Read Restaurant Babylon by Imogen Edwards-Jones Online


What makes a restaurant hot? Whose name do you need to drop to get a table? Why is one place booked solid for the next nine months while somewhere equally delicious is as empty and inhospitable as the Gobi desert?Welcome to the restaurant business, where the hours are punishing, the conditions are brutal and the Chef's Special has been languishing at the back of the fridgeWhat makes a restaurant hot? Whose name do you need to drop to get a table? Why is one place booked solid for the next nine months while somewhere equally delicious is as empty and inhospitable as the Gobi desert?Welcome to the restaurant business, where the hours are punishing, the conditions are brutal and the Chef's Special has been languishing at the back of the fridge for the past three days.This is an industry plagued with obsessives. Why else do some chefs drive themselves crazy in pursuit of elusive Michelin stars, when in reality all they're doing is 'making someone else's tea'?Nothing is left to chance: the lighting, the temperature or even the cut of the salmon fillet. There's even a spot of psychology behind the menu. What do they want you to order? What makes them the most money? And why should you really hold back on those side dishes?In Restaurant Babylon, Imogen Edwards-Jones and her anonymous industry insider lift the lid on all the tricks of the food trade and what really makes this �90 billion a year industry tick. So please do sit down, pour yourself some heavily marked-up wine and make yourself comfortable (although we'll need that table back by 8.30 sharp)....

Title : Restaurant Babylon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780593069905
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 317 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Restaurant Babylon Reviews

  • Tamsin Lim
    2019-01-26 23:34

    I really wanted to love this book. I put it on my birthday wishlist because I was hoping it'd offer an insight into the restaurant business as thrillingly visceral as Anthony Bourdain's Kitchen Confidential. Unfortunately, it was brimming with typos and followed exactly the same narrative formula as the other 'Babylon' books I've read, making it extremely predictable. It also failed to capitalise on the success of the other books in that it deviated from the usual system of integrating anecdotes about the industry into the context of each chapter - which resulted in many of the flashbacks and episodes feeling stilted, as if they'd been squeezed in for the sake of inclusion. Very disappointed. Hopefully Gabrielle Hamilton's 'Blood, Bones and Butter' will be the antidote to Restaurant Babylon!

  • Tanja Berg
    2019-02-08 02:49

    This was a perfectly readable book, picked up at Dubai airport at 4 am in the morning without much thought. Given the circumstances, I could have been way worse off. I was a little worried, given some of the ratings. There are a few too many swear words for my liking, but other than that, there wasn't anything major tikcing me off. The narrative move easily enough. I gained a few insights - such as "lick and stick" - that I could have done without. Much of the content consisted of things I had heard of before and I didn't really gain any tremendous insight. However, it was entertaining enough not to hate.

  • Lakota FHCS
    2019-01-24 01:32

    These Babylon books are always fun - lots of anonymous anecdotes semi-fictionalised and condensed into 24hrs - in a the life of a restauranteur in this case. Everything from deaths at the table to fist fights between the chefs.

  • Sarah Woodburn
    2019-02-12 02:36

    It was fascinating and amazing and really cheered me up as I've got the flu

  • Strona po stronie
    2019-02-02 22:47

    Honestly, it's like this one reality show type - rather disgusting, seems exaggerated, but when you're exhausted, sick or stressed - somehow you keep on watching. The Author's writing style is good.

