10 evil things that restaurants do

I am a perfectly reasonable glutton and I hardly fuss about restaurants and their ambiance. Non-AC udipi hotels or fancy pants uber expensive Italian restaurants, I’m game for both, it all ultimately boils down to the food. Also, I always tip. All I’m asking for, dear restaurants, is a little common sense, enough to not do the below.

  1. Fork, knife and no spoon! Some of these sizzler restaurants and the continental food serving places do this behaviour. The minute you see me ordering vegetarian food, please add the spoon to the setting. Maximum I’ll use the knife to cut the long beans, that also sometimes I don’t.
  2. One less starter. Imagine you are a group of 6 and the starter you order ends up having 5 pieces. Nobody wants to share a spring roll, and for that one extra piece we don’t want to order another plate, we might as well order a different starter. Why restaurants don’t get this logic? Seriously, being benevolent and adding that extra piece won’t cost you a fortune right restaurants?
  3. Ketchup sachets. First of all, if you are a place that anyway serves food that needs to be eaten with ketchup, you’re not all that fancy. So invest in some of those hideous red squeeze bottles. This sachet opening is the worst especially if your hands are all buttery after touching the sandwich. Atleast pre-cut them and serve no?
  4. The wait and watch game. If I ask for extra sambhar, I will wait for it till you bring it. If you think I’m gonna get fed up and finish my dosai with just chutneys, that’s not gonna happen. Let’s see who blinks first. Challenge?
  5. Expecting me to order the raita for biryani separately. Hello!!! Most evilest ever.
  6. Non-spicy chillies. Atleast here in India, you have the light green ones and the dark green ones. Now the light green ones are not spicy and pretty much useless. If I am in your restaurant and I ask for green chillies, it is specifically because your food is not spicy enough for me, so please do not give me the bland light green chillies and make me more sad.
  7. Serving hot chocolate in non mugs. I’m not kidding, I’ve actually left this as a feedback in a couple of places. Steamy hot chocolate in a cozy looking large mug is what I’m paying for, else I’d rather have it at home in tumbler itself!
  8. Konjam lighta stronga Filter Kaapi. How can you get this right? Impossible. However hard you try, the way you mix the decoction and milk is never going to be right. So just give the decoction in a separate davara even before we ask for it. It will be much appreciated. Although I don’t drink coffee, as a South Indian I feel it is my responsibility to voice this out.
  9. Not categorising desserts as veg or non-veg to constantly keep me guessing. See, desserts are tempting I agree, but toying around with my weakness is just pure evil. Don’t play the mind game with me. If they aren’t eggless, please add the red circle in a box next to it on the menu.
  10. Weird mouth fresheners. Nooooo…..that’s not the taste I wanted, now I’ll have to call you again to refill my glass with water. Saunf, betel nut, mint are acceptable. Anything else can only be options. Learn from those rajasthani thali places that have a whole gamut of mouth fresheners to choose from.But I must add that all of this will be forgiven and forgotten if the food served is absolutely, lip-smackingly, unforgettably divine!

What’s winning all about?! Go figure!

I’ve been wanting to watch the movie ‘Children of Heaven’ for almost a year now and finally got around to watching it today.While watching the movie, a little thought struck me and before I get to that, let me rewind a bit on the plot.

Ali and Zahra (siblings) end up sharing a pair of sneakers when Ali loses his sister’s shoes on his way back home from the cobbler’s. As simple as it may seem, sharing is not so easy. It comes in way of their everyday life and poses a new challenge with every passing day. And more importantly, the kids are in no position to let anyone know of this little secret. For two reasons – One the scare of getting beaten up by their dad and two, they do understand that their parents cannot afford to buy them a new pair and don’t want them to end up borrowing money in the process. Ali and Zahra do everything in their power to manage the strange situation they’ve been put in. Be it Zahra racing home after school to meet Ali mid way and giving him the sneakers or Ali helping his dad find a gardening job so his dad would eventually have the money to buy Zahra a new pair of shoes – every little effort is just so beautiful. Ali then finds a solution. He decides to participate in a race, where the person who finishes third wins a pair of sneakers. He promises Zahra to finish third for sure. But eventually when Ali comes first, it was not a victory, but a defeat that makes him feel guilty and tearful.

So is it Ali’s fault that he came first or was it Zahra’s fault that she expected so much from her brother?! Ali ends up with blisters and a torn pair of sneakers and Zahra feels disappointed. It made me wonder why sometimes in life we end up not getting what we want, when we want it.

Ali and Zahra both do end up getting new pairs of shoes. There’s a scene where you see their father walking away from the market with two new pairs of shoes stashed in his cycle. But will the shoes be as special for Ali and Zahra?  Do we feel good when we get thing we’ve always wanted in life by chance or luck and not with our own efforts? Do we get the same high?

I guess life is not about winning, but about trying hard and cherishing the memories and experiences we get. Because a win might not really be the win we are looking for, while a defeat might really be victory we’ve waited for 🙂