You gotta get a gimmick, Gypsy Rose was told all those years ago. London's restaurants are still heeding this advice too in an effort to stand out and attract the punters. It seems to be working if the queues at places like Burger & Lobster, Flat Iron or Tramshed are anything to go by where the gimmick, obviously, is the one or two trick menu. I'm not saying that gimmicks are bad, it's just that some do it better than others. B&L, which I really like, was so successful it has spawned a Soho sibling and another is on the way in Farringdon. So, what's a new restaurant to do to get on our radar but jump on the gimmick train. This brings us to Shrimpy's and its soft shell crab burger. I mean, London is awash with burgers at the moment with new places opening up quicker than you can yell "order up". But so far there's been a relative dearth of seafood burgers (fish fingers excepted), so if there's an unexploited niche then you might as well fill it, right? So how does Shrimpy's fare with its foodie gimmick?
I'm generally a pretty cluey person. Well, I'm prone to episodes of imitating Dr Stupid now and then (for you Ren & Stimpy fans out there), but generally, I'm fairly switched on. What worries me is that I'm still puzzled by Brasserie Zedel. Eating food shouldn't be confusing, should it? But being served broadly mediocre food, with haphazard service in an over-the-top lush setting resulted in such perplexity that it's taken me ages to order my thoughts enough to tell a coherent story. But let's attempt to document the meal as best we can. Shall we start with the good?