Most Australian restaurants serve ‘crap:’ critic

Matthew Evans is a food critic for The Sydney Morning Herald.

In September 2003, the paper published a review by Evans
of the now defunct restaurant Coco Roco at Sydney’s King Street Wharf, in which Evans said the dishes were "unpalatable" and that the restaurant’s overall value was "a shocker," scoring it 9/20 – in the "stay home" category.

The restaurant went under in March 2004, and is suing both the paper and Evans for defamation and damages.

Under cross-examination, Evans, a former chef, said while he believed a bad review could have some impact on a restaurant, it was not enough to cause its demise, and was asked if he still held the opinion he wrote in his 2007 book which said "most restaurants in this country still serve crap food."

Evans stood by that opinion, adding that he was "not too happy" with most food he was served in restaurants.

Me neither. I had an artsy friend do this recreation of a New Yorker cartoon some 25 years ago (right); still hangs in our kitchen.

The lawyer defending Coco Roco referred Evans to a December 2003 review of Coco Roco by Ray Chesterton, who "thought everything was great."

"He says he never met a meal he didn’t like," the barrister also noted.

Justice Ian Hamilton then quipped: "That emerges from the photograph."

Hearty guffaws all around.