Restaurants: Your usual table?

Who eats where: Uri Geller
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The Independent Culture
The best meal I have ever had was when I was in the paratroopers in Israel. I remember it very vividly. We had gone on a 100km hike wearing backpacks, and at the end we were famished. We sat under the night sky - the ultimate Millennium Dome - and ate warm, fresh bread with olive oil, olives and fresh tomatoes. For pudding we melted chunks of chocolate on bread, it was wonderful.

I'm not a big restaurant goer. I eat out three or four times a month - when I come to London to do a TV show or appearances. I usually take my family and make an occasion of it.

Two things define a good meal for me. Firstly, I look for cleanliness and hygiene. It sounds bizarre, but I always check the toilets of a new restaurant. If they're clean then I check the menu. The second factor is, of course, the taste of the food. If the food is good and tasty then I don't care what's around me! I do have a problem with cigarette smoke though, and it determines where I eat.

One of my favourites in London is the Al Dar, a Lebanese restaurant on the Edgware Road (0171 402 2541). They can usually be relied upon to isolate me from the smoke. I found this restaurant by dowsing. I knew that I would be happy in an Arab restaurant, and had heard that Edgware Road was the place to find them. I walked up and down the road, until the right restaurant pulled me to it.

The majority of people that go to Al Dar are Arabs, which means that I am not recognised. As I'm associated with cutlery it makes it difficult to go anywhere to eat where I'm known. I end up having to bend spoons for everyone, including the chef!

Being a vegetarian I only eat the first course dishes, the meze. I am against killing animals, and my worst meal has to be one at Clement Freud's house. He served soup, and it was only halfway through it that I found chunks of meat floating in the bowl.

My family eat lightly, but I can't afford to do that without fading away. Demonstrating my powers - spoon bending, telepathy and the like - takes an enormous amount of psychic energy. Also, I cycle 40 miles a day, so I need about 4,000 to 5,000 calories to function. Food, for me, is about replenishing mental, physical and psychic energy - wherever it is served.

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