Thursday, January 24, 2013

The Worst Restaurant in Auckland

The worst restaurant in Auckland opens soon. I don’t know anything about it, and I suppose I shouldn’t review it before it opens, but I read a couple of things in the Herald AND I’ve seen their logo on a letterhead. What more is there to know?

The restaurant is called Seven, on the corner of Hobson and Victoria Streets in the city. It used to be Escolup, which should never have been shut down. I never went there myself but WOW, it was fantastic.

Before Escolup the restaurant was called Paul’s Place. Now THAT was a good restaurant. When it opened in 1989 I told everybody not to eat there because it represented the death of the restaurant industry. But I changed my mind recently and have now decided it was the best food in Auckland. So you definitely should have gone.

Stay away from Seven though. Nothing personal against the three chefs they’ve hired, but I hear they’re going to be offering small plates – tapas! – on the menu instead of the traditional three courses. That’s ridiculous. You can’t taste food properly unless you eat a big bowl of it. Small plates is part of the dumbing down of the restaurant industry. Stop treating us like we can’t focus on a whole plate of food! Yeah, I know tapas are big in Spain. Fuck Spain.

Seven has taken over Escolup’s facebook page – they posted to say that people who live in Auckland and like dining out might appreciate hearing about the new venture, and that we’re welcome to ‘unlike’ the page if we want to. Fuck them! What if we don’t know how to unlike a page?? We weren’t all born with PhDs.

When Seven opens on the 4th of February I certainly won’t be eating there. It’s going to be the worst restaurant in Auckland, and I’m going to spend that night like I’ve spent the last eleven nights: sitting on my couch at home angrily drinking shiraz, staring at the wall and wondering why I care this much about someone else’s restaurant.

[anonymous]

44 comments:

  1. I've been really enjoying the pop-up food cart that's been operating on that corner over summer. It sells food that was confiscated at the airport five years ago. I'm really going to miss the maggoty duck wings. And I bet Seven won't offer P at generous prices or give full-body pat-downs.

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  2. If you don't serve dumplings/hand pulled noodles WAYSAR?

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  3. Lol - just a wee bit tetchy eh? I'm sure the Seven will be fine, in the same way that Maccas is great at the time but you end up hungry about 13 mins later. So we'll still go to Sidart or The Grove... or we would if they hadn't all closed down.

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  4. FUCK spain! Haha, they've done that to themselves Jess. Love it. And great to hear about your own "Seven" gig. Well deserved, young man.

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  5. Hilarious. I was just thinking there had been a lot of unnecessary slating of a show that was yet to air... Lot of people claiming psychic powers aren't there? Go show 'em you guys - sure it's going to breathe some life and fun into NZ current affairs.

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  6. I really hope it is a success. Then it might become a national franchise instead of just a taste of Auckland, which truth be told already has an over abundance of restaurants.

    Just imagine each Seven restaurant serving a selection of seasonal local fare! It's all the rage I hear.

    Sadly though I suspect the bean counters will only want to produce out of the Auckland kitchen in the wild hope of creating a gravy train by transporting pre-packaged delights to the provinces with exotic menu names like Coromandel Churros and Way down South Pukekohe Paella.

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  7. Ah, but Jesse, we know exactly what we're going to get at your restaurant. If Restaurant Brands announced that they were going to add a new string to their bow (which currently consists of Starbucks, KFC and Pizza Hut), it's a fairly safe bet that the next establishment to be added will be more of the same and won't have 3 Michellin stars. Actually, I see on their website that they're already added a fourth. Carl's Junior. So I think that proves my point.

    As for tapa's, how very 2006! Actually, the 80's are making a big comeback, in case you hadn't noticed (take a look at what kids today are wearing if you don't believe me). People don't want tapas any more. They realised they were over-priced and left them hungry. They want a decent meal. And, as you say, you haven't been able to get one of those since Paul's Place in the 80's. You're stuck in the past.

    Like Jack Donaghy said, "New York is off cupcakes and back onto doughnuts". These fads only last a short time before people are left wondering what on earth they were thinking.

    So stop telling punters what's trendy and let them decide for themselves. I'm sick of tapas.

    PS We've also already sampled what the three chefs have to offer, and frankly it wasn't great. I was thinking about doing a comedian = clown = Ronald McDonald = crap fast food analogy, but that's perhaps harsh as I did like eating at 7 Days on Friday nights...So instead I'll say this... If you're excellent at Italian, why switch to Thai...?

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    Replies
    1. "So stop telling punters what's trendy and let them decide for themselves."

      I do believe that was the whole point

      Delete
  8. The new restaurant really does not sound like the sort of place I would like. I suspect I'll stick to my can of Campbell's soup - it is wholesome, nutritious, and just a little bit spicy at times.

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  9. Three chefs for Seven? Why don't they just use those three formidable jokers on Masterchef? After all the ratings could be even more predictable.

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  10. Thanks all for your feedback on this severely extended metaphor.

    I won't try to talk anybody around but I was thinking about this tonight: I think a lot of NZ news is overlong - 60 minutes for a bulletin, 3 or 4 minutes for a pretty simple story. Before all this happened I would regularly be halfway through a news story and think 'OMG, are they still going?'.

    This newish format will hopefully say just as much but faster and smarter - a current affairs format for people who don't need six minutes of videotape and an interview to, say, teach them the difference between 'Best By' and 'Expiry' on their yoghurt pottle.

