24 July 2014

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Light-fingered diners lift camel toes and cleavers


wahaca spoon amnesty - Wahaca-spoon.jpgLondon restaurants are now so beautifully decked out that it was only a matter of time before things started disappearing.

In February, Meatmission’s ‘camel toe’ – a cocktail vessel shaped like a camel’s foot – was stolen in view of the security cameras; the restaurant published the footage on YouTube and asked for it to be returned, to no avail.

‘Within the first week of the camel toe being available we’d had five stolen,’ lamented owners Yianni Papoutsis and Scott Collins. ‘You can’t slip them in your pocket – they’re the size of a football and cost £250 to make.’

So how can restaurateurs stop the stealing? To pre-empt pilfering of its covetable cleavers, Soho steakhouse Flat Iron prints a message on its menu, warning would-be thieves the more cleavers the restaurant replaces, the less likely its steaks will keep their £10 price tag.

Wahaca, meanwhile, operates an amnesty on its dessert spoons (pictured), having seen more than 40,000 nabbed. ‘We’ve given up trying to stop people,’ sighed Wahaca co-founder Mark Selby. ‘But if you can crack tagging your cutlery, you are onto a winner.’

This article was featured in the spring 2013 issue of Square Meal Lifestyle.

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