To my intense dismay, on Monday I found myself agreeing with an article in the Daily Mail. I was so shocked I had to have a drink.

One of their staffers launched into one about the current trend for restaurants not to use plates. This all seemed to start with the loathsome concept of ‘sharing boards,’ but has got completely out of control.

If I order a big boy’s breakfast in a caff, I want it on a plate, not on a workman’s shovel. As it happens, this breakfast was badly lacking anyway, with no bacon and no black pudding. It did however feature hashbrowns, which have no place in an English brekkie. Also metal conducts heat pretty well, so the food is going to get cold pretty sharpish, and indeed the baked beans looked congealed already. I just about see the reasoning with the shovel. Builder’s breakfast served on a builder’s essential equipment. You can just about make the link. However…

The bread served in a cap baffled me and infuriated me in about equal parts. Why? Do you get to keep the cap when you’ve finished, and wear it to look like Brian Johnson of AC/DC? I have to be frank here, it’s not a good look. I quite like the bloke, but the headgear is a big fashion error. Worse still, if you try it, you might be mistaken for Gilbert O’Sullivan, which would be catastrophically bad for your image and your self esteem.

Potato croquettes in a training shoe. This is wrong for a whole slew of reasons, not least because potato croquettes are horrible, about the only form of potatoes I can’t take. Potato wedges on the other hand, yummy. But not served on a table tennis paddle. And there were only three wedges. Pretentious and not even filling.

Why serve hamburgers on small kitchen scales? I guess there might be a ploy to show that the burgers really do weigh what it says on the menu, but any restaurateur would adjust the things to over-read anyway. Meanwhile, the poncy nouvelle cuisine starters served on a slab of volcanic rock? Not for me, thanks.

I put the blame for this hugely bloody irritating phenomenon fairly and squarely on cameraphones and Instagram. Every sodding restaurant these days is packed to the rafters with people sending photographs of what they’re eating, usually with the caption ‘Nom Nom Nom,’ which really presses my buttons because the senders have regressed to back when their parents would use those words to encourage them to eat when they were playing up. It’s a restaurant, not preschool.

The use of not plates is not culinary quirkiness, it’s culinary jerking off. And let’s not even get onto the subject of whether or not trainers are dishwasher safe.

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