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Restaurant Babylon [Hardcover]

Imogen Edwards-Jones
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Book Description

18 July 2013

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 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).

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Bantam Press (18 July 2013)
  • Language: Unknown
  • ISBN-10: 0593069900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0593069905
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 135,950 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Imogen Edwards-Jones is the bestselling author of Hotel Babylon, Air Babylon and Fashion Babylon, as well as novels such as My Canape Hell and Shagpile. She lives in west London with her husband and their young daughter.

Product Description


"A glorious behind-the-scenes account of London's debauched hospitality business." (Observer)

"Shocking and at times jaw-dropping, this is a must-read for any Babylon fans or those who like eating out. ****" (Heat)

"Edwards-Jones gets away with stories far more bizarre than anything you would believe in a novel. Sometimes you laugh out loud at the outrageousness of it all...[her] mission is to amuse and entertain" (Marcus Berkmann Daily Mail)

"What's not to like?" (David Sexton Evening Standard)

"Very thoroughly researched" (Observer Food Monthly, Books of the Year)

Book Description

The shocking secrets of the world's finest kitchens

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars mined out 23 Sep 2013
Format:Kindle Edition
Having read the rest of the series and enjoyed them i was looking forward to this book but unfortunately was disappointed it didnt reach the standards of the previous ones.As someone else has said this was more like a list of london restaurants and cafes and therefore didnt have the widespread appeal of the other books.Perhaps the list of babylons is coming near to an end.Book Babylon as the next title?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars if you have read hotel babylon you have read this 13 April 2014
By adam
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i liked hotel babylon and to a lesser extent airport baylon. this was so like hotel babylon so many stories semi repeated and so yawn!

ok if you have never read any others from the serious but if you have then.............
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is a hoot! Her approach was perfect--24 hours in a restaurant. I'm not sure that I really wanted to know all of the stuff that goes on both in the front and back of restaurants, but it was totally enjoyable!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good easy book. 19 Aug 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Having owned and run both pubs and restaurants, I can feel for some of the characters. Interesting and good to see some of my favorite London haunts (Wolsely) getting good reviews.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Didn't hold my attention 30 May 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Out of all the Babylon series this was my least favourite. It's quite boring at times - more stories around customers would have been better.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Stomach Turning 26 May 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Until reading this book I enjoyed eating I'm not so sure. Having read all her other books I found this a disappointment and didn't finish it. The language really put me off and the descriptions of what so called professional staff could add to food was the last straw for me. I think this is the last Imogen book I'll be buying.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Suspense of disbelief required 29 April 2014
By Patesy
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Working in the hospitality industry I was interested to see if I recognised any of the stories. The anecdotes are good, however there aren't enough of them and the filler... really is filler.
I can appreciate what the author had tried to do- show 24 hours in the restaurant industry, but to encounter disaster after disaster on an hourly basis seems so clumsy and unconvincing.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Easy Holiday read 25 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Good laugh if you are in the restaurant or food business. Utter silliness, but good holiday read. Nothing beats the original
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Poor, poor, poor!!!!
Where to start?? Poorly written, spotted 2 spelling mistakes; absolutely NOTHING TO DO with the catering industry; i should know as i been in the trade for about 20 odd years now. Read more
Published 17 days ago by Loic
5.0 out of 5 stars Fab book
Great read. Have loved all the books in the Babylon series. Very funny and hard to put down. May have to start it all over again.
Published 5 months ago by spreadsheetqueen1
5.0 out of 5 stars 100% True to Form
Up to now, I have read half of this book, which I purchased because of the subject matter. I have been in the Restaurant 'Biz' almost 50 years, starting out late 60's in + near... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Kerumo
5.0 out of 5 stars Be nice to Waiters!
Same as same as....really. Imogen at her best writing another of 'The Babylon' brand. Does exactly what it says on the tin . Read more
Published 8 months ago by Donut Child
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting read
Not bad, very relaxing. Recommended as leisure reading for whoever enjoys good food. Very fitting to the babylon style, informal and story based, to talk about the ins and outs of... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Boxes
4.0 out of 5 stars easy going read
An interesting insight into the industry. A good holiday or tube read. Easy going. Would recommend reading if only to know more about what's on your plate!
Published 9 months ago by jam
4.0 out of 5 stars Restaurant Babylon
Saw this book reviewed in newspaper. having been n catering for longer than I care to remember, what a good read
Published 10 months ago by Janet D
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