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Q: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine?? ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   6 Comments )
Subject: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine??
Category: Family and Home > Food and Cooking
Asked by: johnfrommelbourne-ga
List Price: $4.00
Posted: 12 Nov 2006 04:45 PST
Expires: 12 Dec 2006 04:45 PST
Question ID: 782045
Rstaurants everywhere in Melbourne; promoted  as one of the restaurant
capitals of the world, especially as it relates to chinese food where
outside of China  Melbourne was voted second best after a big city in
Canada, Vancouver I think????
 However although I see restaurants devoted to such diverse cusines as
Argentina, Laos, Nepal, Columbia etc I dont see any at all entirely
featuring English food.
I am not sure why this is the case but if there was such a dedicated
cafe just what delicacies( a cross-section of) would feature on a menu
for such restaurant, and what would be a  very brief description of
each please.

 I am not entirely ignorant on this matter as I have heard of such
things as Beef Wellington, Toad-In-The-Hole, and Yorkshire Pudding but
never eaten as much.
 Also I expect Bangers and Mash would feature where I understand from
an Englishmen I spoke to includes sausages of a quality that us
Australians have never experienced.
 I have also heard of but never tried a traditional Pork Pie which is
apparently nothing like our No 1 traditional food the Aussie meat pie
eaten by the million every day. THe  English Porkpie is available in
Australia if one looks hard enough but having heard it is eaten cold I
dont think it would catch on here.

 Also what is "Spotted Dick" and would that likely feature on such a menu.
 Is there in fact not much more to traditional English cusine that
what I have listed above and perhaps the rest of what is commonly
eaten in England is individual dishes borrowed from the various other
countries of Europe and even further away.

 Does someone know of an establishment that claims to feature a range
of purely English dishes???

Clarification of Question by johnfrommelbourne-ga on 12 Nov 2006 06:18 PST
This would be the food that Bryan would be very familiar with I guess?
In fact I am sure he does an excellent Beef Wellington and has a great
Spotted dick as well!!
Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine??
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 12 Nov 2006 07:53 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear johnfrommelbourne-ga,

I?m no chef, but I do enjoy my food. I?m also English, so I think I am
able to answer this question with some personal knowledge as well as a
little research.

English food, and British Food generally, has been much maligned in
the past years, especially by our Gallic cousins across the English
Channel. During the 19th and early 20th century French cuisine
dominated the restaurant and upper class domestic menus. The lower
classes relied on food which was simple to prepare and was cheap. Food
and the family meal was, and is still not, such an important part of
our lives as let?s say the Italians. The rationing caused during the
world wars also restricted menus and it was not until the 1980s with
the influence of nouvelle cuisine was the barrier broken down.
There is now also a revival of an emphasis on good, home grown
produce. Good restaurants are now sourcing quality organic produce
from local farmers. It may cost more, but the results are great. Local
farmers markets are popping-up throughout England with people
realising the good quality they offer as opposed to the supermarkets.

We English have many cultural influences on our food with our history
of many centuries of invaders and immigrants. We recognised that some
foreign food (including Scottish, Irish and Welsh) is better than ours
and adapt it for our particular palette. One dish which could be on
your list but is not a ?traditional? dish is chicken tikka masala. A
firm favourite now with many of the English.,2763,475043,00.html

One of ?celebrity chefs? is Gary Rhodes and he has done much to
champion traditional British food. He has taken national dishes and
updated them for today?s world. This is his web site which has some
recipes and a book which my wife has in her collection which you may
be interested in. His restaurants concentrate on British food.
New British Classics (Paperback)
by Gary Rhodes

Here?s a few English dishes. It will no doubt be challenged. There is
also a regional aspect to this as dishes were influenced by the
cultural conditions in the north and south of England. These are not
to everyone?s taste which is why perhaps English cooking is not
popular world-wide. They are also not suited to certain climates.
Sometimes it is described as stodgy and bland.
The popular theme of English food are meats - roasted is the most
popular, or grills, casseroles and stews.

However, you must start the day with the full English breakfast: eggs,
bacon, sausages (yes, they are popular - ?400 individually-named
varieties in Britain alone and an estimated 1,720 different uses for
them 1.?), mushrooms, fried bread, and finally bubble and squeak 2.
While we are breakfast, there?s also kippers. (smoked herrings)
To be frank, we?re not much good for appetizers, although our soups
are good. However, get to main course and we?re off. Roast Beef and
Yorkshire pudding, with roast potatoes, parsnips, and horseradish
sauce. 3. That?s why the French call us ?les rosbifs?. Our love of the
 roast beef. As for the Yorkshire puddings, if there were any left
over my mother used to have them for breakfast the following morning
with jam. Not entirely to my liking I should add. There?s also roasted
lamb and pork.
Steak and Kidney Pie.4.
Lancashire hotpot.5.
Fish and Chips - need I say more. Sadly under threat with the dwindling cod stocks.
Shepherds pie.6
Bangers and mash and beans. Cheating here as baked beans is only a
fairly recent addition but they are so popular in domestic cooking
that they should be included (much to annoyance of chefs).
Not for everyone?s palate, from the regions there?s jellied ells, pie
and mash, Cornish pasties, tripe and onions. Only two of these I like.
I?ll let you guess which ones. With the exception of the Cornish
pasty, I don?t think you would find them on the menu abroad, but
they?re still traditional English.

