London Restaurants – Tate Modern Café: why…?
I can’t start to understand why the Tate Modern Café on the ground floor is said to be a must in so many guides. Maybe I ought to have tried the upper-level one (and I’m not against the idea of doing so, but after the experience at the first level café, I will need a lot of convincing arguments); however, that a huge gap in quality could be observed between two restaurants within the same institutions would be quite perplexing.
I must admit that, considering the critics I read in the guides, I went in with rather high expectations. I had been saving my appetite and arrived completely starved; that’s when it started going south. Reading the sad, over-expensive menu before my eyes (and my rumbling stomach) felt like opening an Apple MacBook box under the christmas tree, only to find grammar books in it (or at least, what I imagine this would feel like. My parents are not complete sadists).
I settled on a smoked salmon salad, but couldn’t order it until I shot so many desperate glances to a bunch of nervous, snappy waitresses that I almost went crosseyed. One of them must have thought that I was going to get a fit, as she suddenly rushed to me, saw, to her dismay, that no foam was getting out of my mouth and finally barked the usual “what can I get you?” (probably out of disappointment).
The poor staff seemed to have way too much on their plate…quite unlike me. My salad was grim, full of onions (I had asked, nay, implored for onions to be taken out) and overall quite vexing. It didn’t help that I had to beg yet again in order to PAY an indecent amount of money (considering the quality) for a lunch I could’ve just as well had in a hospital cafeteria. The service was so awful that at one point I thought I had become Miss Invisible, rejoiced at the thought I could finally get a good perv in basketball players’ changing rooms, but then realized that I could perfectly see other customers who seemed to be in the same boat, and so could they.
Overall, the food sadly didn’t meet the high standards set by the rest of the Tate Modern, and I do not think I will go back there anytime soon (to the café. Not the museum.), in spite of its admittedly great setting.
Conclusion: museums are for exhibitions. Not food. (Except for Somerset House, see blog entry on Tom’s Kitchen). Next time I go to the Tate, I might just as well go to the neighbouring Borough Market. Detractors may say it’s expensive, crowded and touristy, but then again, so is the Tate Modern Café. At least I know I won’t get crap in the former.
|Borough Market, google image picture soon to be replaced by one of my own.|