I hope to be reincarnated as a restaurant reviewer’s plus one.
They get to eat all the food, and don’t have to do any work. No aide memoires have to be made while they vacantly shovel in the grub.
I do have a job description though, if you should ever want to be the pilot fish to my whale.
People who want the steak every time. Not happening. Those who don’t like coriander, meat on the bone (like my taxi driver on the way to this Eastern Mediterranean restaurant), cinnamon, fish with eyes on (“they’re looking at me!”), all banned.
Those who say, “I’m not that hungry, I’ll just have a starter”, blackballed.
And I’ve reserved additional ire for those who offer no comment apart from “nice”. Thanks for the input.
I have a couple of biddable eating pals, and they are worth their weight (which is quite significant, thanks to me) in Perigord truffle.
Not so much my usual Glasgow plus one. I turned up at this place, from the people behind Chakoo Bombay Kitchen and Topolabamba, and not only did he bring his family along without telling me, he’d also turned up early to decide on most of what we were ordering.
I assembled my face into a socially appropriate expression and perused the huge menu.
Under pressure, my eyes settled on the Kebabs and Gyros sections.
Nope, only available until 4pm. Cocktail? No, they don’t have the appropriate licence, but for some reason I can have a glass of medicinal pinot grigio (£3.05).
The mezze comes as it’s ready.
My dining partners had ordered the prousos miza (£6.95) – a messy assemblage of “black swine salami”, Serrano ham tissues, a triangle of feta, a handful of kalamata olives, “roasted red peppers” (AWOL) and Turkish bread.
All a bit forgettable, especially the dry bread slabs, and it seemed unnecessary for them to have doused the lot in a sweet balsamic-y jus.
We continued in a MOR vein.
For once, I would like to be wooed by a falafel (£5.95), but this pair of mud brown pucks were flavourless and dry, along with their pot of single note “hot schug sauce”, which looked like a ready-made pakora dip.
Although they were extremely oily, I suppose the feta saganaki (£5.95) were OK. There was plenty of tangy cheese in those papery filo swaddled pastries, with a gloopy “chilli honey” sauce painted across the top.
Perhaps because of bad parenting, the Cretan kalamarakia (£6.95), billed as “crispy baby calamari”, were no longer infants.
These were fully grown uniform rings, all in a cardboard-hued standard crumb and served with aioli on the side. Ah, young cephalopods grow up so quickly these days, I blame social media, specifically Surfchat.
The monkfish massaman (£8.95) wasn’t bad, with a buff-coloured salty and coconutty sauce, but some of the fish chunks were a little underdone in their wibbly-wobbly kernels.
Sadly, I wasn’t even a fan of the pide – “a Turkish middle eastern pizza”.
As one of two things that I actually choose myself, I went for the Marrakech version (£7.95), which was varnished with an oddly sweet sauce, then cool toppings of non-spicy Merguez sausage and a crumb-like goat’s cheese. Strangely bland and cake-y.
I would have consoled myself with the Greek skinny fries with oregano and sea salt (£1.95), but all that came were naked frites.
The lenten chocolate brownie (£5.95) was nice enough, in that it tasted like a perfectly ordinary slice of chocolate cake, but I couldn’t detect any nuttiness from the traditional tahini ingredient.
There wasn’t any of the purported orange blossom with the knafeh baked cheesecake (£5.95) either, though it was fine, with a syrup pastry base and a standard smooth creamy topping.
I grumble, even though the Robins to my Batman seemed to think it was all “nice”.
In that case, it seems a vacancy has just come up for a restaurant reviewer’s plus one.
71-73 St Vincent Street, Glasgow
(0141-221 0202, mezzidakia.com)