Good Food Blog
Finland's fast foodPosted at 2:32PM, 22 February 2008 by Graham Holliday - Blogger
It was my first time in Finland, I'd never had it before and so I plumped for the reindeer. The waitress disappeared with my order, I sat back, picked up a copy of the Helsinki Times and sipped on my Karhu beer. But before I could finish scanning the front page and learn about Finland's berry wines, the country's finest was chargrilled and on a plate in front of me, encircled by a red wine sauce and served with a dollop of creamy mashed potatoes. From order to table took all of two minutes, or in restaurant waiting time, one sip of beer.
Nothing wrong with fast food delivery in theory. Living in France it's more often the snail's pace that has me twitching at the table, but what does super speedy service suggest to you in a restaurant?
It gives me visions of a hyper-organised, soulless kitchen machine. The waitress arrives, buttons are pressed, a couple of cogs whirr and food is spat out the other end somewhat like a Star Trek replicator. I imagine a kitchen with every pre-prepared base covered, mashed potatoes here, greens there, the specials plates primed and good to go within seconds of a glancing blow to a flame. It's probably the same in any restaurant, maybe the Finns are just a tad more efficient than other nations and maybe I should loosen up and see a sub-two minute delivery time as a good thing. But I can't.