Ah, Gordon Ramsay. Sweet, sweary Gordon Ramsay. Angry, food-critiquey, used-to-be-a-footballer-but-doesn’t-like-to-bring-it-up Gordon Ramsay.
If there’s anyone you’d want to listen to about eating out at restaurants, it’s the man who once rated a Twitter follower’s fry-up Painful out of 10. A man who once described a Chicken Alfredo dish as ‘Chicken I’m afraido to eat’.
Well, we’re in luck, as Big Gord himself has revealed his three golden rules for eating out at restaurants. It feels as though he’s missed a trick by not calling them his ‘three Gordon rules’, but we’ll let it slide.
All three of the rules fall into the ‘it’s obvious when you think about it’ category, especially his revelation that you should never order any of the specials.
“Specials are there to disappear throughout the evening. When they list 10 specials, that’s not special,” Ramsay is quoted as saying by the Daily Mail.
That combination of obscure ingredients you’ve never seen together before? It’s probably because the kitchen needs to shift them and someone’s told the chef to “use your imagination”.
But it’s not only the word ‘special’ which can be misleading. Rule two concerns overly bold claims about ‘famous’ or ‘best in the country’ dishes, and the fact that these claims are rarely backed up.
“They start coming up with these terminologies, saying “and the wicked, famous, best in the country profiteroles,” the chef says.
“Who said that? Who named that?”
It’s essentially the ‘citation needed’ of restaurant eating.
Lastly, let’s be clear that Ramsay cares about you when it comes to wine. He wants you to get the best wine for the cheapest price, and that means haggling.
Ask the sommelier for a recommendation from the ‘bin-end’ list and ask for the price. If the bottle they offer comes in at less than $30 (£23.50), he says, then you’re golden. The big man himself might occasionally spend a little more, mind you.
So, essentially this boils down to ‘don’t be naive or gullible and you won’t get ripped off’.
Gone are the days of ordering the ‘chef’s special world famous signature combo’ from the specials board, paired with a bottle of the recommended red that you say yes to before the sommelier has finished reading the name. Sometimes it really is that easy.