    Humour's one way to do that: a joke is worth a thousand words. Anyone who thinks current affairs and humour don't mix should be angrily commenting on John Clarke's blog instead.

    So, no promises this particular show will work or that you'll like me on it but, regarding the format, if you think shorter means lesser then you personally should be series linking shows that 'dumb it down', because you are a very stupid person.

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    Replies
    1. You know what they say, any publicity is good publicity. I'm not generally a news watcher as I have small kids and prefer to get my info online in my own tim. The current local news formats have nothing to offer me so I have to say I'm looking forward to seeing what you guys have planned. All this debate is really doing is reminding me I need to set my mysky to record on Monday 4th Feb at 7pm!

      Good luck to you all.

      Delete
    2. A lot of news is too long? Really? What bulletins are you watching? Last time I checked, the 6pm round ups were roughly 18 minutes news, 12 minutes sport, 10 minutes weather and 20 minutes of ads. Seriously, when did you last see a 3 or 4 minute story? 1969? I'm worried about this chef. Would you trust someone who's never worked in catering? If he can't stand the heat, he should get out of that overstaffed kitchen.

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    3. Watch a Sunday night bulletin when there's no natural disaster then tell me there was a lot more news to squeeze in but they just didn't have time.I've seen movie reviews at 6.17.

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    4. Oh dear. Looks like you can't tell the difference between news (stories) and entertainment (movie reviews). What does this tell us about your news judgement? Probably everything we need to know. Thanks for the valuable insight.

      Delete
    5. Lets face it, Mulligan is a failed comedian and his writing skills and reviews are somewhat childish. No one should take him seriously.

      Delete
  11. Clearly I know nothing about Auckland because initially I was all "Oh yeah, Escolup, I think I read about that in that magazine".

    Also: hahaha. Nice work.

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  12. As a Cantabrian, I don't usually give a fuck about what Aucklanders are doing (despite living there previously for 18 years). However I shall be trying out this establishment from afar. Even if it's so I can sigh and claim that the Aucklanders have fucked it up again. Or, perhaps I may be pleasantly surprised at the quality I'm served up. Either way, I'll be forming my OWN opinion. Not basing my views on someone elses. Can't wait to taste it. Good on you.

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  13. Well, the worst restaurant is now open. And as promised, the food is crap, and the diners are promising to stay well away. How long till it closes?

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  14. I'm concerned at the resulting offspring of numerous diners jumping on your pole. Perhaps you need to eat a few more oysters?

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  15. Dined there three times and food got worse each time. First time I thought it was merely nerves but twice more confirmed I won't be back. All three chefs on their own have proven to be awesome, but I think there are two many chefs in this kitchen.

    I wanted to like this restaurant, I went in liking this retaurant but it simply didn't happen for me. When my husband suggested we try the restaurant up on Shortland Street which is one he always complains about, then I knew we had dined at Seven for the last time.

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  16. Tapas bars are a wide variety of appetizers, or snacks, in Spanish cuisine. The serving of tapas bar is designed to encourage conversation because people are not so focused upon eating an entire meal that is set before them .
    Pre Packaged Tapas

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  17. And this is why people hate food bloggers.

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    Replies
    1. Not as much as they hate anonymous commenters.

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    2. I hope someone writes a widely read review of your comedy set weeks before you perform and says how horrible it is because of the shirt you're wearing and ends up ruining your comedy career.

      For someone who appears (or wants to appear) that they know the restaurant business, it's pretty irresponsible of you to label a post the worst in Auckland and then say you never intend to visit because of your bias. You should probably stop eating degustation menus (or giving them good reviews) because that kind of shoots a bullet through your comment about not being able to taste food properly unless you have a big bowl of it.

      I came across your blog trying to find useful places to eat in Auckland and your writing has proven the point that food bloggers are useless. You want to be a journalist, but don't have an ethical leg to stand on.

      Oh yeah, and if you don’t want anonymous comments on your blog. Don’t allow them. It’s a setting, check it out.

      Delete
    3. Hi Matt, good to see some passion! In fact this was written as a satire of the very thing you're criticising - it was a response to the pre-reviews we were getting for our new TV show, to show how ridiculous they were. There is no restaurant Seven, it's a code for our TV show Seven Sharp and Eposcul is an anagram of Close Up. That picture is a picture of the TVNZ building.

      Have another read with this in mind and hopefully your objections will be allayed. The comments are interesting to read too with this 'code' in mind.

      Nothing ruins a joke like explaining it, but I can see how you might not have picked up the metaphor if you've just stumbled on this out of context so it's probably important to put this note in for anyone else reading the above for the first time.

      Delete
  18. Brilliant! Your 'review' I mean, I can't say I've checked out the show yet. Might have to now since your witty response to all the arm-chair critics has kinda won me over.

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  19. Goodness some of these comments are SO negative. Has anyone thought how much money, not to mention blood sweat and tears has probably gone into setting up Seven. If you think you are all so crack hot why don't you all set up a restaurant yourselves instead of just criticizing someone who has. It's all so Auckland. Get a life!!

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    Replies
    1. I agree - very ponsy people being quite mean BEFORE 7 even opened. Sounds very egotistical to me. Karma bites!

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  20. WOW - there are some "angry", "twisted" people out there :) Luckily i have not met any! I enjoy food and cooking. Going to places to try dishes which I know how to cook - just to experience someone else's "handiwork/art". If they close, they close - as running a restaurant takes more than just the "food" - it is a business.

    Lets continue to be adventurous and not damning. From an Aucklander

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