Saturday, 11 January 2014

Review - Stories

I went to the sort of restaurant I would never usually go to yesterday. We had plans to go to Little Georgia but I forgot to book so there was no room in the inn for us. We headed towards Broadway Market and ended up at Stories. Stories is a perfectly decent bar/pub/restaurant. However, I have reverse snobbery about the niche of bar/pub/restaurant that it is: the sanitised kind tailored to meet the requirements of the 'I make too much money to really be a hipster' crowd. There will probably be utilitarian seating arrangements and crockery. This will be offset by bizarre, vaguely tasteful ornaments. The toilets will have a faux 'rough American diner' feel and you may well have to be told how to switch on the tsp by a sign. All of these elements don't sound particularly offensive written down and, truthfully, they're not. Indeed, a lot of places I eat at could be reduced to exactly those elements. If a restaurant is not inhabiting the 'ooh a small, authentic (cheap) little place where they don't know how to decorate!' corner, it will almost certainly possess the above-mentioned elements. But I'd like to say the places I'd choose in that bracket make the cut because they're exceptional or noteworthy food-wise. The Breakfast Club and the Hackney Pearl both fit the description. However, I had to try the Breakfast Club at some point and the Hackney Pearl does serve a great brunch. If a restaurant doesn't have something aside from the decor and that type of seating that makes any place look quite smart, it seems quite generic. I suppose this is the equivalent of saying that it's not my thing because they didn't do it first and they don't do it best. Since I don't have the requisite knowledge to do that about music, it was only a matter of time until I started doing it about restaurants.
After having a conversation with the very nice (and pretty in exactly the way you'd expect) waitress, I went for the burger rather than calamari. It was, by all accounts, fine. Better than fine - to receive food that you can happily finish a plate of is a privilege that I shouldn't ignore because it's the norm now. But there's nothing special to say about it. The brioche was a good texture. The meat was too grainy. The pickles were a little too vinegary. The cheese too strong for the burger. I longed for more tomato. The chips were good. I can't say more than that.

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