Sunday, 1 March 2015

When the Menu Gets Lost in Translation

Have you ever noticed that your food or drink order can get lost in translation, even when you're talking the same language?

My caffeinated tipple of choice in the UK is an Americano with skimmed milk...


When I tried to order this in the Australia, I got a rather odd look...what I should be ordering is a long black with skim milk. Though actually these aren't exactly the same as they are prepared opposite ways  (Americano: add hot water to espresso; Long Black: add espresso to water). In the States, I also need to order a Long Black but with fat free or non-fat milk. Confusing, isn't it? And what if we want something a little sweet with our coffee? Well in the UK I'd ask for a nice couple of biscuits or biccies, as I would in Australia. But in the States I'd need to order a cookie...as a biscuit is more like a scone... Can you imagine the confusion the scone / biscuit / muffin confusion when hashtag of International bloggers meet for tea?


Now as I grew up watching a lot (and I mean a hell of a lot) of American teen drama and reading Sweet Valley High and Point Romance books, I'm pretty au fait with how to translate 'English' into 'American.' An addiction to Neighbours has also aided my understanding of 'Australian.' But Mr S didn't have such a misspent youth, he was too busy playing football and other various outdoor activities. So I often find myself helping him along the way...

In the States I've many times had to stop Mr S ordering 'chips' when he really wants fries....


Actually in French Polynesia we both go lost in translation as when Mr S ordered a burger with 'chips' he ended up with a side of crisps. In Australia it's even more confusing as 'chips' means both 'fries' and 'crisps.' Also make sure you're clear on whether you're ordering this with tomato sauce or ketchup... And also what are you having to drink? A soda, soft drink or fizzy pop? Personally I would just stick to the international language of wine...

And don't even get me started on vegetables...do you know your aubergine from your eggplant? Courgette from your zucchini or pepper from your capsicum. And when it comes to a treat, in the States don't forget to ask for candy rather than sweets; a popsicle rather than a lolly and cotton candy instead of candy floss; and in Australia, change this to fairy floss!


And what about the most important meal of the day? Well a person from the UK ordering a pancake, should expect something thicker and fluffier in the States, what we would call a 'Scotch pancake.' Don't forget to ask for some strawberry 'jelly' for your toast rather than 'jam.' And bear in mind if you ask for bacon in America, you'll get what we call in the UK 'streaky bacon' 


Can you believe we're really speaking the same language? You might as well just ask for the bill...I mean the cheque!!

And so what about when you're speaking a different language? That's when things really get lost; here are some of my favourites from buzzfeed. 


What do you mean you can't find it on google? How can it be worth finding?


Keep your kids away from the deep fat fryer


Well there's pepsi if you don't fancy cock...


I hope the wikipedia has been locally sourced...


Mr S looks nervously....


It's not what they use at KFC....


I love this apt translation....


And I wonder what the special of the day is here?

Our ever growing hashtag of bloggers is a mixed bunch of Brits, Aussies, Kiwis, Americans, South Africans and more and every month we link to celebrate the glory of travel. This month the topic is lost in translation. Have you ever had an awkward moment of misunderstanding? Found a hilarious notice or road sign? Over the first week of March just add you post to the link up widget on Emma, Rebecca, Kelly or Sam's blog.

And have you ever had a foodie moment that's got lost in translation? What the weirdest thing that you've ever seen on a menu? Please let me know in the comment form below.

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Friday, 27 February 2015

Soho Lunch Club: Rex and Mariano


As you already know I am in general a seafood lover and meat avoider...so when I go to a seafood restaurant, I'm basically in heaven as I want everything on the menu.

Rex and Mariano is just one of those places where it's difficult to decide what to have, you just want everything and it is so convenient to order as you can do it with the touch of an iPad.


We stepped into Soho restaurant, took our seats and the waitress hadn't even finished explaining the iPad ordering system before I'd already put through an order of two glasses of bubbly for Mr S and I.


The order from the iPad goes straight to the kitchen or bar meaning everything happens smoothly and efficiently with out too much delay.


I know that ordering from an iPad may not be everyone's cup of tea, but I'm a big fan of smooth efficiency and I loved it! I'd just make sure you take it slowly, as if you order everything at once you may not get the leisurely lunch you'd planned on!


The restaurant was gorgeous, big, light bright and airy, unlike other Soho restaurants where tables are packed together and you're practically sharing a table with the couple next to you. 


Strangely, I would describe the interior as a cross between a fish monger and someone's kitchen! The hanging lights and concrete floor give that industrial feel but the bamboo chairs, tiles and fishy plates on the walls give it a more homely atmosphere. 


There's even a sink in the middle of the restaurant, to wash your sticky paws after peeling prawns or shelling mussels.

Though we wanted to try everything on the menu and with delicious looking fresh loaves in a rack behind us, I knew where to start...




I mean, that is serious #breadporn, thick hunky slices of white and brown bread and a salty foccacia, served with a tuna pate slathered all over.

First we went raw...


Lobster ceviche with fennel, yuzu and orange 


Tuna with tomato, jalapeno, coriander and red onion  


Tuna with avocado, chilli and chive

All beautifully fresh fish cut through with citrus or spice, everything was so light and delicate. I would have felt very healthy were it not for the fact that the bread was slightly addictive. We chatted with George, the manager who told us that the produce was sourced both locally and regionally with the aim of using the best possible products that were also sustainable. 

Rex and Mariano actually comes from the same stables as Goodman, Beast and Burger and Lobster, though three big names, I am still yet to try any of these three...to be honest I think I might be the only blogger who hasn't tried the lobster roll at B & L, it's on my list though! 


I am told the red prawns, imported from Scilly, are a must try from the menu, so we do and they are amazing. The tails fall easily from the heads so there's no messy peeling, only these small but still juicy, perfectly seasoned prawns. 



As we remove the bowl from the top of the mussels, a rush of steam is released to reveal gorgeous mussels cooked simply with white wine, garlic and chives. But Mr S's favourite thing about the mussels is the price...

'That's a decent portion for six pounds' 

And the perfect way to mop up the last of the delicious spongy bread. 


Hot and salty fried courgette fritti had been intended as a side dish but came when everything was finished, perhaps the only peril of the iPad ordering system. 

Like the rest of the meal, desserts are simple and light. 



Home made lemon sorbet and espresso ice cream were the ideal palate cleanser. 


And Rex and Mariano's limoncello, also made in house. This could be poured over the sorbet or drunk on it's own.

As we were leaving Rex and Mariano, I announced to Mr S that it was new favourite place...he seemed very pleased as it was both light or the waistline and the wallet :) 

Rex and Mariano
2 St Anne's Court 
London 
W1F 0AZ 

020 7437 0566
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