Dining with Sophistication: Townies, Tricks, and Trash

When the meal is just not palatable

A Raccoon with glasses poses pensively
Reginald Trashpanda III, Acclaimed Food Critic. Maple Sukontasukkul / The Peak

By: Nercya Kalino, Staff Writer

Restaurant: Townhouse Compost
Rating: ★★
Location: SFU Residence
Appetizer: Spinach and mushroom soup
Entrée: Prawns sautéd with cherry tomatoes
Dessert: Yogurt cheesecake
Wine: Water

Simply disappointing. Those were the first words that came to mind as I exited the Townhouse Compost this sad evening.

This week I had the pleasure of Chef Lotor’s exciting cuisine. He claimed to be a freelance chef hired by SFU . . . Suspicious, but I was optimistic. He’d sent out an invite made specially for me, Reginald the III, of course. He stated this was yet to be another tasty treat only meant for the likes of my noble self. 

I beg to differ. Unfortunately, this restaurant and its . . . delights have left my tongue, dare I say, displeased. I will not be seeing Chef Lotor anytime soon, that’s for certain. 

Off the bat, the appetizer, spinach and mushroom soup, was disappointing leaf water. All I could taste was the blandness of it all. No salt, creaminess, nor any garnish. I think at some point, the soap had layers of unpalatable awfulness of what was justified as “soup.” If you are familiar with homemade broth, the layers of fat and the liquid is what creates the taste of umami. What was in my bowl was simply not that. Far from it, in fact. The mushroom was raw and the spinach had withered into non-existence. More like a garnish than a feature! Stirred together, I saw the clear reflection of my regret in those murky waters. I nearly sobbed into my little paws. The downside of the whole appetizer is that this is supposed to be a simple tummy-warming dish, but at some point I felt it claw back up to my throat. 

I insisted on skipping the entrée, worried that my night would suddenly become unpleasant from the indulgences of this regrettable meal. Chef Lotor, oblivious to my apparent disgust, brought this horror forth. How can one think to cook this meal and ration the least amount of prawns one can ever think of is beyond me. The whole point of prawns sautéed with cherry tomatoes is the prawns! The tomatoes overpowered the whole meal and it lacked zest and aroma. The spinach in this meal was, well, present. Come to think of it, the amount of spinach in this meal could have been used sufficiently in the spinach and mushroom soup. 

The dessert was the only part of the meal that was able to calmly stay in my belly. I had no intention of finishing the whole fiasco, but the proportions of the ingredients and its warmth made the experience somewhat less vile. It was sufficiently filled with dairy, and I admit a small weakness for cheese. I sadly chewed on the soggy graham crust while thinking over my sordid meal.

For the many reasons I can list on for eternity, this meal did not deserve any assortment of wine, so I drank water to quench the filth stuck in the back of my throat threatening a torture that would proceed the night.

Was this restaurant worth my time? No. I have never been more disappointed in Chef Lotor’s recommendation, he has started to lose his dazzle. Worse, I suspect he unintentionally tried to poison me. I, Reginald Trashpánda III, your honorable and favorable food critic. I am deeply immersed in the love for cuisines but this was not anywhere close to that. I now must get on that Yelping app to warn my fellow readers of this monstrous chef!