The old saying goes that “first impressions count”, and this is never truer than when you are on a date. Anything from the shoes you’re wearing to the way you talk could prove a deciding factor as to whether you make it to the next round of The Tinder Games. Sorry to add to the pressure, but if you’ve settled on a dinner date, you also need to think about the food you’re ordering. Check out the dishes you definitely shouldn’t order below, so you don’t end up making a dog’s dinner of date night.

pastaio food 2017

Spaghetti

Why: Pasta is that most comforting, homely of dishes, but you see that’s the key thing – it shouldn’t be enjoyed outside of the home without taking extreme precautions (napkins tucked in please), and especially not on a date. Spaghetti is a particularly dangerous beast, with plenty of potential for sauce stains to ruin the outfit that you bought especially for the occasion. Our advice? Avoid at all costs.

Don’t care what society thinks of your shirt stains? Good for you, here are three fantastic pasta restaurants where you can spill sauce all over yourself:

1 Padella 

2 Bocca di Lupo

3 Pastaio (above)

Chicken Shop Dirty Burger Balham London restaurant

Burgers

Why: If an alien was to take a look at Instagram, they’d be led to believe that all anyone ever consumes here is stacked burgers topped with all sorts of carby-monstrosities. On dates however, burgers should never be eaten. Mainly because no one wants to watch the potential love of their life with ketchup all over their mouth and meat juice dripping from their chin.

If you’d rather go on a date with your bestie than a potential bae, try these three burger joints that serve up stacks of meaty goodness:

1 Hawksmoor

2 Dirty Bones 

3 Dirty Burger (above)

The Big Easy Canary Wharf restaurant bar cocktails barabecue

Sticky ribs or wings

Why: There’s something about gorging on a sticky, messy pile of ribs or wings that feeds our most base urges. Perhaps because it reminds us of when we used to live in caves and make fire with wooden sticks. In the 21st century though, there’s no place for trying to impress your date with carnivorous munching, as no one wants to remember their first kiss with someone as having notes of smoky barbecue sauce.

Want to lick your fingers in peace? Book a table at one of these three smoking-hot barbecue joints:

1 Big Easy (above)

2 Randy’s Wing Bar 

3 Texas Joe’s Slow-Smoked Meats 

Masala Zone

Spicy foods (if you can’t handle the heat)

Why: While you might be inclined to try and impress your date by ordering the hottest thing on the menu, this is usually not a wise idea. If a chicken korma pushes you to your limit, it’s best to stick to the milder dishes on the menu, to avoid becoming a sweaty mess that keeps, through gasps of air, screaming at the server for a glass of milk.

Do you laugh in the face of jalapeños? Challenge yourself at these flaming hot joints:

1 Smoking Goat 

2 Benares 

3 Masala Zone (above)

Want more dating inspiration? Check out our pick of the most romantic restaurants in London.