Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Trust Me I am a Waiter


The Well Done Fillet Seal of Approval

People always ask me where the best places are to eat in Belfast, or what wine compliments a chicken doner kebab the best. They want to know where to get the best local fish and who sells the best cheese. And as master of my own stomach I know the answers to all these questions. So I thought to myself why not share these years of fine eating/drinking (chicken doner kebabs are not fine dining fat boy - LMM) with the group. Now I appreciate that almost nobody from Belfast reads this blog but I will also review wine and stuff that can be bought anywhere, well not your local garage (gas station) but you know what I mean. Each item reviewed will be given a WELL DONE FILLET rating.

Wine
Wine will be rated using the cork system (until I can come up with something more interesting). Five corks meaning you should rush out and get a bottle or you are an idiot. This works on a sliding scale down to one cork. If it is really aftershave or toilet cleaner masquerading as wine it will be "rewarded" accordingly. I am not a wine expert but over the years I have built up enough knowledge to be able to detect when I am getting served blackcurrant juice instead Pinot Noir. If you have tried one of my selections please let me know what you think. And if you could do this with a bottle or two down your neck that would be even better.

Restaurants
Restaurant reviewers are for the most part arseholes. They blather on about details that are quite irrelevant. For example when did you last leave a restaurant complaining that the cutlery wasn't as contemporary as you would have liked? They write reviews that fail to speak to the ordinary diner. A person heading out for dinner wants to know a few simple things, the quality of the food, the quality of the service, the quality of the wine and drinks, and if they are going to get dinner for less than their monthly mortgage. I will offer an overall rating out of five based on the over all enjoyment of the dining "experience", I was trying not use that word! I will also be reviewing, were possible, the other guests. Do you want to go to a restaurants if all the other guests are in velour tracksuits and vest tops? Eh do you? Or if they are horrible alpha types with lots of air kissing and shouting at the waiters. Manuel will give you it all.

As well as the Well Done Fillet Seal of approval there will also be the Well Done Fillet Seal of Anger and Disappointment. I know people prefer to read a good slating than a positive and life affirming review. But suck it up people you will get what I get, good or bad. I will pull no punches nor hide from exposing the mouldy bread. And when the food and service combine as they should to create a great meal I shall roar it for all to hear. It could be fun! LMM is pleased as she we will be going out more. We shall just see how much fun it is as I reenact the Spanish Inquisition on the car ride home.

Is this a case of poacher turned gamekeeper?

First review this week, sometime, not sure when...

The Seal of Approval says Subscribe in a reader or face the wrath of the Seal of Anger and Disappointment

20 People trying to get Manuel's attention:

big gay al said...

Are you taking requests?
May i suggest a fiesty little red called 'buckfast', grown in the moanstic vinyard in devon and matured in the foothills of craigavon, it has a distinct after taste of goat wee, vanilla and the slightest hint of smoked marijuana, add that to the distinctive bouqet of shopping trolley and scrotal essence this really is a wine to savour alone out of a brown paper bag on a park bench or under a bridge, in January.

Manuel said...

BGA: Bwahahahaha, no no no, buckfast would require a whole new classification of it's own...

Mudflapgypsy said...

Your first wine recommendation is NED.
This being a Glasgow colloquialism for SPIDE.
Is there going to be a comedy wine name award then?

Medbh said...

Looking forward to it, Manuel.

sheepworrier said...

mmmmmm, buckfast... proud sponsers of unwanted teenage pregnancies since 1982.

i know a fella whos got the bucky seal (coat of arms?) tattooed on his bicep. no joke. and hes not even a spide!

James UK said...

I'd be interested in reviews of Fish and Chip shops over there. I'm a big fan of F&C myself, and out of all the places here (Plaices?),there's one shop that I always return to for the quality of their product.

The staff are rude and surly, but their Cod is fried to perfection.

Oh, Stouts would be good too, please, as my Dad is a big fan of them, and still sad he can't get "Watney's Cream Label" any more.

Manuel said...

