The restaurant that doesn't want to be reviewed

It’s a given in the catering business that positive press coverage equals bums on seats and more cash in the till.

But one east London restaurant has abandoned this theory after it refused The Observer permission to photograph its food ahead of being featured by food critic Jay Rayner in this Sunday’s paper.

Gourmet San in Bethnal Green said no to the paper’s photogapher – the pictures are always done after the review – on four occasions leaving the snapper to take a picture of the outside of the restaurant and of the food in a takeaway tray. Rayner says this has happened twice in nine years of reviewing.

The management said most of its customers were Chinese and “don’t read The Observer”. But Rayner’s still raving about the food so perhaps an air of exclusivity will help them.

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