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Mackintosh's Canteen, Norwich

Serving up failure

Posted on: December 5, 2009 at 8:25AM

by superdan1313
I had the complete misfortune of enduring a "dining experience" earlier today at Mackintosh's canteen. While the service was excellent, the staff were friendly and competent, the food alas failed to meet the same standards. Upon perusing their woefully minimalist menu, there being only a few uninspired options for main course, I decided to choose a burger in the mistaken belief that this old classic would be difficult to mess up. I was wrong. The accompanying salad was bland and dry, the dressing tasteless, whilst the "chips" that were deposited on a side plate were little more than undercooked potato wedges. However my main issue here was with the lashings of salt which had been added to said frites. Surely it is up to the customer how they wish to flavor their dish with regards to condiments? This seems especially true in the modern day when we are constantly reminded of the damaging nature of high salt content in food. In any case, the lashings of salt that had been over-applied to the dish, for me, rendered it inedible, leaving only the disappointing burger itself to justify the overpriced culinary car crash. Sadly however, once again the efforts failed to live up to any reasonable standard. The burger was cooked fairly well, however the bacon which topped it (which i did not ask for but was still given and charged for), was less than a single rasher of overcooked and extremely fatty low grade meat. Also, instead of using any traditional or even suitable choice for the bread, the irritating modern trend of favoring pretentious style over common sense prevailed as the meat was encased in a tomb of flakey ciabatta that neither complimented or even covered the sad mess beneath it. I am all for new spins on traditional dishes, but this one was an idea which should have never made it off the drawing board. I would point out that the other people who ate with me, both of whom had the salmon salad, commented that their meals were excellent, so it may be the case that this one dish is simply an aberration in an otherwise decent restaurant, but I remain skeptical, and will not be returning to find out. All in all, a very poor meal.