To have a restaurant themed on a particular cuisine gives a clear direction on so many things.
How you sell it, how you promote it, not to mention how you make it and what you put on the menu.
But, when you are pulling dishes from several different continents, the challenge intensifies.
The size of the menu at the Pond, a (relatively) well-established tapas restaurant in Preston, underlines the scale of the task - it’s A3-plus!
It used to be numerous pieces of A4 paper handed to you on a wooden clipboard which perhaps over-emphasised the enormity of making a decision if, like me, you can’t even make a decision on what to have for tea.
In fairness, the menu should come with an atlas with everywhere from Peru to Argentina in South America represented alongside with flashes north Africa and a pepering of Europe.
To be cynical, you could argue this is an example of trying to do too much - but, it works.
Fortunately, the somewhat inebriated couple (who had certainly enjoyed a glass of Friday afternoon wine or two!) who I found sat myself and my fellow diners did not stick around long; full marks to the staff for encouraging them out.
The decor of Pond matches the pick-and-mix nature of the menu and managed to retain its quirky uniqueness despite having a serious refurbishment in recent months,
It’s not often you find furnishings to match the menu in many restaurants, but in Pond you do.
That just left the big question when it comes to tapas - not only which dishes to have, but how many.
As I am sharing with my partner, the magic number is six, three each, that’s not too greedy - is it?
For me it is Gambas Pil Pil Prawns (£9), Argentina steak strips cooked with chilli, onion, mushrooms, garlic and herb butter (£11.50) and Casua Peruvian-style lemon chilli and herb potatoes (£4.30) - I told you there’s a cross-border feel to these dishes.
The spectacular-sounding dishes do not stop there with my fellow diner picking Dragon Pate (£5.95), which I am assured is made without the need to harm any dragons,+++ sweet chilli pulled pork (£6.50) and Lomo lamb (£11.95).
For the third in our party, the dishes were perhaps not so spectacularly-named, but nevertheless underlined the diversity of the offer.
I mean, chorizo and haloumi cheese (£8.25) is a new one on me.
Ever since the exit of the sadly-missed Germanic eatery, The Alpenhof, the venue which is now home to the ‘new’ Pond (albeit its appearance is not radically different to its previous look) has struggled.
A poor Chinese and an even worse Indian filled it but now it has found somewhere worthy of filling its shoes.
The good thing is, whatever continent your tastebuds find themselves on, the chances are you will find something on the menu to suit.