30 Apr. 2005
Hell’s Kitchen Calais
Channel Tunnel now getting expensive for weekend hops to Calais.
We therefore took the Seacat to save cash and found a full boat load of fellow travellers joining us. Seacat not to well organised it seemed to me. Lots of chaotic three or ten point turns on car deck.
Misty seascape at Dover.
Mrs Monk pre booked and paid for a stay in the new Holiday Inn near Calais. She seemed to know what she was doing but new Holiday Inn was very remote from all restaurants except the Holiday Inn, which had a fancy restaurant with a nice menu and fancy prices.
We wanted to eat nearby and Mrs Monk said that she would drive (for once) and would do without drinking. 1 hour later we picked out a nice seafood restaurant, made a reservation and took a walk on the beach. However when it was time to eat, Mrs Monk decided that I would have to drive because she would be needing a drink. I put my foot down and we had words. In due course we were back in the Holiday Inn where we did not wish to be ordering dinner in the Hotel restaurant.
Mrs Monk ordered the Lamb and I ordered the haddock and soup to start. The soup turned out to be a thin and tasteless pea soup, and I found myself shaking salt and pepper into it. The entrees arrived and clearly the chef had been watching Hells Kitchen, because both dishes were served with those elaborate artistic flourishes. Three piped conical flutes were fanned out onto each plate, one white, one orange, one green. These were the vegetables. We guess that they were potato, carrots and peas, but all had the consistency of baby food, and none had the characteristic or flavour of any vegetable. Each flute of multicoloured baby food was punctuated by a tiny green leaf. Nice touch.
I watched Mrs Monk. With hardly a moment of reflection on the chefs elaborate conception, she destroyed it with a few swift movement of the fork. She then tackled the lamb but found that all efforts to cut the meat failed. She called on the young waiter to return it to the Kitchen and to cook it some more.
Naturally we then wondered how the chef would take this.
Meanwhile I tackled the haddock and the same piped baby food. Much salt and pepper was added. No one was smiling.
Mrs Monk lamb, (or was it mutton), returned to the table with a fresh arrangement of piped sludge, The lamb was still unpalatable.
Mrs Monk triad to get be to order some pudding, but I declined even though we had hardly.
She told the waiter to bring her an apple, nothing else, just an apple.
The apple arrived and she cut it up and we each had a piece and w both enjoyed it more that anything else that we were served.
The French waiter returned to clear the table and Mrs Monk complimented the waiter somewhat sarcastically on the apple.
“A French apple”, said the waiter with pride.
“And where did the lamb come from?” said Mrs Monk.
The waiter lost his English at that point. “Comment”, he said