- A sandwich aboard two chopping boards, inexplicably.

wewantplates.com: The Online Community Fighting For Porcelain

Why do restaurants serve food on objects not intended for the purpose?

1y ago

This is something we’re all familiar with. You’re at a middle-of-the-road gastro pub and your food is brought to your table. Your friend, who ordered risotto, has a bowl. Another, who ordered the roast, has a plate. So far so good. Another has ordered curry, which comes in a little balti dish. Cause for concern. And here comes your burger, sitting atop a breadboard. Oh dear.

The chips are in a basket designed to look like a deep-frying basket, although this is purely for show – the actual basket would be far too hot and oily to serve finger food in. Most likely, the coleslaw, salad, ketchup and whatever else are each in their own receptacle too. I feel for the pot-washer, but this is simply a necessity: the flat, narrow board offers none of the food-retaining capabilities of a perfectly shaped plate – If left to their own devices on this precarious device, chips and salads would be near uncontrollable.

Why do restaurants do this? Why can’t all the components simply be on a plate together instead of individually plated on wood?

How old fashioned

How old fashioned

Initially, it must have been a novel way to spruce up bog-standard pub meals. The board does give the beigeness of burger buns and chips – something that might make them look drab on normal crockery – a pleasing ‘old-worldiness’ against the dark wood. It certainly makes otherwise average food much more instagrammable, and adds a sense of occasion to an otherwise normal meal.

Concerningly, these kinds of serving methods have become par for the course. A burger on a porcelain plate would just look weird now. Worse still, to continue surprising diners restaurants have taken this further: tagines and shakshukas are being served in mini skillets; smoothies in jamjars; desserts on slates. Where will it stop?

Ross McGinnes, creator and curator of wewantplates.com, jokes that in five years time, ‘the waiter will just shuffle up to the table with the food cupped in his hands’. Ross is at the helm of a sizeable internet community that is fighting back against novelty crockery alternatives. wewantplates.com is calling out and ridiculing the culpable restaurants in the hope of turning this fashion into a faux pas. Ross’s site is a collection of some of the most outrageous and hilarious examples, including gravy served in a used beer can, bread served in a flat cap and bruschetta on a table tennis racket.

In taking on the use of novelty serving items, wewantplates.com is part of a resistance to the vapid, “form-over-function”, novelty-over-quality ideology that our society festers in. Join the legions and have a laugh at wewantplates.com, or follow wewantplates on twitter, instagram and facebook.

Do you hate having your food on objects not intended for the purpose, or do you think it spices up the restaurant experience?

Join In

Comments (24)

  • Because there be a fine line betwixt genius and insanity.

      1 year ago
    • What is this monstrosity John

        1 year ago
    • The latest trend in mobile sales , is a swanky looking Airstream, with reverse cycle aircon/ heating , to display both the products inside, and also Airstream travel trailers themselves.

      And giant travel trailers are not a new idea...

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • Melamine plastic was very popular.

    It looked a lot like porcelain, but was sort of drop proof.

    One day I opened a British textbook and discovered that Melamine was short for Melamine Formaldehyde.

    I'm not sure if I want my hot food coming into contact with formaldehyde.

    Do you end up sort of embalmed , slowly ?

    Ceramics have a high aluminium contact, due to geological processes.

    So the guys in the factories that make porcelain plates , mugs, cups and bowls, are possibly breathing in aluminium fumes in some form.

    Polycarbonate is 200 times as strong as glass, way cheaper to make and transport, and is chemically inert.

    Stainless steel, has nickel, not sure if that's a health issue.

    Copper is very poisonous, and so I probably wouldn't cook in a copper pot.

    In the old days, copper sheets were screwed to the doors that divided hospital wards;

    the theory was that staff would push on the spring loaded swing door, and that any pathogens on their hands that were deposited on to the door surface, would perish from copper poisoning.

    As late as 1825, the French were still sheathing the roofs of their chateaus with copper.

    Someone should do a research project to see what effects, if any , there was from drinking water collected off of a copper roof.....

    Same goes for brass.

    Deep frying with a basket made of brass wire is therefore, probably somewhat ill advised.

    The Brits invented corrugated galvanised steel roof sheeting in about 1820.

    When zinc is mined, you often get lead with it.

    So possibly a lot of old gal steel roof sheeting has been sending lead into drinking water tanks ( also made of gal steel sheeting, put through a machine that makes it curved. )

    Aluminium cookware and alzheimers, well, autopsies on patients that have died from alzheimers, have found aluminium in the brain, where there should be magnesium, so, I guess up the magnesium in your diet to counteract the effects ( sunflower seeds, cocoa, coffee, and did I mention cocoa ? ) ( see wot I did there ) ( ? )

    Iron cookware will give you a dose of iron.

    iron overdosing will make you quite ill.

    Steaming your food in an iron pot is prob safe enough.

    Campfire cooking will release some gases from the rocks that surround the campfire, and from the rocks under the firewood.

    Firewood from trees growing in bauxite mining country, have a higher aluminium content.

    So campfires in far north Qld come with inherent risks.

      1 year ago
    • you are truly a man of great knowledge john! sounds like we're screwed whichever way haha

        1 year ago
    • No, I'm not that smart.

      My brother is smart.

      He got first class honours in Medicine, top of his class.

      Read more
        1 year ago
  • Yes. None of this hipster nonsense.

    That said, I do like a wire basket of chips.

      1 year ago
  • It's cute and all, but I don't see that as being the most sanitary option in serving.

      1 year ago
  • Plates for all and all for plates, I say. I still think the worst one I saw on #WeWantPlates was the bangers and mash or spag bol in a pint pot... ew.

      1 year ago