Spin produced by Madame Geisha’s PR team has sucked me into their vortex.
I was particularly struck by a full-page write up in a local free mag that was so conflated with praise a cynic might be mistaken for thinking that it wasn’t a review at all but actually a regurgitated press release. I am a sceptic, not a cynic; so I took myself off to investigate.
My pre-dinner googling informed me…
“uniquely positioned in the heart of Brighton’s boutique quarter and just a stone’s throw away from the city’s world famous sea front, Madame Geisha is a brand new concept in dining, drinking and entertainment.”
Bloody hell – a brand new concept in dining, drinking and entertainment!! You would have thought a brand new concept in any one of those three would be enough for a lifetime. I tried to think of all the concepts that could have been considered “brand new” when they originated.
Food: Sandwiches to an 18th Century card player, potatoes to an Elizabethan, cooked food to a Neanderthal, sushi to a man-in-the-street in 1991.
Entertainment: Breakdancing to a Tibetan monk, Big Brother to everyone, Lady GaGa (just kidding), Elvis to 1953
Drink: Beer to ancient Egyptians, tea to Marco Polo, Singapore Slings to a Singaporean, Special Brew to a vagrant in 1950…
You get the point. So, I was prepped and ready for an epoch defining evening.
They say: blends old style with new design to great effect.
I say: inspired by something that was inspired by a Blade Runner inspired idea of Asia. Exposed ventilation ducts, harsh lighting, perhaps they blew the design budget on PR? There is a random bamboo trellis by the entrance, perhaps that is the “old style”?
Kind of odd. The well-briefed waitress was trained in soft-hard selling. This is something expected in France, USA or anywhere that the frontline staff are paid a percent of sales, caught me off-guard in Brighton. When we ordered two glasses of wine, “why not get a whole bottle?” well, because we don’t want one. If we went to buy a car would the sales rep suggest, “why not get three?” and anyway it is illegal for barstaff to encourage alcohol consumption. When we ordered two dim sum, “they are really small do you want more than two?”. When my wife ordered her green curry with rice, “wouldn’t you rather have noodles?” no “why not, don’t you like noodles?” bloody hell, fuck off.
Bit-of-this; bit-of-that. All quite nice and overpriced in the annoying but not offensively so bracket. The randomness of the “if it’s Asian we serve it” menu had me thinking… in Asia do Pan-European restaurants serve any native food found within seven timezones? eg. Haggis pizza with stilton and dry cod? The main course was accompanied by the now famous Zilli Stack, nine chips in a perfect little pile, 3x3x3. Nothing offensive, but I think the money ,must be going to the PR department rather than the kitchen.
Towards the end of the meal the lighting changed and we were informed by the waitress that we where “changing into disco mode”. Time to go…
So we left the confused madam.