Oz high court: restaurant review was defamatory

Now it’s Australia where food writers are getting nervous: the country’s High Court decided that Sydney Morning Herald critic Matthew Evans had defamed the Coco Roco restaurant in 2003 in a review:

The flavours of the limoncello oysters “jangled like a car crash”, he wrote, while the sherry-scented apricot white sauce on a steak was a “wretched garnish”.

Overall, he concluded that “more than half the dishes I’ve tried at Coco Roco are simply unpalatable”.

The ruling does not however preclude the defendants from offering defenses as proceedings continue in the case. (Deborah Cameron and Helen Westerman, “Ruling leaves sour taste for food critics”, Melbourne Age, Jun. 15; Barbara McMahon, “Review of meal that ‘jangled like a car crash’ deemed defamatory”, The Guardian, Jun. 16). Eoin O’Dell at the Irish law site Cearta.ie has assembled a substantial links list on this and earlier restaurant-review lawsuits from various countries (Jun. 16). Previously at this site: Mar. 10, etc.

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