Power Lunch, Palate Pleasure

Comments (0) Palate Pleasures

Ah, the ‘80s … when hair was big and pants were tight. Some of us are old enough to know all the chart toppers word for word and wore the fluro colours and spandex non-ironically back in the day.

Hmm, some might argue that there’s not much to miss in the fashion and musical arenas, but I beg to differ. The ‘80s was big, loud and bold in every way. As a decade, it was absolutely no wallflower; in fact, it was indeed the life of the party. Forget subtlety, minimalism, hipsterism and abandon every last shred of decorum … in this decade excess ruled the day – in every facet of existence, from hairspray application, wardrobe statements, over-produced music to the outright flaunting and celebration of personal financial success. 

None of this egalitarian nonsense back then; the great divide between the haves and the have-nots was plain to see, and no one batted an eyelid. 

Here the yuppie was born, suited and booted, driving a flashy car, living in the most palatial McMansion or high rise with the best view. Making no apologies for their newly moneyed up lifestyle, they lived fast and partied hard (hence the expiration date of the genre).

Too much of a good thing led to major burnout and fortunes lost in an instant via stock market tumbles or time in rehab.

Well, turns out life wasn’t that glamorous. But there’s one part of it all that needs to make a comeback, and that’s the good old power lunch.

One thing is for certain, that restaurateurs the world over bemoan the demise of the power lunch. 

Sure, they exist in a diluted form in certain capitals around the globe, but the ‘80s was where the magic happened. Suddenly, restaurants became the places to be seen and heard. It wasn’t at all about what you ate, but who you ate it with, and at what table. Wheeling and dealing, scandals and sordid affairs all played out every day at tables all over the city. 

Forget the hush hush meeting rooms and Facetime of today; back then, deals were won and lost and fortunes changed hands in the most public of places. 

The restaurant was in fact the living and breathing social media of the day. This is how people “Linked in” and did “Facetime”. And your “friends” and “followers” were seated a couple of tables away, networking away themselves.

And as mentioned, it didn’t matter a jot about the quality of the food – in fact; one barely tasted the Steak Diane, Chicken Maryland and Caesar Salad when one was quaffing bottle after bottle of Veuve or even Dom …

Oh yeah, those were the days. This is why I beg to differ about this decade and call for a revival of this part of it.

Obviously, I’m dreaming, but really shouldn’t all this “connectivity” we are privy to these days allow everyone a little more time out of the office for the odd power lunch?

Pity about the old expense account, or lack thereof. Dom and Veuve have left the building.

Looks like restaurants have pretty much been repurposed into places where one comes primarily to dine, and actively seek to actually taste, if not hopefully enjoy the food.

You win some, you lose some … Just as long as they don’t bring back the Mullet (couldn’t resist)!

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