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Saturday October 24, 2009

Have Overpriced Restaurants Had their Chips?

I’ve just received a surprising invitation to sample free canapés every Friday night at the Palma based restaurant, Fosh Foods. Why am I surprised? Simply because Marc Fosh, the only British chef in Spain to have received a Michelin Star, has thrown off his mink mantle and opted for chic and cheap. So sure is he that times are changing and that the consumer will no longer tolerate inflated and ludicrously priced chichi menus, that he is offering the punter DIY cookery courses at his down to earth kitchens and has created a no nonsense and affordable ‘menu del dia’ to lure in those with a few euros still jingling in the pocket.

Good for Marc Fosh because elsewhere on Majorca, the food clowns are still creaming it off. Only this week, four of us popped out to a local beach restaurant for a cheap one course dish of fish of the day, served with a garnish of salad and chips. We topped it off with a glass of rosé and mineral water. The price? 45 euros per head. I pay less than that for a superb two course menu at Le Caprice in Piccadilly-and they don’t insult you with a paper napkin and crockery that’s got more chips in it than at Harry Ramsden’s.

When I asked a Majorcan friend how this restaurant could justify such prices she suggested that tourists would pay anything for a view of the sea. I don’t agree. Maybe in the past when times were good the sight of a bobbing wave had visitors throwing money to the breeze but not anymore. Majorca, like many resorts, has seen a worrying fall in holidaymakers this summer and there’s no longer room for bad egg restaurants that exploit the visitor with mediocre, exorbitantly priced fare. The tourist wants value for money. Those restaurateurs who don’t take heed may well have cooked their goose. So to speak.
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