The cradle of civilisation and they can't do proper chips: the gammon food critic goes Greek

Restaurant reviews by Justin Tanner, our retired food critic who thinks that Jeremy Corbyn would have had us sending tanks to his mate Putin

GREECE? Philosphers in robes, few fancy gods, completely fucked their economy joining the EU. Notice there’s nothing about food in there, do you? 

That’s because, with a largely goats-on-rocks-based agriculture, it’s vile. But I’m off to Corfu on an over-50s holiday in May, and as a renowned food critic I need to know my tzatziki from my taramasalata.

First surprise? No doner kebabs on the menu. I raise this with the waiter, who curtly informs me they’re Turkish, not Greek. Like there’s any difference, I tell him, but apparently they’re not exactly mates. It’s a good start. I like a country that’s not afraid to hate its neighbours.

The starters, or mezze as they call them, all sound hideous. Olives? Like teabagging the devil’s testicles. Then taramasalata, pureed fish eggs dyed a lurid and unappealing shade of pink. They’re taking the piss.

Rice wrapped in vine leaves? Courgette balls? What, Plato couldn’t take a moment out of contemplating to say “this tastes like shit, Demitrious? And don’t even think of frying that bloody octopus”?

I go for the Greek-style fish-and-chips. Why bugger about? Except they have. The cod’s stiff and salty, the chips are as mean and thin as McDonald’s, and it’s being served with this dip called skordalia which is mashed potato with an industrial quantity of garlic.

Garlic. Fucking garlic. With fish and chips. If they haven’t got the basic intelligence to know fish and chips means ketchup it’s no wonder they’re the sick man of Europe.

Smashing my plate on the floor in the traditional manner, I order another bottle of Mythos beer, only to be roundly bollocked by an angry moustachioed man who says the Greeks don’t smash plates. Who is he kidding?

My explanation that it’s the only thing anyone knows about his crappy country falls on deaf ears. I show him how it’s done with the side plates and he gets menacing, but as I tell him it takes more than knocking back six bottles of olive oil a day to be the Mafia.

Long story short, I’m not going there again. You try and embrace these people’s primitive cultures and they throw it back in your fucking face. I’m cancelling that holiday.

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Six ways to look a knobhead in… a puffer coat

THE Season of the Puffer is on us, and everywhere humans are swaddled in so many inflated compartments they look like they’ve pulled the string on a fucking liferaft. 

Warm, ubiquitous, and making everyone look exactly the same, they’re fashion in its purest form. But how should you wear yours?

On public transport

Resembling boxes of ornaments bubble-wrapped by professional movers, buses full of puffas snake through Leeds. They could collide head-on at full speed and all the passengers would be fine. Plus, want two feet of personal space between you and everyone else? That’s how thick your coat is, girl!

On city streets

Bouncing around like soft little pinballs, the zip of nylon against nylon the only sound, all snug in their own personal pockets of insulation, refusing to even share their body heat with others, could there be anything more London? These metaphors are alive!

On a country walk

Nothing sets the amateur apart from the pro more than tramping through the woods with a takeaway coffee and a rose-gold ankle length puffer! Best teamed with white trainers and you’re giving everyone serious Lockdown II vibes.

With noise-cancelling headphones

‘Fuck off world,’ your puffer is telling everyone, and ‘yeah, go on, fuck off’ your high-end headphones sneer from behind its bulk. Why, you’re barely more than a cocoon from which come summer a transcendent butterfly will emerge, still in the fuck-off headphones!

With ten extra pounds

What’s the point of being thick if you ain’t getting thicc? The classic puffer dwarfs turns even the most powerfully built into slim wrists and ankles poking out of a sleeping bag, so add an extra insulating layer of pure fat underneath and revel in it. Nobody will ever know!

With another puffer underneath

If a thing’s worth doing well, it’s worth going beserk with until all utility has been systematically removed and replaced with style, so double and triple up! Wear a casual gilet over a thigh-length puffer, and a natty puffer jacket under that. You won’t be able to fit through doors! They’ll be rolling you home!