Sadly this week I won’t be discussing the hit 80s band Kids in the Kitchen but rather something even more disturbing. This trend is so worrying, I have been forced to refer to myself in the third person in the title; yes it is that serious people. Lately, it seems Melbourne cafes (or as my mum and Harold from Neighbours call them ‘coffee shops’) are in the middle of some sort of frightening retro cooking trend. Items are now being added to menus that were once the main stay of newly divorced blokes or those new to share housing.
I’m referring specifically to things like ‘toasties’ or ‘jaffles’. Their cute names do little to reassure me that they are actually foods I should pay a premium for, let alone be seen eating in public. Please don’t try and fool me by adding one grown up ingredient or dressing your cheeses in fancy pants, you have employed an eight year old and I’m on to you! I bet he doesn’t even wipe down the Breville machine when he’s done.
Have Melbourne chefs become so disenfranchised with organic this and quinoa that, that they have decided to regress to their cheesy childhoods? To create cafe food that we could easily make at home? The whole point of me going out to eat is so that I can choose from things I don’t have in my fridge. Eating out should be like eating at my place if I shopped for groceries more often and knew how to cook with them. It should not remotely resemble my primary school tuck shop.
Suddenly I’m seeing ‘Boiled Eggs & Soldiers’ popping up everywhere and don’t get me started on Coco Pops! Even I, a person who has been known to watch Doomsday Preppers simply because I have lost the remote and am too lazy to look for it, or gasp – get up and change the channel on the actual TV – can put Coco Pops in a bowl and pour milk over them. I am pretty sure I could train my Miniature Pinscher to do this if I were trapped under a pile of my old recyclables Principal Skinner style. (As an aside, am I the only one recycling for this reason alone?)
Anyway, back to the problem at hand, I would like chefs and the toddlers they employ to listen up. I am not interested in you creating meals that I already know how to make. I don’t wish to re-live my youth at vastly inflated prices, if I did, I would get on eBay and start bidding on rare Roxette cassingles and one of a kind Mr Frosty machines. This is 2014 chefs and I know you’re sad about the Masterchef effect and apparently normal people roasting beef cheeks and having rare ducks melt in their mouths but this is not the answer. Let’s work out a compromise so I can enjoy breakfast out again and you can give the little buggers a day off.
Is there anyone out there actually enjoying this trend? Or like me are you so worried about this you are having trouble sleeping?