But after visiting Rodells I can safely say that the phrase is simply a way to try and put into simple terms a restaurant that really isn’t like any other around. With a menu that is selected daily from a catalogue of around 170 small dishes dreamt up by the well-travelled owner and chef Mario Tavares, this isn’t your average restaurant.
The menu jumps between Thai, African, Malaysian, French, American, British and Spanish inspired dishes – with recipes gathered from the chef’s travels, and famous restaurants such as Momofuku in New York given name checks - it’s eclectic to the say the least.
If this all sounds like a bit of a mess, the culinary ramblings of a mad man so-to-speak, then you’re not far wrong as it kind of is – but amazingly, it works. What is it they say about the fine line between madness and genius?
The slow cooked pork shoulder with kimchi and rice was simple and well executed, a real comfort food dish that had an honesty to it. A lesser chef would have been tempted to tart this up rather than letting the tender slow cooked pork shine on its own, spiked to the diner’s taste with punchy fermented cabbage and chilli.
Fat prawns in chorizo, garlic and olive oil were beautifully cooked, tender and sweet. A classic tapas dish that is best accompanied by plenty of bread to mop up them precious juices.
The Bao style pork buns were delicious and a real highlight. Soft, milky, light yet chewy buns filled with tender meet (salt beef and pork), sweet and sticky sauce and fresh aromatic veggies – a perfect couple of mouthfuls and I could have easily eaten them all over again.
The curry we ordered though was a little bit of a let down for me. Falling somewhere between a Malaysian, Thai and Indian style curry it was a bit unfocussed and reminded me a little bit of a boxing day leftovers curry. It was tasty and perfectly decent, but compared to other dishes it wasn’t one I would order again.