  • Darren
    2019-01-25 01:42

    Have you ever gone to a restaurant with high expectations and came out disappointed with a bit of an "was that it?"-attitude. Sadly this book left this reviewer in a bit of a quandary as the hype and expectation was not matched by the delivery. If it was a meat course, it would have been sent back to the kitchen with a few harsh words for the chef.The concept should be compelling. A number of rather outlandish incidents taken from many top restaurants and their kitchens are anonymised and consolidated into an elongated diary-like book. You should be shocked, amazed and possibly cowered by the revelations within, creating a difficulty to look at another restaurant in the same light again. It is just the execution and the packaging of this book left a lot to be desired. To use a culinary analogy, it felt like it went off the boil or a meal, comprising of great ingredients, was somehow mangled into something less stellar in the kitchen.After a while this reviewer found himself tuning out of the text that seemed to take an age to get to the point of a story. Clearly when you are mixing together a number of stories you need to get the balance right, to get the foundations in place, to make the flavours really shine. It just felt like this book tried but failed. It could be a good supermarket bread but it fails at being a truly wonderful artisanal handmade loaf that is really more-ish. You need to manage your expectations accordingly.It is a shame that the great ingredients have been allowed to spoil. That is frustrating and a bit of a waste. Maybe with a different chef on a different day this could have been a winner, yet it sadly felt like an average, formulaic dish, left under the salamander warming lights for too long, trying to rely on past glories and successes instead of pushing the envelope in its own right. There are some rays of sunlight and hope but sadly the overall packaging just didn't gel here.At half the price and with a faster tempo it could have been a great little read but in its current form it would be hard to recommend unless you absolutely will try it.Restaurant Babylon, written by Imogen Edwards-Jones and published by Bantam Press. ISBN 9780593069905, 320 pages. Typical price: GBP14.99. YYY.// This review appeared in and is reproduced here in full with permission of celebrates the worldwide diversity of food and drink, as presented through the humble book. Whether you call it a cookery book, cook book, recipe book or something else (in the language of your choice) YUM will provide you with news and reviews of the latest books on the marketplace. //

  • Kresimir Delac
    2019-02-24 02:37

    I took this book because, like so many people around me today, I have a dream of opening a restaurant. It is the new escape from stress, before it was sheep herding for most people I guess. The book represents a day in a life of a restaurant and bar owner in London and is organized in a similar fashion (the chapters are hours in a day). The author tried to include some details on running a restaurant and a kitchen, but far too few if you ask me. There are a lot of situations that are rare and less improtant for day to day life of a restaurant which are described in some detail, perhaps unnecessary. I liked the parts with marketing and PR situations, the parts with commenting the competition and their approaches, but I find it hard to rate the book above 3 because for the most part it is just not as interesting and informative as I expected it to be. It is not a good novel, and it is not a good book on running a restaurant. It is something in between. It left me with a "meh" feeling by the end of it.

  • Caro
    2019-02-18 06:38

    I don't know why it has such a low rating. I had never read the books of the Babylon Series but if they are all in the same style I must say they are pretty good. I am planning to read the complete series. The story is funny and insightful it gives you an interesting perspective of the life inside a restaurant and how they work. I have a background in restaurants myself and know some people that have been in the business for over 30 years and despite the fact that they are not the same high- class restaurants as the ones in the book you have the feeling that you understand where the author & authors are going with it. Is a good read for everybody who knows or want to know about restaurants.

  • Steve Horsfall
    2019-02-12 01:51

    This was my favourite Babylon book since Air Babylon. The anecdotes flow thick and fast as narrated by a fictional London restaurant owner with two premises to manage; he works and plays hard with the best of them whilst trying to keep his staff in order, i.e. stop them fighting or making sure they don’t drop dead with exhaustion . Of course there are lot of good quips about the now infamous TV chefs, particularly Marco & Gordon. I certainly learned a lot about how food is marked up, the vital celebrity footfall, the power of the food critic (one good review can put your children through Private School) and the general behind-the-scenes debauchery of sex and drugs. My lasting memory though is the dead man in the wheelchair – to say anymore would be a spoiler.

  • Scott
    2019-02-18 01:48

    Like the other books in the Babylon series, in this case a restaurant, bar and bistro are covered in all their operational aspects over a year. Again condensed into 24 hours.Anonymous yet again contributes but though the establishments and staff are fictional, the incidents are real.It makes you consider both sides of the counter and whether you are as great a customer as you like to think you are.Similar books have been written and I admit, I wasn't overly impressed. Covering 24 hours from 6 a.m. in hourly periods, by 7 a.m. I was hooked. Considering the running expenses of the establishments, You relise why dining out can be so expensive. Though not as bad as Hotel Babylon.Thoroughly enjoyed it and recommended.

