My Sunshiny Life

{December 23, 2009}   But it's Monday night!

Every year at work we have the same leave it to the last minute rush to book in somewhere for our Christmas dinner.  We’d all rubbished the suggestion that we go to Busaba Eathai or to Wahaca.  Not to say I don’t love both of them. I really do.  But Thai or Mexican is hardly very Christmassy!  (Although both are unlike any Thai or Mexican food you’ve EVER eaten, SOOOO good!)

Lila was tasked with the thankless job of getting us somewhere decent on a night that most of us could make it.  There were 20 of us at the dinner and booking in late November is a hard ask.  This sets the scene as to where we ended up – through no fault of Lila!

Lena restaurant is in Shoreditch and there were 20 of us amping for a big night (well not all 20 as some were soft and went home early).  But for those of us that were, bring on the cocktails!  Uh, sorry, there aren’t any ingredients for cocktails.  If you really wanted a cocktail then your only option was a dacquiri, as it didn’t need any fresh ingredients. 

The first course arrived.  It was billed as goats cheese fondue.  It was a watery cheesy soup with an egg floating around in it.  Yes, doesn’t that sound delish.  To top it off, it was bacteria forming luke warm.  The rest of the table sent theirs back to get reheated.  I didn’t want mine back and told them they could keep it. 

Cheesy eggy lukewarm soup

Cheesy eggy lukewarm soup

In lieu of my cheesy eggy soup I requested a basket of bread.  The response: um, it’s Monday.  We don’t have bread on a Monday.  Wondering if there was a new religion that didn’t eat bread on Mondays, but thinking surely not, I enquired why.  No deliveries on Mondays.  Even if there is a party of 20 coming, that might fancy some bread with their dinner? Or in my case, bread instead of my dinner!  I wanted to cry out Nip down to Tescos you lazy little scamp!

You call that bread?

You call that bread?

The servers were studiously avoiding our table by this stage, which was weird as there were only a couple of other tables occupied in the restaurant.  We had money to spend goddammit!  The boss was paying! 

My main of seabass, fennel and potato was good – flavoursome, crispy and hot.  The turkey roast which I nicked from Marton’s plate was rubbish.  I won on the food front down my end of the table.  Although the pumpkin ravioli was quite good too I was told.

Seabass, tastes better than it looks

Lena, you not only let us down, you let yourself down.  From a table of 20 you could have had a couple of hundred extra quid from cocktails – but you did save a tenner on fresh mint and fruit though didn’t you.  The food needs a kick up the arse and so do your waiting staff.  There was so much more revenue lost through lack of attentive service on the drinks front. 

We couldn’t wait to leave and move on to the next place.  Which is what we did.  I haven’t been to Mother bar since I was a club queen a few years back.  I was introduced to Jaegar Bombs (don’t see the attraction myself) and met up with my old friend the Tequila Shot.  We cut up the dancefloor, busting out our best moves to some truly cheesy tunes.  

No one embarrassed themselves (unfortunately for the office gossip the next day), luckily no one got food poisoning and next year we’re going to book in early.  Or maybe we’ll be going to Wahaca.

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