Not a restaurant review
Matt and Cat are proud to support the Isle of Wight Healthy Eating Awards. The awards are to celebrate best policy and practice in healthy eating in a range of settings across the Island.
Regular readers will know that they don’t limit themselves to the healthiest food – but on the other hand Matt and Cat like to know what they are eating and try to commend good practice both in preparing and identifying food when eating out.
Your reviewers were very pleased to be invited to attend this year’s Isle of Wight Healthy Eating Awards at the Quay Arts Centre on Friday, 16 January 2009.
There was a good crowd attending, including regional and national guests from the Food Standards Agency and City University, London together with Andrew Turner MP (pictured).
What’s more, there was, of course, food on offer! One of the finalists in the awards was also the host for the evening. Finalist and ultimately winner of the IW Primary Care Trust Hospitality Award was the Quay Arts Café. Matt and Cat tucked into the buffet with their normal enthusiasm, and so couldn’t resist the opportunity to review the food offered. If you want to know what they thought, read on.
Matt and Cat arrived late as usual and squeezed into the packed Quay Arts café. It was buzzing with nominees, their supporters and hangers-on. The beautiful glass awards glistened impressively on a table, promising much drama later in the evening. In the centre of the room the Quay’s staff had laid out some tables full of buffet food. Unusually for a buffet there was also a menu, which helpfully described all the dishes. Mind you, there were no labels on the food but it wasn’t too hard to work out which was which.
Whilst they chatted and mingled with the assembled throng, M & C took up their paper plates and set to. A curious mixture of foods was on offer, and one could not help but detect the inevitable influence of ‘healthy eating’ on the menu. Whilst buffet stalwarts chicken satay skewers were there, they were supplemented by the less common vegetarian satay skewers – apparently gluten-free, as well. Cat was delighted by the red onion marmalade and goat’s cheese tartlets, so much so that she had to keep scurrying off to find another one. Matt was similarly taken by the queen olives with Serrano ham – looking a little like devils on horseback these delightful little morsels probably were, like the tartlets, not very low in fat or salt but fairly melted in the mouth.
Perhaps more for show than utility was the mixed fruit platter in the centre of the table – it looked great and ticked the healthy boxes but, really, how can one eat a quartered pineapple at a buffet? You’ve got to have either the most superb control or a disregard for etiquette – and enthusiasm for laundry. Somebody had gamely tackled a sliced melon, but the popular items there were the plums and bananas, whilst the more exotic fruit mostly remained untouched.
Eventually the time came when everyone had to take their seats. The real business of the evening began, and the food had to take a back seat for a while. Matt and Cat enjoyed the buffet and also the entire event, which drew attention to an important aspect of what we eat, and shows a great way to encourage everyone to get involved in healthy eating.