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Monday, 10 April 2017

The Worst Restaurant Review ever. With the pictures to prove it.

Who says we don't believe photography when we want to?

I'm believing in Jay Rayner's pictures of his meal at Le Cinq in Paris (Meal for two, including service and modest wine: €600 (£520)). That's because I want to believe them.

They accompany a scathing, scathing, scathing review of the restaurant. Here's the basic idea of ow bad it is

'In terms of value for money and expectation Le Cinq supplied by far the worst restaurant experience I have endured in my 18 years in this job. This, it must be said, is an achievement of sorts.'

You can read more here.

And more here.


From a visual point of view, it's the perfect example of the importance photography plays in the real world, and of the unpredictability of the overlapping of its different functions. Here you have press images backfiring (not through the fault of the photography. The food looks great) even though there is nothing about them that is false as long as you understand exactly what they are used for. If you think they represent any specific meal or experience, well, they don't.

And here are Rayner's notes on the differences between the images.

Spot the difference


Some readers may notice a difference between my description of the onion dish – “mostly black, like nightmares” – and the picture of it above, which is golden and rather beautiful.
There’s a reason for this.
Le Cinq would not let us photograph their food, as we usually do after I’ve reviewed, and insisted that we use press shots. This is extremely unusual. However, I did take pictures during the meal, on an iPhone 7 using the available light. And that makes things a little clearer, as you can see.

Anyway, here are Rayner's pictures of his meal doubled up with the restaurant's pictures.



'Sticky, like the floor at a teenager’s party’: gratinated onions.

Photograph above: Jean Claude Amiel

Photograph below: Jay Rayner




 ‘Draped in an elastic flap of milk skin’: chocolate mousse cigars.

Photograph above: Jean-Claude Amiel

Photograph below: Jay Rayner






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