The Bath RUH A&E Department is a restaurant that I’ve eaten at quite a few times recently. I know some people are probably going to say to me “Listen up you rubbish bin, A&E isn’t a restaurant, I ought to break your neck for that mistake”. However, the definition of restaurant is “A place where people sit and eat meals” and I’ve done that there, so as far as I’m concerned, it’s a restaurant.
So what’s it like there? Well, have you ever gone to a restaurant and then thought “Gosh, I am so emotionally exhausted, I don’t want to have to speak to any members of staff before I order my food” Well, one thing you’re going to love about having dinner at A&E is that instead of the traditional menu and order system, all the food is already pre-made and stored inside a self-service machine. All you have to do is wander over and press the buttons which correspond to the food you’re after.
It’s really impressive. There are three of these machines too. One contains both main courses and desserts, while the other two contain hot and cold beverages respectively. No alcohol in any of the machines, but, hey, I don’t like alcohol anyway. Having said that, the hot drinks machine is quite often out of order, so you might be a bit disappointed if you want a hot chocolate with your dinner, as I sometimes do when I eat out.
Now, I know what you’re all wondering: what food have they got? Well, I’ve sampled quite a few delicious things there. One of their meals were these things called “Quavers” which come in a convenient yellow packet. These are deep-fried pieces of potato with a cheesy taste, and, by golly, they are absolutely delicious. A little too light for dinner, but I’m not complaining because they taste so good. They have a very similar dish called “Wotsits” too, which also comes in a handy bag. They’re essentially the same as Quavers, but with a slightly different cheesy taste, and a different shape and consistency. There’s also the classic cheese and onion sandwich. I’ll admit, it was a little dry, but actually it’s very important for some sandwiches to be a little dry, because without them, we wouldn’t be able to truly appreciate the perfectly prepared sandwiches of the world, so with that perspective, it’s easy to see these sandwiches as very noble and selfless.
While dinners themselves are great, anyone who knows me will know that I am much fonder of desserts. They’ve got quite a few of them there, including an absolutely lovely flapjack. It was oat-believably good, you could say. They also have some hardened bars of chocolate, one, called a “Twirl” had an amazing minty variation that’s so good I’ve actually had it more than once. There’s loads of chocolate based puddings there, and honestly, it’s hard to imagine anybody being disappointed by the array.
It loses a few points when it comes to the atmosphere. You want a restaurant to be a calm, relaxing place, and A&E is typically filled with people writhing in pain and stressed out medical professionals rushing about. The thing is though, that’s because they treat the sick there for free – that’s a truly wonderful and incredible thing. I can’t think of any other restaurants that do that. You’ll be lucky to get a free after-dinner mint, let alone free life-saving procedures, at any other restaurants. As for staff being stressed, I heard a rumour that they are paid with rounds of applause rather than money, and I think I’d be pretty stressed if that happened to me too.
Also, you know how a lot of restaurants try and usher you out after you’ve eaten your food? Well, one of the many good things about A&E is that they happily let you stay there for ages and ages. I’d say the average visit lasts somewhere between six and eight hours. Admittedly, this is because you’re only really supposed to go there to get the medical care services I mentioned (rather than just coming for dinner) and that’s quite slow because we live in a country ruled by a political party that is ideologically opposed to the idea of people having free access to healthcare, so, again, I’m not going to dock points for that. (I’ll dock points from the government though, but at this point we all know it’s a 0/10).
Overall, while there are other restaurants that I’d rather eat at, I have a soft spot for A&E. The fact that the staff there treat the sick for free makes it an immediate 11/10. Even Nando’s doesn’t do that, so it’s earned its spot as one of Bath’s best restaurants and I hope you’ll do everything you can to support it so it can keep running smoothly as long as possible. I wish it had comfier chairs though.