In the past 15 years London has seen a surfeit of new waiters. They are mostly Eastern European and although many of them see waitering as only a means to improving their English, they are mostly delightful. There are some hilarious exceptions.
I walk into the Chelsea Quarter Cafe for a quick sandwich. When the waiter approaches I ask for salt beef on rye with English mustard. The waiter looks at me like I’ve just asked him for the moon. I repeat my order more slowly and louder – apparently non English speakers understand you better that way….
I point to the salt beef on the menu and repeat my order once more. “Raaai?” he says in a strangled voice. I begin to wonder if he is okay.”What kind of bread do you have?” I ask, taking a different approach. “Just normal bread,” he responds. I enquire about which varieties of “normal” bread they carry. “Just normal” he says, before giving up…Read More