Ok, so I’m back from holiday and I have a backlog of things I want to post. Seeing as I have just spent 3 weeks in London, I thought I would post some thoughts on restaurants and food in London compared to Cape Town.
I ate at a variety of restaurants from McDonalds (embarrassingly) to an upmarket steak restaurant. I did not eat at any very fancy restaurants as they were way out of my budget. Talking about budgets, food was very expensive over there. Even when you account for differences in salaries etc, food was more expensive both in stores and at restaurants. This was borne out by the fact that for the average person in the UK, eating out is considered a luxury rather than a lifestyle.
Fast food is as popular as it is here. In fact I heard that Nando’s is currently the most popular fast food franchise in the UK. Pubs and ‘Gastro Pubs’ are still a very popular option for a meal out as the prices are (comparatively) reasonable. Gastro pubs are basically pubs which serve more interesting, higher quality food than a traditional pub would.
Because London is so cosmopolitan, there are a large number of foreign eateries which are very well supported. If you’re looking for Indian, Italian, Chinese, Turkish, Spanish or any other kind of food, you will find a place that serves it. These will vary in quality and price. I enjoy spanish cuisine and sampled several spanish restaurants, some were great (but expensive) and others not so great.
All in all, I would say that the quality of food produced here in Cape Town is of a very high standard compared to London. These standards are matched in London and perhaps even exceeded in some cases, however you will pay an enormous price premium at those restaurants. They are not accessible to the average person. The average meal in an average restaurant is not fantastic.
We are very fortunate that in Cape Town we can enjoy top quality food at accessible prices in wonderful locations. We should remember and appreciate that.