Thursday, May 20, 2004

Rag On Bone

What is it about restaurants and fish bones? Is there some EU definition of "fillet" and "filleted" that I'm unaware of?

I hate fish bones, and have long ago learnt that they will find me out in whatever form I choose to take my finny friends in.

Years ago, my mum tried to cure me of this with an M&S "Absolutely, Guaranteed - Stake Our Lives On It And Our Good Name In Knickers - Boneless Kipper Fillet". It was so full of bones it would have finished the Queen Mum off ten years early.

The other week, I was at an Indian restaurant, and the waiter was pressing on us the special Mela Menu:

"And this is prepared with a boneless fish - steamed in a coconut paste and banana leaves - just one big spine bone, and then some small little ones you can crunch up in your mouth."

And then, there was my favourite seafood restaurant yesterday....

ME: "Hi. Can you tell me which of your specials don't have bone in? I really hate fish bone, you see, and I'll happily order something else if -"

WAITER: "Monsieur, I can assure you there are no bones in our filets."

ME: "Yes. But I really, really hate bones. I'm not looking for mostly boneless. No bones."

WAITER: (offended) "Then I recommend our Mackerel fillets. No bones. Absolutement."

The fish is served. Along with a slightly sniffy pouring of our Sancerre.

A few minute later, the Waiter returns.

WAITER: "Monsieur. What is the problem? You have hardly touched your meal..."

ME: "It's full of bones."

WAITER: (narrows eyes suspiciously) "But our mackerel fillets hardly ever have bones in. It is rare."

ME: "Hardly ever? But -"

WAITER: "Oh. But those are small bones! Is this a problem?"

ME: "I told you. I hate fish bones."

WAITER: "Have you tried the other end - I'm sure it's almost bone free..."

ME: "Almost? You assured me-"

WAITER: "Would sir like something else? I can assure you our kippers are-"

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