inspector calls.
Today, just before lunch service,a message came through to the kitchen that there was a gentleman caller here to see me.
I recognised him immediately,I wouldn't call him a regular but he does lunch with us from time to time.When accompanied by his wife he will partake of a modest sandwich and a cup of tea,as a lone diner amusingly his meal of choice will always consist of:Sausage and Mash, a couple of pints and a Bread and butter pudding.We always refer to him as Mr Bangers.You might want to make a note of that before you take the decision to make a particular favourite dish your permanent choice.
Below is a transcript of the conversation which ensued.
Mr Bangers:Hello.Just wanted a quick word.
(Directing me over to a discreet spot in the corner of the bar)
Mr Bangers:Well,a couple of weeks ago my wife and I came for lunch and both had a Ham and Pease Pudding sandwich,which we both really enjoyed.So last week my wife brought her friend for lunch and they both ordered the Ham and Pease pudding sandwich.The first time we had the Ham and Pease pudding sandwich there was at least 5mm of Pease pudding and three to four slices of ham.When my wife and her friend received their sandwiches my wife noted that there was no more than a whisker of a scraping of Pease pudding ,2mm maximum, and nowhere near as much ham as we'd experienced on our previous visit.This was very disappointing for my wife as she'd recommended the sandwich to her friend and indeed had made a special trip to here to experience it again.Very disappointing..
Self:Oh I'm really sorry to hear that,if your wife had just mentioned to one of the girls when she was here,there would have been no problem whatsoever in redoing the sandwiches and adding some more filling..
Mr Bangers:No...she shouldn't have to do that, that's not the point,(shaking head with vigour)I just wanted to let you know that there's a problem here(nodding and smiling self righteously)with consistency.....Yes, its just not there is it??? Just not there......
(No,far easier to make a special journey back to the pub at a later date to draw attention to the misdemeanour)
This is what I wanted to say:
Well, our sandwiches are all hand cut to order,the ham is cooked in our kitchen then hand sliced with a knife.The Pease pudding is also homemade.With all the will in the world there is no way that every slice of ham will be exactly the same thickness nor the Pease pudding spread exactly the same on every sandwich.If uniformity is your bag then perhaps you might just want to take a short sojourn down to Tesco and purchase a Ham sandwich there.I can guarantee the ham will be sliced so thinly that you will imagine it has been done with a razor blade,but more importantly each sandwich will have been weighed and passed through several factory processes prior to packaging.There will also be a sell by date which might mean the sandwich you consume may have been prepared 2-3 days prior.Yum.
This is what Chef said to me:
You should have told the bleeper he was lucky as we must mistakenly have been overly generous with the original sarnies.
This what I actually said:
No you're right.I'm very sorry.
I bowed my head contritely and walked the walk of shame back to the kitchen.
The Ham and Pease Pudding sandwich is £3.95
I didn't make this up.
PS The Beef Police have paid us another visit this week,again requesting an inspection of the raw product prior to ordering.Chef says its only a question of time before the beef passes the inspection,we go ahead and cook it,then they accuse us of surreptitiously cooking an alternative joint....
We've also had a visit by TWO Michelin Inspectors who chose to experience the Cotes de Boeuf for two.They did not inspect the raw product prior to consumption.