This Review That Brutally Slammed a Michelin-Starred Restaurant Has Gone Viral
Restaurant reviews rarely make waves in the media, unless they are particularly creative takedowns like Pete Wells’ famous scathing review of Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen & Bar written entirely in increasingly ridiculous rhetorical questions. The new review of chic Michelin-rated French restaurant Le Cinq at the Four Seasons Hôtel George V in Paris, written by The Guardian’s Jay Rayner, offers brutally cold commentary on the entire meal, from soup to nuts.
Calling it “by far the worst restaurant experience I have endured in my 18 years in this job,” Rayner uses nauseatingly specific descriptions of the food he encountered. The first canapé, for instance, “looks like a Barbie-sized silicone breast implant, and is a ‘spherification’” that when popped tastes like “eating a condom that’s been left lying about in a dusty greengrocer.” Apparently the “popped spherification” is the “trick” that turns up in many of the restaurant’s dishes.
Other vulgar images include an off-color description of Rayner’s response to the flavor of passionfruit (“my lips purse, like a cat’s arse that’s brushed against nettles”) and a merciless characterization of the French onion soup as “mostly black, like nightmares, and sticky, like the floor at a teenager’s party.”
The crass descriptions go on and on in this vicious critical takedown. The most fascinating detail of this errant gastronomic experience comes at the end: Le Cinq would not let the reviewer photograph their food and instead provided the paper with picture-perfect press photos. Of course, the gallant reviewer sneaks grainy photos with his iPhone and posts the alarming comparison in his article.