And we thought Pete Wells’ takedown of Per Se was bad! It turns out the feisty New York Times food critic has nothing on his fellow professional eater over at the Guardian, Jay Rayner.
Rayner, you see, decided that he would try out Le Cinq, a three-Michelin-star restaurant in the George V hotel in Paris. He went, he says, not to hate on it, but to write “an observational piece, full of moments of joy and bliss, of the sort only stupid amounts of cash can buy.”
With that noble goal in mind, Rayner headed to this fancy meal, only to be disappointed. And when we say disappointed, we mean absolutely furious.
The review starts out, as many do, with an observation about the decor:
“The dining room, deep in the hotel, is a broad space of high ceilings and coving, with thick carpets to muffle the screams. It is decorated in various shades of taupe, biscuit and fuck you. There’s a little gilt here and there, to remind us that this is a room designed for people for whom guilt is unfamiliar. It shouts money much as football fans shout at the ref.”
Don’t worry, there’s more. About a canapé, his dining companion observed: “It’s like eating a condom that’s been left lying about in a dusty greengrocer’s.”
After eating an amuse-bouche, Rayner notes “my lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles.”
A French Onion soup “is mostly black, like nightmares, and sticky, like the floor at a teenager’s party.”
A cheesecake with parsley on it is “one of the worst things I’ve ever eaten. It tastes of grass clippings.”
Really, though, what seems to bother Rayner the most about the restaurant is the price. His meal, including wine, cost him €600, which certainly is a high price to pay for such an unpleasant evening. We suppose we should be grateful he wrote the review and saved us all the trouble (and money) of ever visiting ourselves.