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Mystery restaurant with 400 wines and no wine list sparks twitter debate

Last night one diner was left feeling disorientated when he discovered that the restaurant he was visiting opts for a rather unique approach to picking a bottle.

Tom, a restaurateur and restaurant inspector, did not name the restaurant, only fuelling speculation. Fiona Beckett of The Guardian was one figure who inquired as to the identity of the mystery eatery, but Tom replied that he is “sworn to silence”, claiming that his other half had already told him off for the tweet.

Many of the replies were less inquisitive as to where this fabled restaurant might exist, and more cynical concerning its perceived pretention. Andy Hayler, Restaurant Critic for Elite Traveler Magazine, offered the following quip in response to the restaurant’s audacity:

Perhaps sightly less tactful was Rex Goldsmith, of The Chelsea Fishmonger, who made his feelings abundantly clear:

Tom also revealed that diners were unable to see the four hundred wines, which raised suspicions that the extent of the cellar may have been exaggerated. The lack of a list also meant a lack of prices, which, as some suggested, could lead to a nasty surprise when the bill comes.

However, some in the replies suggested workarounds to this unconventional approach to ordering. Dan Kirby, of Taversham’s and The Suffolk Cellar, suggested that opting for the most basic option would give Tom an easy way out of his quandry:

Alternate suggestions chose to match the restaurant’s novelty ordering style blow for blow:

Known for his work at The Terrace Yarmouth, on the Isle of Wight, Tom can certainly find his way around a wine list, not that this knowledge was of much use at the anonymous restaurant. After the awkwardness of trying to steer his way through the confusion, Tom was able to crack the enigma by describing his mood as a price point:

Tom described the litre bottle of natural Valpolicella he ended up with as “very nice”. It is unclear what he thought of the rest of the meal, and it seems unlikely that he will disclose the location.

Perhaps for those less familiar with wine, this approach may provide guidance when it comes to finding a wine – blind ordering, rather than blind tasting. However, given the strength of the response from wine and restaurant critics alike, it may be some time yet before this approach catches on.

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