Kids can be fussy eaters but there's always room for pudding! – Hayley Matthews

I'm one of those manky people who will eat leftover sushi for breakfast with a cup of coffee or dunk a prawn cracker in last night’s curry sauce well before 9am!

Saturday, 17th July 2021, 4:55 am
Meatball spaghetti is off the menu for one customer at Chez Hayley (Picture: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)
Meatball spaghetti is off the menu for one customer at Chez Hayley (Picture: Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images)

I chop up my leftovers from the night before adding some eggs because I do not like to throw food in the bin. I hate wasting food, hate throwing things in the bin and really don't like sending food back to the head chef.

When I say head chef, I mean Mr Hayley. I'm not the head chef, I'd say I'm more of a kitchen porter with some chopping skills. I can cook pasta, boil rice, whisk the odd egg and even do a frittata, but I ain't no head chef.

We do like to cook from scratch and since ditching our microwave, have had to let our customers, sorry I mean our children, know that the chef and his assistant need some preparation time.

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We've had to ask for their patience whilst we transition to our summer menu and request that orders need be communicated to the kitchen in advance or we simply end up wasting food. Quite often orders get sent back with a complaint and sigh and we're at our wits end.

The tips are just about non-existent in this restaurant. However, if the VIP customers seem to have had a good day and a nap, then we might be lucky enough to get the remains creatively smeared all over the cushions as a thank you.

But in all seriousness, we're rapidly running out of things to offer our fussiest customer – our nine-year-old, who tends to just grunt at us now as a means of communication.

It can be tricky working out what he wants for tea and it’s all a bit of a shock to the system because he's always had a great appetite. He's always liked a wide range of foods and it's always been quite easy. Is this what puberty does?

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Does it stop their tongue from working properly? The reason I ask is that all his tastebuds seem to be malfunctioning.

His meal requests have changed more times than the lockdown restrictions and were stressing out in the kitchen – big time.

I blame his hormones and growing into a young man for the rapid change in tastes. However, I'm still wondering if a sensitive sense of smell has something to do with it.

If there's even the slightest hint of a bad smell whilst he's eating then that dish off the menu quicker than Gordon Ramsay can say "ya f****!” And if he's sitting eating a yoghurt and our two-year-old has a bogey running down his nose, and he spots it, then yoghurts are off the list too.

Recent items that have been banished off the list of "dinners that are good" are: frozen pizza, sausage rolls, tuna pasta, Wee Willie Winkies, spaghetti meatballs and the list goes on.

He's even requested having his ham sandwich cut up into rectangles instead of triangles! Does that make them taste different? Or are our customers taking the mick?

Actually I say all this but, the youngest often requests olives, avocado and smoked salmon for his breakfast. He appreciates everything from sushi to tattie scones!

So I don't know if I can blame hormones and a sensitive nose for the change in taste or if I just have a fussy eater who comes up with great excuses. I'll tell you something for nothing though, there is always, always, always, room for pudding.

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