The Ready, Steady, Chuck! Menu - English Dictionary

Food is frequently subjected to much mystique and un-necessary confusion by menus in restaurants, which seem to seek to do all they can to confuse their readers. Often this has nothing to do with the food at all and is simply done to appear pretentious or posh or to justify a high price tag. Ready, Steady, Chuck! is a dedicated supporter of the Campaign for Plain English on Menus and is pleased to provide this short translation which we hope our readers will find helpful.

For how to use this page, take a look at this translation of a typical ponced-up menu.

In using the dictionary below to translate, bear in mind that the words used to describe a meal are frequently redundant and can be left out of the translation with no ill effect. By way of example, daikon muerte "Napoleon" au Japon can be very simply translated as radish. The facts that Napoleon liked it, it comes from Japan, and it's no longer a live radish don't really matter too much. However, this rule should be treated with a certain amount of caution. daikon muerte "Napoleon" au High Wycombe, for example, clearly means radish vindaloo.

What the hell is that, then? A typical ponced up menu. Prices have been concealed to protect the guilty.

The Dictionary


a la carte: not compulsory

andouilette: sausage

aspic: soft jelly

assiette: plate


baby: small

ballantine: chunk

Barbary duck: parrot

blancmange: milky jelly

brulee: burnt


caramelised: slightly burnt

carbonara: with egg & bacon sauce

carpaccio: raw & thin

classic: normal

compote: stew

confit: piece

coulis: runny sauce

creme: cream

creme Anglaise: custard

croquet: traditional English outdoor pursuit

croquettes: vegetarian sausages


daikon: radish


flan: pie without a top

foam: runny paste

forest fruit: raspberries and blackberries

framboise: raspberry

framboise de foret: raspberry

framboise sauvage: raspberry

French fries: thin chips

froth: very runny paste

fruits of the forest: raspberries and blackberries


gel: jelly

glazed: shiny


jus: very runny sauce


medaillon: round piece

mock: fake

mosaic: mixture

mosaique: mixture

mousse: paste

muerte: dead


objet: portion


pan fried: fried

pannacotta: blancmange

pannacotta: blancmange

pannequet: small pancake

paté: soft meatloaf or thick paste

pea puree: mushy peas

plin: piece

pommes de terre: potato

pommes de terre a l'Americaine: French fries

puree: mush

pureed: mushy


quiche: pie without a top

quinelle: scoop


roulade: roll

Romanian: with added cucumber


salade: salad

salted: extremely salty

suboptimale: dodgy

suckling: baby

syrup: slightly runny sauce


tapenade: spread

tartare: raw & minced up

tempura: deep-fried

terrine: meatloaf

tranche: portion


vinaigrette: salad dressing


Wellington: wrapped in pastry