I’m cranky, I’m incredulous but most of all I’m hungry. A quick flick through the Good Food Guide while looking for a Big Day Out restaurant for a birthday lunch revealed to me that it is now par for the course for Sydney restaurants to charge $40 plus for a main. In fact $40 is the baseline and entrees are now the same price as mains were around six years ago. I’m no maths genius but that means a two mains, a bread roll and glass of wine are going to cost approximately the same as buying a Subway franchise or a private island in Fiji.
How did this happen? Sure, the $40 main has been on our plate for some years. But only at top notch (overpriced) restaurants like Aria or Bilsons. Other fine dining restaurants not in the same rarefied league (but probably with bigger portions) were once around the $35 mark. OK, I can cope with that, especially for a big day out.
But nowadays any restaurant in the Good Food Guide is charging $40. And $40 just gets you a little hunk of meat and possibly a confit of fig on the side and foam drizzle – if you’re very lucky. These days you won’t even get a booze ballast potato mash to go with it. That’ll be another $17 due to the extra virgin twice pressed Himalayan rock salt they sprinkled over it with love (so they say). Yeah right. And those truffled pigs can fly. Before we know it we’ll be sniffing a degustation of air done eight ways.
I’m over it. These restaurants are a wank, the food is not exactly life-changing. $80 a main for two could stretch to several nights out in other (cheaper) restaurants where the food fills the plate, tastes yum and you don’t go home hungry. Cabramatta here I come.