Mudflapgypsy: I never thought of that, and let me tell you there are some ridiculous names out there. Mainly new world wines, the French tend to have no sense of humour regarding wine.

Medbh: Good God woman please lower your expectations...

Sheepworrier: Not a spide, you sure?

JamesUK: Welcome sir, I shall grant you your wish. But I cannot say when it will happen, maybe tomorrow, maybe Friday, maybe October. But Friday makes sense to me...

Medbh said...

Wait. I have to take the pressure of how you receive "The Wire" but you don't have to feel the push to offer up stellar reviews?
Bullshite, Senor Manuel.
Ante up!

Manuel said...

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA Fist one is tomorrow lunchtime, give or take an hour or two. Excited eh?

Anonymous Boxer said...

You are very entertaining, Sir, and I will be back.

toast said...

Many many years ago I went to see pop-punk noisey boys Leatherface in Belfast and it turned out that lead singer Andy Stubbs was a mate of a mate so we ended up all kipping in the same house on fitzroy ave.

Anyway after a night of tremendous excess and little in the way of sleep we decided to try belfasts early morning eatery scene and headed toward botanic.

I'm quite sure that the cafe that was there no longer exists but there was a cafe there that looked to do the job so myself and Sunderlands finest exponents of punk rock since the toy dolls went in and surveyed the menu hoping for veggie breakfast but quickly realising that we might have to make do with cheese on bread.

The wee wimmin behind the counter had clocked us since we had come in - i certainly hadn't showered in a couple fo days and the band looked and smelled like they hadn't showered in months - we were being viewed with some suspicion as she mopped the same spot on the floor slowly.

After some minutes surveying the menu, on which even the pot of tea seemed to contain bacon, one of the band leaned forward and asked in his best polite-voice "excuse me, I don't suppose you have anything vegetarian do you?"

This was the cracking point for the wee wimmin - her knuckles went white around the mop has her face got redder and an almighty scream was let out "WE DON'T SERVE YOUR FANCY ENGLISH FOOD OVERE HERE - NOW GET OUT!!"

Never saw a band leave an eatery so quick since.

sheepworrier said...

Manuel - he's actually a culchie, so that might explain it...

Toast - sounds suspiciously like Maggie 'its not food unless its fried' Mays or The Other Place?

Old Knudsen said...

There was this good KFC on the Shore road, not much of a wine list.

Manuel said...

Anonymous boxer: welcome sir/madam/small child. Anyone who finds me amusing at 6.35 in the morning has without a doubt been hit upside their head one to many times. Thank you though...

Toast: Hahahahahaha! Roscoff's eh what a cad that Paul Rankin is. Nah sounds like Maggie Mays?

Sheepworrier: Culchie eh? From the Buckast Triangle then of Craigavon, Lurgan, & Portadown. I suggest Maggie Mays too. It would have been a time before The Other Place. Hard to imagine a time before the Other Place...

Old K: Julie's kitchen, now there was an eatery

toast said...

Re: Leatherface - i meant Frankie Stubbs of course i think he was so pleased by the incident he penned an opus and even managed to shoe-in my hometown in there somehow


Re: Maggie Mays - i really don't think it was - a grip of a place near shaftsbury sq. - this was in the early 90s mind

Manuel said...

Toast": That's a cracker. I was up your way t'other day on the way to Bushmills/Giants Causeway. Nice isn't it. Relaxing and welcoming particularly Bushmills, Jesus them kids are serious eh?

Was the place your thinking o on the Dublin Road. This is doing my head in...

toast said...

Ha, yer making me homesick now.

I'm pretty sure it was on the opposite side of the road to botanic station down towards the square - but you know i never lived in belfast, only drank there and that particular morning was particularly heavy shift of wine and something that some fella on fitzroy made in his bath - so you will excuse me if i can't remember the exact details

Anonymous Boxer said...

Female, and because I'm in the States, it was actually 9:30 at night. However,I HAVE been hit upside of the head a few times... but always with head gear.

Manuel said...

Toast: Nat til worry...

Anonymous boxer: Ah good evening madam, wine tonight? Safety at all times, I like that attitude...

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