A Bit of a Fishy Story

Gochugaru Girl had a slightly heated discussion with Junior One recently.


The subject was: is it worth going to a restaurant which only serves tinned food?

Junior One was quite taken by the concept of this restaurant which only served tinned fish. I thought it was a conceited idea: in a way, making fools of the paying public. After all, anyone can open a tin can. Where is the effort, and the merit, in such an enterprise?

A slightly pointless exchange of words ensued with Junior One taking the lead. Are we feeding our stomachs or are we feeding our aesthetic values? Is the act of opening a can with a tin opener any different to uncorking a bottle of wine…or for that matter, any different to throwing a tea bag in a mug? The fact that we are having this conversation makes opening such a restaurant worth-while as it makes us confront our prejudices of what should constitute a restaurant…..

Finally I went off in a huff and looked up reviews for the said restaurant. To be fair to its creators, the idea is to serve bespoke tinned fish. I get the novelty of sourcing such specialist items and in opening our gastronomic eyes.

After one of our Bible study sessions, I walked past the restaurant with my friend Mary. We peered into it: a waiter walked up to two male diners in suits, brandishing a tea towel in one hand and a tin of fish in the other. I was about to say something but Mary beat me to it:

Oh look! He’s serving the tin as if it were a bottle of wine!

We tried not to fall into a fit of giggles. I stood at the doorway long enough to notice that the fish was served with thin slices of bread and whole green salad leaves. There really is nothing done to the food by way of ‘added value’.

I duly reported my findings to Junior One and we decided to have our home-prepared version. The tinned fish we bought was straight off the shelves of Waitrose, as were the pickles. I made my own focaccia and a lovely salad consisting of baby salad leaves, avocado, sunflower and pumpkin seeds. This was dressed with a squeeze of lemon juice; no oil was necessary owing to the fish being tinned in olive oil.

We had a very enjoyable lunch, with much better bread and salad. I think the tinned fish at the restaurant would have been better, but this would have to suffice, as I still cannot take this concept seriously for now.