  • Kara
    2019-02-14 23:45

    Little saucy anecdotes sprinkled along a typical day at a restaurant do lend me a magnifying glass into the steamy kitchen affairs around the clock. It fascinates me how both front of house and back of house play a role in the running of an f&b enterprise. Certain secrets, which are still subject to my own verification, are not what you normally find in the menu but they turn out to have a more compelling effect on your dining experience than the wine you sip or lobster you splurge on. The constant mention of Gordon Ramsay both in flattering spotlight and seemingly trashtalking nudges me at the right spot, which is a plus point. Overall, consider this a good read for your good eat.

  • Louise Armstrong
    2019-02-23 06:33

    Very funny. The writer sounds just the way you'd expect a hard-working chef/restaurant owner to sound. Lots of anecdotes, and that feeling of capturing the madness of a busy, extreme life. A couple of useful tips as well. The house wine usually is a reasonable deal for the customer because they have ordered a lot of it to get a good price & will pass it on. Also, beware of 'double' specials. If there's lamb on the menu and lamb on the special, it probably means they over ordered the lamb & need to get rid of it. It's not a tasty wonder that chef couldn't resist at all.

  • Kingfan30
    2019-02-23 00:51

    This follows the same format as the rest of the Babylon books, so if you liked those, you will like this. My hubby was a chef for several years and some of what comes up in this, is what he's told me in the past, such as the specials board, some of it is special, but some of it is because they have stock going out of date shortly and they need to shift it. An interesting insight that provided an entertaining read.

  • Alexandra
    2019-02-05 04:43

    As some of the other reviews have already said, it feels too much like the other "Babylon" books. (I've read all except "Fashion".) Maybe it's time for me to give up the series.There was just no surprise, and all the scandals felt like stories I've read in chef biographies, as well as in a Hotel Babylon, and the dead body angle has been explored in Air Babylon as well.

  • Paul
    2019-01-31 00:39

    A good book to read but I felt the latter part of the book was better than the earlier parts where there was just too much action involved. Of course some of the events are put into the 24 time frame so I'm sure it'll be different in real life. Would have been better if there were more examples or maybe more about the Michelin reviews.

  • Jamie MacDonald Jones
    2019-01-25 05:48

    Another reliable installment of the Babylon series, I am always impressed by Edwards-Jones' ability to combine sinister reality into a believable narrative that manages to keep a consistent pace and humour. As usual, an enjoyable light read.

  • Livinginthecastle
    2019-02-08 06:43

    The assimilation of facts and figures into the action wasn't as well done as other Babylon books and the name dropping of restaurants I had no clue about (I can only afford to go to chain restaurants) got a bit annoying, but overall it was interesting.

  • Nadya
    2019-02-07 00:48

    This is the first Babylon book that I have read. the format is definitely interesting, easy to follow and give insight into the restaurant business. Don't expect to learn a lot from it but there are some simple things explained in the book that are just fun to know.

  • Daphne Ho
    2019-02-24 06:44

    Maybe been reading too many Babylon series, not very exciting. Did not reveal as much insiders information as I expected. Chefs boozing and food almost rotten as daily specials doesn't seem like new news to me!

  • Ellen Brickley
    2019-02-03 06:43

    I put off reading this because I was sure it would be a litany of horror stories about gross things being done to food. It's not! Classic Babylon series - personalities, anecdotes, etc. Also liked the sneaky reference to Beach Babylon :)

  • Ramya DRozario
    2019-02-16 03:48

    One of the best books I've come across related to the F&B industry. This book provides a wholesome perspective of the restaurant business, and focusses not just on food. A must-read definitely.

  • Zelly
    2019-02-16 22:22

    Recension: ZellysBokhylla

  • Samarpita
    2019-02-13 00:38

  • Audrey
    2019-02-22 02:46

    Two stars is generous. Think 1.5, but some of the 1-star books I've read didn't have actual sentences or chapters.

  • Jeanette
    2019-02-16 01:34

    Really enjoyed this - better than the last couple of Babylon outings. Can't imagine what the next one will be about ? Wouldn't mind reading a Police Babylon !

  • Joshua Ong
    2019-01-23 23:24

    Fun read on the British restaurant industry. 2nd of the Babylon series that I've read. Would still continue reading another title by the same author. Good job Imogen Jones!