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January 17, 2019

As the weather gets colder and the Brexit horror show drags on, there has not been much to laugh about over the last few days.

Happily, the news that a chain of pubs was charging £28 for a two person meal of roasted cauliflower steaks had us holding our aching sides.

The Young's chain of pubs in the south east of England was offering two 6oz Aberdeen Angus sirloin steaks for £28.

And if that didn't appeal then, for the same price, you and a friend could tuck into a cauliflower steak each. Both options included accompanying veg but still... this was no-one's idea of a wallet-friendly offer.

Twitter storm

As you might imagine, Twitter was clutching its collective pearls with many of the commentators pondering how the pubs had the brass neck to charge the same for a couple of slices of cauliflower as they did for steak.

Others merely sniffed that £28 for half a cauli and some chips seemed par for the course in that there London.

Other wits asked whether the £28 was for cauliflower fillet and wondered if cheaper cuts such as rump or rib-eye might be available.

Yesterday, Young's withdrew the £28 cauliflower option.

Although we were tickled to note that their online blurb was still suggesting that diners accompanied their steaks with a glass of Malbec which, they proudly noted, was vegan-friendly.

Probably not the most pressing concern for a diner who was just about to get their teeth into a medium rare chunk of Aberdeen Angus.

Not just London

If £28 for two cauliflower steaks seems a bit excessive then that sort of pricing level is not limited to London.

I still remember the outraged howls of a veggie friend who was charged handsomely for a very, er, uncomplicated dish at one of Edinburgh's more chi-chi restaurants.

His cries of '£16 for a roasted *&^&%^$! carrot' still echo. To be fair, it was a very nice carrot with an impeccable pedigree but I could understand his frustration.

Another part of me quite admires the boldness of ambitious pricing. A few years back, one of Edinburgh's Michelin starred restaurants ran a £28 lunch menu which included rognons blancs, French for white kidneys, a euphemism for sheep's testicles.

We're all for nose-to-tail eating but would probably draw the line at nose-to-testicle eating.

At which point, that cauliflower steak deal is beginning to look a bit of a bargain.

Back in the real world, the 5pm January Dining sale is still going strong.

We have dozens of restaurants in Glasgow and Edinburgh which are offering a two or three course meal for £12 and some even include a drink.