When a picky eater goes to a two-Michelin-starred restaurant
Let me start by providing some context. Tom, my partner, is a foodie who will eat anything. I mean that in the most literal sense; he could win any Fear Factor eating challenge as long as it doesn't include anything with banana flavor (I know, don't ask).
I, on the other hand, am on the opposite side of the spectrum. I'll eat anything vegetarian, but I'm particular about meat (grew up spoiled eating mostly wild elk, and lean meat cooked to perfection) and while I can eat fish, it better not look like a fish on the plate or taste fishy, and any shellfish is strictly out of the question. I'm happy to eat the same thing every day for weeks at a time as long as it gives me the nutrients I need and that's about it. My tastebuds likely stopped evolving when I turned five.
In March we were in Bangkok at the same time as another foodie friend and the two of them conspired to go to a famous restaurant with two Michelin stars. Tom asked me to join. I said yes, on the condition that he would eat anything I did not.
A few days before we were going, I looked up the restaurant. It's called Sorn, and on their website they have a list of terms and conditions you have to agree to when booking. Item number five on that list stood out.
5. Sorn is also unable to serve guests with seafood allergies or who do not consume seafood. The southern cuisine consists of mostly seafood as the whole southern region is surrounded by water
I made it abundantly clear to Tom that inviting me to this would be a waste of money, but ever the optimist, he again promised to eat everything I would not. So, I decided to put on my best girlfriend hat and join with an open mind.
Also, he was paying.
Time for dinner
This is a fancy restaurant, and as soon as we sit down, the waiters surround us. One woman asks if we have any "allergies or dietary restrictions”. Tom and our friend look at me and I feel the pressure to be honest.
“Well, I don’t eat seafood. But no worries, they will eat it," I say. It’s not you, it’s me, I wanted to tell them, but that would sound too desperate.
“It’s 90% seafood,” the waitress replies. Deadpan. She knows as well as I do; I am an imposter. I should not be here. Maybe they'll ask me to leave.
“I know," I say. "I'm sorry."
She does not kick me out, just nods and leaves the room. Yes, we have our own little room. It's a thing here.
A minute later another waiter comes in and puts a glass bowl with a living giant lobster on the table and tells us this will be the main ingredient in our first dish. I shrink in my seat and for a second consider sliding down under the table and staying there until dessert. Dessert I can do.
But I am an adult, more or less, and stay.
Then it begins. The menu consists of 22 dishes, mostly seafood, and I nibble on the things that can be safely removed from the contaminated parts. The drink menu keeps me full enough until we get to dessert.
Midway through Tom realized the advantage of inviting me: he got two sets of each bite he liked.
It's not a bad combination actually, being a picky eater dating a foodie. It's like I have a dog with me to eat anything I don't like on my plate, but it's socially acceptable to feed him at the table. He has other advantages too, he can hold better conversations and rarely barks*.
10/10 would recommend.
In all seriousness, the experience was a bit underwhelming. I can't personally review the food, but the foodies left feeling slightly disappointed. The wine pairing I can speak to though, and it was not impressive. The taste was fine, but out of five drinks, one was beer, one was sake, and none came with a more detailed introduction than "This is a white wine, from France, enjoy".
At a place like this, I expected a little bit more.
In summary, is it worth going to a Michelin star seafood restaurant if you're a picky eater with a fear of seafood?
Sure. If your partner pays.**
*Foodies get hangry.
Sanna says Newsletter
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