Now to a small selection of desserts.
Summer puddings using the best of summer fruits. 7.
Spotted Dick 8. - no, not a serious disease of the male sexual organ.
Can be a little stodgy.
Bread and Butter pudding. 9.
Sticky Toffee Pudding (one of my wife?s favourites).10

You can find lots more menus on this BBC web site which is part of a
recent ?Great British Menu? competition where chefs from through out
Britain entered a competition to cook for the Queen. The criteria was
British food and recipes only. This page has recipes from the chefs in
It has recently been British Food Fortnight. This site has some
recipes and information.

You mentioned Pork Pies. They?re good with salads. I would have
thought they?re fine for a picnic on the beach. The town of Melton
Mowbray is famous for their pork pies. You can find out more on this

I?ve finished now and am getting hungry with all this food talk. I?m
off now for my Afternoon Tea. In fact, a Cornish tea, with scones,
butter, jam and cream. The big argument is, which goes on first, jam
or cream?



Clarification of Answer by answerfinder-ga on 12 Nov 2006 08:37 PST
Sorry, a typo. Should be 'Cornish cream tea'.
johnfrommelbourne-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thanks very much Answer-Finder and  very well done. I dont think I
could expect much more work from you for the measly $4.00 I offered.
There is some good stuff there to look at both from you directly and
via the links you have put in. I was interested  as I have been
exposed to traditional English food  and some literature about it in
the very recent past.  For instance i just purchased at a second book
shop a detailed history of "fish & Chips.  This book has proven most

Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusin
From: myoarin-ga on 12 Nov 2006 08:48 PST
And don't forget such treats as baked salmon.  Last week, I and
several other guests of a family in England were lucky to partake in a
feast of Scottish salmon, one too big to fit straight in the oven.

Game can also be a delicacy, venison, fowl, etc., and roast pork
deserves special mention.  My search for Charles Lamb's essay on the
origin of roast pork led me to this site.  His essay is at the end of
it, but scrolling down to it is also entertaining:
Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine??
From: probonopublico-ga on 12 Nov 2006 09:08 PST
Hi John

I wouldn't know where to find an English restaurant in my neck of the
woods as the place is now dominated by Indian, Chinese and Thai types.
There's an odd Mexican, Japanese and even a Belgian but many French
restaurants now seem to have disappeared.

Brighton & Hove is supposed to have more restaurants per capita than
anywhere in the UK outside of London. However, parking is a factor.

My current favourite is a Chinese: the food and the service are excellent.

Do let me know when you are coming over and I'll also invite
Answerfinder and Myoarin.

It would be nice to meet Answerfinder, don't you think?

All the Best

Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusin
From: myoarin-ga on 12 Nov 2006 10:19 PST
Bryan, I'll be there!

Here is a self-styled English restaurant in Hove, but the blurb does
not recommend it:
"41 Church Rd, Hove, Brighton, UK - England BN3 2BE  1273-727-410

More Details


British, European

EAST SUSSEX. This appealing restaurant evokes an inviting atmosphere,
which attracts numerous Brighton locals. Well-prepared meals are
provided any time of day for those who count calories and those who
don't know (or care) what a calorie is. Fried eggs, bacon, grilled
tomatoes, fries, and bread all make up one spectacular dish that is
appropriately called the "pile up." Less filling meals and daily
specials are also available. A nice list of beers, wines, and
non-alcoholic beverages is on hand."

In fact, it seems to reinforce preconceptions about English cooking.

Stick to the foreigners.

Cheers, Myo
Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine??
From: steph53-ga on 12 Nov 2006 12:13 PST
I just love Yorkshire Pudding!!!

Never could figure out why its called a pudding when its really a "
little hot bread thingy"..... invite for me Bryan?????

Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusin
From: johnfrommelbourne-ga on 13 Nov 2006 02:56 PST
Yes Bryan on both counts, A-F is a very smart fellow and yes I will
meeet you there one day for lunch along with the others on this page
including the odd one you have left out of the equation.

Subject: Re: What would one see on a restaurant menu of purely traditional English cusine??
From: probonopublico-ga on 13 Nov 2006 03:28 PST
Ah, yes, Myo ... It's a place that I visited years ago ...

Enough said.

Ay, yes, Steph ... Please join us!

In fact, you are VERY welcome because your willingness to pick up the
bill is legendary. (Or used to be.)


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