Critic Smashes Posh London Italian Restaurant As 'An Insult To Good Taste'

Quattro Passi. Source: Facebook

The Observer restaurant critic Jay Rayner reviewed an Italian place this week, Quattro Passi, in London’s exclusive Mayfair.

The bill came to whopping £282 ($AU500), even though they only drank two glasses of sparkling wine (not champagne) and a glass of white.

Rayner confesses he was angry in a scathing review where he describes Quattro Passi as “a business seemingly designed to milk a luxe economy that values pointless fripperies over real value. It is an insult to good taste in three courses”.

The chef’s Amalfi coast restaurant had two Michelin stars and things got off to a poor start when what he thought was a plush, serene restaurant was so loud that when he asked a waiter to turn down the music, she shouted: “What?”

And from there, he lets rip, saying:

I cannot recommend Quattro Passi to the hard of hearing. Happily, on this occasion they need not feel excluded, because I cannot recommend Quattro Passi to anybody.

Few restaurants have left me feeling so angry, and it has nothing to do with the acoustics. Because few restaurants sum up the shameless, disfigured, toxic economics currently at work in certain central London postcodes as much as this one.


Rayer goes on to slice and dice his meal, describing dishes with golf leaf on them as “like King Midas has suffered psoriasis over your dinner”.

The wine list starts at £40 ($AU70). “After that you need oxygen to read the prices,” he says.

The amuse bouche “is the size and colour of a cat’s turd”. There are “skid marks of bitter chocolate” on another dish, the lamb and raspberries “is a truly awful piece of cooking”. The strawberry tiramisu is “dessert as designed by an eight-year-old girl who’s been given a new pack of colouring pens”.

And then there’s this rumination on expensive restaurants and what they shouldn’t be:

It can’t be a pallid fart of mediocrity, priced for some dodgy clientele that’s ripped off the gross national product of a small impoverished nation and is now domiciled in London for tax reasons.

Rayner says, when the music is turned up again, he’ll finish with an old gag:

“The best part about lunch at Quattro Passi? Leaving.”

Read the full scathing review here.

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