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Sea Bass Quotient
For years now I’ve employed something called my SBQ, when evaluating the relative cost or value for money of a dining venue. It’s short for – Sea Bass Quotient – and as that dish has become almost ubiquitous on restaurants menus in recent years – it enables me and now other diners to evaluate the relative value for money that any given restaurant is offering its customers.
If the sea bass is north of £18 to £20, you’ve stumbled into a rather pricey establishment that had better work very hard to persuade you that it’s offering value for money. Conversely, if said dish is £12 or less then it’s generally indicative of an establishment that is giving you plenty of bang for your buck.
All points in between are commonly available but watch out for that old trick of whether it’s a whole fish or just a fillet, because some restaurants will get two dishes from one fish.
One word of warning, however, a small but successful chain of restaurants – with five outlets across the North West - used to come out very well on the SBQ scale but I noticed recently that their seabass fillet was not only singular but decidedly puny and about the size of your average sardine, so this is one issue where size does matter.