Fish & Chips Expert Gordon Ramsey Gives His Take
By now, we’ve all had a good laugh and commented on the “Fish & Chips” that was served to a customer at a posh restaurant in the Marina Bay Financial Centre.
But what’s a funny story about posh cuisine without the input of quotable Michelin-starred chef Gordon Ramsey? Well, we have finally heard from him, and it’s good.
“Ikan Bilis” And Chips
He obviously expected something different than what he was served. Nope, it’s not just fries only, whip out a magnifying glass and you can see the fish camoflauged among the fries:
Jaze Phua was taken aback when served the peculiar dish — a measly portion that was made up of 8 french fries, 8 ikan bilis and garnish.
Instead of losing his temper, he chose to see the funny side of it all and shared the story via a Facebook post last Friday (April 28).
He claimed his laughter almost got the better of him, and his internal organs threatened to erupt from his body. Gross.
Initially, he had mistaken the dish to be an appetizer.
After all, 8 anchovies served atop 8 strands of fries might seem like an ideal snack to whip up one’s appetite before diving into the main course.
I mean, we know the portions are known to be small at fine dining restaurants, but this is too much.
Gordon Ramsay Chips In
Celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay is a British television personality and restaurateur who is renowned for his merciless comments on food and verbal abuse towards apprentice chefs, with countless chefs having faced his wrath.
So a Twitter user had the great idea of seeking Gordon Ramsay’s expert opinion to rate the outstanding platter. This was his response:
It’s interesting to note that the celebrity chef was clearly astonished that the lemon slice was bigger than the fish.
He then put his arithmetic skills to good use, calculating that each anchovy and fry cost $1 each, assuming the other garnish totaled up to $1.50.
Some of the comments on Gordon Ramsey’s Twitter account were also incredulous:
Bread Street Kitchen
We think Gordon Ramsey must have been comparing the Fish & Chips at LeVeL 33 to that served at his own restaurant in Singapore that’s also in Marina Bay — Bread Street Kitchen at the Marina Bay Sands.
This is what the Fish & Chips at Gordon Ramsey’s Singapore restaurant looks like:
At least we don’t need glasses to be able to see the fish.
We think this is primarily a naming issue. Here’s the dish as it is listed in LeVeL 33’s Beer Dining Menu.
The menu did clearly state the dish was whitebait and thick cut potato.
According to Dictionary.com, here’s the official definition of “whitebait” (it’s basically something like ikan bilis):
Why, then, did they name the dish “Fish & Chips”?
Shouldn’t “Whitebait & Potato” have been more appropriate?
After all, culinary experts like them should know that the name “Fish & Chips” is popularly associated with the traditional British dish — i.e. a platter consisting of a THICK/LONG slab of crispy, juicy, fried battered fish, french fries and possibly a serving of greens on the side along with tartar sauce dip.
Then again, maybe we shouldn’t be too surprised that a restaurant that uses childish alternating capital and lowercase letters in its own name would be able to name their dishes properly.
A netizen tried to be fair, and said that it clearly said the dish consists of whitebait, and it was part of the Beer Dining Menu, i.e. Jaze Phua should have known that the portion would be small, as the dishes there are meant to be paired with beer.
Perhaps we could blame Jaze Phua for not reading carefully and realising that he was ordering from the Beer Dining Menu, and the dish consisted of Whitebait.
To that we say: How many people who aren’t fine dining regulars or culinary experts know what whitebait is? (We don’t.)
And: There’s a big difference between a small “bar bites” portion of actual Fish & Chips, and a dish that isn’t Fish & Chips at all, or at least not the Fish & Chips that is commonly known.
Should the naming of such dishes take into account the knowledge of the common man instead of regular fine diners and gourmets? After all, the common man can afford to eat in such posh places once in a while too.
Expectations vs Reality
While Jaze Phua was undeniably let down by the dish he was served, it was refreshing to see such a non-volatile response to the whole situation.
Other Singaporeans might feel cheated and be quick to throw shade at the restaurant.
Perhaps the restaurant should review its naming conventions in its menu to prevent such misunderstandings from happening again.
And please, change your name to just Level 33. Do you know how difficult it is to type “LeVeL 33” on one’s iPhone?!