You’d think that anything served on toast at a restaurant was pretty easy to prepare. Isn’t it just a case of placing said topping on said toast?
However, one restaurant in Newcastle, Australia, has set out to give its diners the full placement experience, by serving up its vegemite on toast dish in a trendy “deconstructed” style.
Which means those lucky enough to order the dish will be granted the privilege of doing the spreading on their toast.
Core Espresso café sends its trademark A$7 (£3.80) Australian breakfast dish out on a wooden board alongside a smear of the yeast-based vegetarian spread and a scoop of butter.
However, after a snap of the dish (pictured above) was posted on the popular satirical Instagram account, @BrownCardigan, the artisanal cafe has been subjected to endless ridicule online.
The original photo was taken by diner @huonoliver, who captioned it: “Gourmet vegemite on toast. This is just ridiculous! Tasty but ridiculous!”
Evidently, many people agreed and quickly took to poking fun at the café for its artistic efforts.
“Looks like a crime,” wrote one person.
“Toast with a side of diarrhoea,” scathed another.
Even Vegemite themselves weighed in on the playful debate, commenting on @browncardigan’s post: “You either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain.”
Some users took to questioning the dish’s hygiene:
“Wood contains and traps germs – even polished wood,” one person wrote.
“Why then, would anyone eat off a wooden board? It might look ‘hip’ (it just looks lazy to me) but it is not hygienic.”
The concept of lambasting restaurants for serving food on non-traditional items – such as wooden slates, mugs and jars – in a bid to appear avant-garde has been around for some time: there’s even an entire book written about it, entitled We Want Plates.
In this case, the café has clearly been paying attention to the comments – The Guardian Australia reports it is no longer serving the dish on the wooden board in light of complaints that it might be “unhygienic”.
Core Espresso has also been fairly vocal in light of the criticism, offering to give @huonoliver some complimentary toast in light of his viral pic, commenting on the original post: “I think we owe you some toast dude… buttered! We promise.”
The artisan café also responded to a commenter on @browncardigan’s post, explaining its reasons for serving up the dish in such an unconventional manner:
“We don’t generally focus too heavily on our toast offerings, but we figure if someone’s going to overlook the smashed avo & hit us straight up for toast & vegemite, that they are legit looking for that extra special something. The least we can do is try to Masterchef the s*** out of it!”
Wherever you stand on the deconstructed debate, you can’t deny the dish’s Masterchef appeal.
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