Friday, 4 July 2008

Restaurant Review: The Best of All Possible Meals

The Best of All Possible Meals is the latest themed restaurant to hit the World dining scene, garnering huge swathes of column inches in the weekend broadsheets. With an interior designed by up and coming architectural collective ‘Pörn’ and a menu full of creations by top chef GastroKeith, The Best of All Possible Meals has the gimmick of being the first philosophically-themed restaurant in the world. I went along to see if I could find the meaning of life lurking somewhere in my soup.

The décor of the establishment is superb, with busts and portraits of popular philosophers lining the walls. Whether you’re into Stoicism or Contemporary Post-Structuralism, you’re sure to find all of your favourites somewhere in the dining room. My waiter for the day, who introduced himself as Immanuel, showed my partner and I to our seats at a Wittgensteinian Truth Table, and asked if we would like our menus in rational or empirical form. I chose the former option while my partner opted for the latter, and for anyone thinking of eating at the restaurant I can only recommend that you also go for the empirical menu. My choice of a rationalist menu meant that it was assumed that I had an innate knowledge of its contents, meaning that I didn’t receive one. Luckily I was able to share my partner’s.

Our Waiter for the day, Immanuel

Incidentally, for those who don’t wish to be sat at one of the Truth Tables, there are private rooms available on request. These ‘Sartre Rooms’ are especially for those who think that “Hell is other people”.

While there are several set menus to choose from, there are also many things of interest on the A la Descartes menu, and it was from here where the two of us ate. For our appetizers, I decided to have the Leibnizian monad salad, while my partner went for Nietzsche’s Uberminestrone Soup. The salad was good, though there definitely wasn’t enough of it. Conversely, while plentiful, the Nietzschian soup was a little hard to swallow.

I had heard good things about the Platonic Chicken, and so ordered that as my entrée. It was absolutely superb: moist, tasty, done to perfection and with an exquisite selection of vegetables. I can say without fear of exaggeration that this is the best chicken I have had in my life. It was, as far as I can see, the ideal form of chicken, the chicken to which all other chickens must aspire. I now know that I will never eat another chicken so long as I live, as nothing will ever live up to Platonic Chicken here at The Best of All Possible Meals.

My partner, on the other hand, was not so lucky in her choice of entrée. She went for a Hume-inspired dish consisting of duck with mashed potatoes and green beans. She enjoyed the side dishes, but wasn’t overly keen on the meat itself. She called it ‘Hume’s Problem of In-duck-tive Seasoning’. I tasted some for myself and she was right; it was far too salty.

For dessert, I treated myself to an Ontological Banana Split. I don’t see how I couldn’t; its very existence on the menu meant that I had no other option but to conclude it delicious. My partner decided to go for the Gödel Cheese Plate, but we couldn’t get our heads around it. For some reason it contained every single cheese in existence, but by doing so, proved that no cheese plate would ever contain a set of all cheeses. It felt wrong to eat any of it, and so it was returned to the kitchens untouched.

We finished our meals with a couple of cocktails, and while I enjoyed my Locke on the Rocks, here I must again make a warning to the potential BoAPM customer. The Socrates Sling, a drink that contains a mysterious ‘secret ingredient’, prompted my partner to feel quite ill, and a while after our meal had ended, she succumbed to her sickness. The inquest suggested she had suffered from hemlock poisoning. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend anyone try that particular drink themselves.

All in all, The Best of All Possible Meals is a fairly decent establishment, with some poor dishes made up for by the wonderful Platonic Chicken. I would have liked to have finished this review with a conclusion, but this is philosophy, and it would only be proved wrong in a matter of months.

For more Philosophically-inspired cuisine, please look out for the forthcoming restaurant by John Searle, The Chinese Food Argument.


Herbal Amanda said...

Platonic Chicken! You are, as usual, hilarious, had me giggling for hours. Thanks IR!

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

You're very welcome, Amanda! Glad you enjoyed this review!

Mo said...

Um...I just laughed so hard reading this review that I actually drooled on my keyboard. Doesn't look like I'll be gettin' any tonight after that disgusting little display...

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

The Imgaginary Reviewer: Keeping people celibate since 2006!

katrocket said...

You should go on that Dragon's Den show with this idea. It's a moneymaker!

The Imaginary Reviewer said...

Kat: Perhaps. I prefer my idea for a Shakespearean-themed restaurant, called As You Like it, featuring the Shylock Burger: A Pound of Flesh or your money back. It's going in my novel.

Falwless said...

A la Descartes menu! A la Descartes menu! How genius is that!

You are brilliant, still.