Now, I certainly don’t want to encourage emotional eating but I’m also not self-righteous enough to condemn it when the stress levels hit boiling point. We’ve all had those days: friends that pester, colleagues who whinge, clients who complain, or heck, even just random strangers who lack those common social etiquettes can drive me bonkers. All those things make me shamefully inhale that packet of crisps at 11am or that Snickers bar at 3pm. If that still doesn’t help, I go for the big guns – a big ol’ bowl of noodles or pasta.
I’m not fussy about which of those carb-heavy comforts rush to my rescue, as long as one is in front of me at dinner time, I’ll survive. So after a particularly long and arduous day in the office, no one was happier to walk through the recently refurbished doors of Venerdi than I was, especially when smacked in the olfactics with such sublime aromas! I won’t lie, a double dose of Aperols (joys of the Happy Hour) arriving within minutes of me sitting down, perked me right up too.
As I was sitting in Pivaz, getting myself acquainted with the menu, I was reminded just how predictable my dining habits have become. As you know, I eat out often and I love to try new places, but I naturally gravitate towards certain cuisines – usually some sort of modern European or Asian fare. Those two loose categories alone encompass many styles so we’re definitely not eating the same thing all the time, but I have noticed that there are some cuisines I never ever choose on my own. Turkish is definitely one of them, which explains why half the dishes at Pivaz read like gibberish to me.
In order to decipher the menu, I gave a certain someone the night off from ‘official plus one’ duties and enlisted the help of someone who I knew was a fan of Turkish food. The words borek, sarma and cacik might have meant nothing to me, but when I saw her nod approvingly at the range of dishes on offer, I knew she was the right person for the job. I ordered the wine, she took the lead on the food, and before we had barely caught up on what we did over Christmas, the starters had arrived.
I usually cringe a little when people ask if I am a food critic or restaurant reviewer because, honestly, I believe I am neither. I write a food blog, I tell tales, I share my experiences… I ramble on about what we ate and whether or not I liked it perhaps, but that’s all part of the story of the meal. I don’t claim to be the fountain of any knowledge. I am just a greedy girl who’s always hungry and likes to talk; and because it’s impolite to talk with your mouth full, this is the perfect place for me to do that talking.
There are plenty of other people out there who either are, or claim to be, food critics or restaurant reviewers, so there’s no need for me to join that ever-so-crowded bandwagon. I read a lot of what those people have to say; many because I respect their opinions, some purely because curiosity has got the better of me. However, one thing remains the same regardless of which category they fall into – I always take these reviews with a grain of salt because at the end of the day, it’s just their opinion. And my view is that no one’s word is gospel in this industry, no matter how well regarded they are.