|>>|| No. 12978
While you're right that we have restaurants from all corners of the empire, it's very much a "mile wide, inch deep" situation. Most menus are really rather predictable when it comes down to it. I'm not saying I dislike our cultural mix of restaurants, I'm not saying we don't have talented chefs and interesting ideas, we do - but even our innovation is rooted in the safety and comfort of traditionalism. For example, tripe or pig's feet were seen as fresh and trendy ideas a couple of years back, but they're simply ideas dragged up from eighty years ago. It's 'new' but still feels safe because Grandma used to eat it.
We do have lots of international restaurants, but whether they're homogenised chains or independents, the market dictates what they sell and it's a menu we can all write in our heads - french places do beef bourguignon, baked camembert, and mussels served in one of those black pots. Indian restaurants serve English curries and vague diluted versions of Indian dishes. Italian places do spag bol or carbonara with cream. Like it or not, it's all anglicised. The owners may be authentically from those countries, but they learned long ago that we don't want their food, we want their version of our food.
I don't want to paint too bleak a picture, we do have a lively food industry, I just think it's trapped in a box because the nation's palate simply isn't that broad.
Put it this way - for all the cooking shows on TV, the hundreds of hours a month of food content now - how many times have you seen someone make Scallops with black pudding and pea puree? We're just not that imaginative when it comes to food. You're spot on in that you don't see hundreds of greek/turkish/chinese/whatever restaurants in Paris, but it's also much more difficult to pin down what the average menu looks like in that city.