Thursday, January 24, 2008

Year of Eating Differently (89): Ran, Great Marlborough Street

Perhaps it's masochism, intransigence or me being just plain wilful, but whenever we go out for a Business Lunch, it's always somewhere new (to support this project) and it's also always somewhere that ends up being fairly unsuitable for a vegetarian. Almost without exception we end up in somewhere Korean/Japanese/Thai/Chinese where they've refined eating meat to an art form. Ran even has the somewhat intimidating rubric on the bottom of each page of the menu: "All items can be requested in a vegetarian version. A 12.5% service charge will be added to your bill". This suggests they're fining the vegetarians for being awkward (fair enough) but we couldn't fathom out how they'd do you a vegetarian sirloin steak.
Never mind this bafflement. The menu is in English, Korean and Japanese, so I get to read a few katakana and realise I don't know what the kanji for 'chicken' is. So I feel a bit dumb. But what else is new? We had to push the waitress a little before I got any miso soup, but aside from that service was pretty good. That said, how could service be bad? Nobody told me erroneously that my order was far too big, there wasn't any beef accidentally stirred into my bibimbat, didn't get into a fight with any members of staff - I suppose a satisfactory experience is mainly marked by absence.
Steak and fish both looked very good and got approval from my compadres at this event, but perhaps the highlight (and this isn't to denigrate the rest of the repast) was the rather intricately prepared after-meal oranges.
Oranges are not the only fruit...apart from after lunch, that is
Anybody who has some seed capital for my new venture, providing pre-cut citrus fruit for railway waiting rooms, post offices and local government offices should contact me at the usual address.


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