Is it time to update your menu?

Posted on September 29, 2016 by Ash Bennett

I went to a cafe on Sunday morning. Sunlight reflected on the white walls. The menu was written in a rough hand on a torn sheet of brown paper. I knew this was a good sign. The chef cared. He was adventurous and inspired by what was in season. How to choose; as I sipped on fresh kiwi, apple and lime juice. French toast with honeycomb ricotta and spiced blood orange, or a sesame-ginger rice bowl with soft egg and house-made pickles, or perhaps something heartier like; buttery fregola toped with paleo sausage, tomatoes and sweet harissa. I had almost decided when I caught of whiff of dutch ginger cake being served to the table beside me, and suddenly I had ‘food envy’. This chef was having fun; each choice, marked down by his swirling marker pen was aimed to tempt and delight. And no surprise… It was good. So good that I thought it was perfectly acceptable to order dessert at breakfast time.

So is it a must to keep us picky Sydney diners on our toes? To keep us clamouring for your next creative endeavour. Why wouldn’t you flex your culinary muscles, and is not madness not to use seasonal fruit and vegetables to direct your menu choices. Food is exciting. With so many great chefs tossing around ideas, and so many flavours to choose from, why wouldn’t you change?

On the other hand, there are places where the menu hardly changes, yet still, they are perfect. Think, tender meat and sauce drenched pasta at Buon Ricordo or white wine with fish and chips on a sun-drenched afternoon at Doyles, and who hasn’t gone out of their way to queue for pies in the middle of the night at Hary’s Cafe de wheels.

There’s an African restaurant I’ve frequented for the last eight years, aside from the specials, the menu, the decor, everything is exactly the same. Yet night after night, year after year, the place is packed. Every time I go back, there are certain dishes, I have to have and just like eight years ago, the meal is unrivalled.

So maybe that is your weapon against all the craziness. Your know yourself, you know your place. You believe in what you do and you have worked hard on each an every dish on the menu. Your place inspires loyalty. The food is so good, it tastes like home to your customers and you know them by name because they keep coming back to you. You’re there for the long haul. You are part of the town, You will be iconic.

For me, I can’t decide which kind of place I prefer. So long as the food is tastes good I’ll never complain. I’ll just keep coming back, either to surprises or to something akin and as precious as home cooking. I can’t wait.

Facebook Twitter Pinterest Google+ Addthis

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *