On portion size

You have to earn your portion size, restaurants.

First of all, you have to be sarcastic, sneer at me, snobby when I enter. Because I’m wearing jeans. Secondly, you can’t look like you’re the restaurant for a hotel. Thirdly, you have to be priced way out of my league.

Then you can earn this portion size.

Because it’s just a pasta dish, I know. I’m looking at the pasta dishes of the twelve people I’m with, and food is spilling out of their bowls. I can see the mound from a flat landscape. I could half their portion sizes and they’d still have more than me.

My mistake? I went for lobster ravioli.

According to the waitress, ravioli usually only comes in three pieces because it’s rich so for me to get five, that’s special. I should be laughing. I’m quids in. I say that I feel mugged off. It’s not like it’s actual lobster, it’s going to be some crushed reconstituted lobster meat, right? I mean, this isn’t that nice a restaurant. It’s a small local chain. Who has the time, right? She schools me on the richness of ravioli. I tell her that I haven’t been to ravioli school.

I then tell her that presentation is everything. Because they’ve plonked five small pieces of ravioli on to my plate and spooned a dollop of passata on top of it. Then, they grabbed a mound of steam spinach and plopped it in the middle.

If they wanted to get away with this portion size, presentation is everything. Because this looks like a mess you’d get in a lower scale restaurant in the centre of town, one that’s essentially a chain, where it’s been the same menu for years, where everything is a solid 3, where the brown panels and laminate floors make you feel like you on the set of a soap Italian restaurant that’s meant to be upscale, where everyone else is enjoying mounds of food, where I feel mugged off.

Portion size is important. Because where I grew up, you ate to get full.