Guest blog: Scratch Series

Half way there…

4. Freekeh Porridge with Bacon Jam and Sorrel copy   It’s half time. Scratch finishes in two months and we’re taking a mini-breather to consider the best and worst of its lifespan: “It’s a shoddy, shoddy kitchen. The sink leaks and there’s a constant tide of water on the floor”. Things also mysteriously disappear. In the absence of a dustpan and brush David is sweeping the floor using a scrap of cardboard and a plastic dish brush. It’s light years away from top end kitchens spec’d with shiny gear and separate rooms for dishwashers (human and mechanical).

Not that David is complaining. Working within the constraints of more humble apparatus provides a Heath Robinson vibe which guests enjoy. Elvis Presley plates are brought out backed to music by The King.  Doubling up as sommelier and kitchen porter keeps a lively pace up between kitchen and dining room. And during prep walnuts are cracked by “twatting them with a frying pan”.

3. Sunflower Family Roots, Soft Leeks with Dashi copy    At the start of January the mood was a touch sombre, numbers were lower than needed and there was an expectation from others that every night was full to the gunwales. This wasn’t true and not enough money coming in means none to take home. As of last week, the busiest yet, the team are able to pay themselves and for extra waiters (sympathetic girlfriends) on busy nights. The momentum is growing with bookings coming throughout the week – there’s nothing that solves a cash flow drought (and boosts morale) quite like sales. Appreciative diners also help: “that was the best meal of my life”, from one lady on the Friday.

It’s an unconventional setup with the communal eating aspect and Scratch has also “been blessed with open-minded people.” And rekindling (platonic) flames with producers (like Phantassie) has brought back the joy of “the simplicity of putting food on plates”. Simple and delicious. More tales next week folks!

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