Plate Up… food for thought

A little food for thought this Worth Casing Wednesday. As I ask you to plate up!

Agent Mystery Case | Worth Casing Wednesday Linkup | Melbourne Street Art

Are plates really that overrated?


I honestly can’t recall the last time I had a meal out and it was served on an actual plate. Instead there’s been slate, marble and boards of different shapes and sizes.


Take today’s smashed avocado with a poached egg. There’s so many things wrong with this meal, I hardly know where to start.


It was a friendly catch up with a friend, not an official review but for some reason (call it a blogger thing) I pulled out the phone and snapped a couple of left of centre photos. In hindsight (now that they’ve made the blog), I probably should have taken more time and care with the images but they are what they are…


Smashed Avocado off the plate


Smashed Avocado off the plate


smashed avocado closeup


Board, Smashed Avocado


While I did finish the meal (having donated my overly oiled bread to a good cause), I went in starving. I’m not a fan of having my bread oiled or buttered for me. I prefer my salad or garnish to have a fresh spring in its step, not limp and losing the will to go on.


It definitely tasted better than it looked but on closer inspection of the board it was served on afterwards, it kind of left me sickened. You could argue rustic, I would say verging on unhygienic. A plate would have served its purpose well here.


My friend’s meal wasn’t much better. Scrambled eggs overcooked with a small scrap of bread (I gave her mine). I’m told it too tasted better than it looked. I wasn’t convinced. How hard can it be to get scrambled eggs right? For the amount they charged, this should have been served on something a tad more elaborate than a plate or laced with black truffle. BUT it was served on an actual plate. How retro?


I was almost tempted to ask for a refund or send the food back but… starving!


I’m certainly not in the business of naming and shaming here on the blog, so bad reviews generally don’t make it on the blog or Instagram for that matter. This is no exception. I’m not naming names today, merely sharing a questionable meal and asking a few questions.


I take my food reviews pretty seriously, which is why there are only a handful of brunch reviews. With the venue cased on at least five occasions over a short period of time and none of them sponsored. More a case of mystery shopping eating, under a cloak of anonymity, in order to obtain a real experience, not a highlight reel that one might experience for a launch or gifted meal.




Are plates going out of fashion? Am I becoming too fussy in my old age? Should I look to review my food review approach and policy, so I can start sharing more food reviews here?


What are your thoughts on Zomato and other online food review sites? Does adding the word gifted to a review make it any less of a review in your eyes?


As I’m not wanting to leave you with a bad taste in your mouth, I thought this recipe from Vicki aka The Fashionable Mum for Australia’s Biggest Morning Tea might put a smile on your dial…



I love, love, love it… let me know what you think!



Have a blog post (or two) worth casing this week? This is the place to link up.


What’s the weirdest item you’ve had or seen food served on? 



About Mystery Case 462 Articles
Follow Raychael aka Mystery Case on her mystery adventures 'casing' people, products and places to bring you her worth casing favourites.


  1. I like plating on wooden boards sometimes but if it’s so badly scratched like this, I think they should have at least put a layer of wax paper or something to keep it clean and presentable ;p

  2. I like them but have read on more than one occasion how unhygienic they are….ick. They have to be washed a special way and no one does that.

  3. I usually enjoy creative presentations, but that doesn’t look appetizing. Come visit me in Slower Lower Delaware, we still use plates. ;D

  4. I love getting stuff served to me on plate alternative. I particularly love the rustic look. But usually they put down a bit of paper or other “germ guard” first. Even McDonalds Create Your Taste burgers come on a board liner to protect from all the gremlins that get absorbed into that wood.
    Vicki is hilaire!!!!!

  5. Sounds disappointing. I’m not much of a fan of the board presentation unless it’s hand-held food like a burger and chips – and I especially don’t like soggy paper underneath that ends up getting eaten!

    • Not a fan of soggy paper either. I think boards work well to display food but I’m just not a huge fan of eating straight from the board… although I make an exception when I’m starving or cheese is involved.

  6. Apparently, my life is boring…I’ve only been served food on plates and in plastic baskets with liners. 🙂 I would not want to eat off a wooden platter….just saying’

    The video was hilarious!!

    I think food reviews are best when the restaurants have no idea someone is there.

  7. I’ve been “recognised” more than once whilst eating out and I’ve decided not to officially review on the blog because everything changes when they know you’re reviewing. I love Zomato, people can be very honest on there. And I love wooden boards ha! They may be a bit tricky to eat from sometimes but they are good for photography! Sometimes plates are too shiny and wreck a good food snap!

    • I had to give up my hotel audits or mystery shops for the same factor and I wasn’t even there for the blog side of things. Once you receive special service, like an upgrade, it voids the audit.

  8. That made me slightly nauseous looking at it…mind you I am also not a fan of eggs. However, I have not used wooden chopping boards for years in my house for reasons of hygiene, so about them as plates?? Forget it. Look at the cracks in the board where your food was. Not nice. At all.

  9. So true Rachael! And with shows like Masterchef showing people these ridiculous practices, it’s nauseating. Nothing wrong with a normal plate of any kind. It does the job and it cleans a lot better than that well worn chopping board you got. xx

  10. Wooden boards are great for serving food but not to eat food off of as they can’t be cleaned as well as a ceramic plate. This has put me off avocado and eggs for a while 🙁

    • Agree, really good for serving. Not so great for eating. I’m a tad sick on the stomach today. Not sure if this meal was too blame or it’s just one of those things.

  11. I like the look of wooden boards but I would question how hygienic it is to eat of that particular one. The cracks in it would be soaring all kinds of nasties. I wouldn’t be afraid to mention it to the cafe because sooner or later someone will get sick. It’s so disappointing when you go out to eat and the food is so so. There is no excuse for it x

  12. Plates are wonderful. I don’t know what to say. I am a pretty simple eater which makes my friends mad as they think that they are foodies. Sorry you had such a bad experience.

    Great video though.

  13. It does seem odd that your meal wasn’t served on a plate. I believe boards should only be used for things like cheese plates or maybe tapas. Something special/different. It’s no fun having a bad experience when eating out!

  14. I’d be concerned about wooden boards too. Especially if it was rustic as you say. I had a pot of tea served on a wooden board recently and that was kinda cool (and insta worthy) but not food! Xx

  15. It looks nice and the presentation looks great but I would be concerned about the board too. I have always fancied trying this recipe 🙂

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