Published on Saturday, April 28, 2012 Saturday, April 28, 2012 // Humor, India, Public Interest, Review, Story
I am not a foodie nor is a food critic, if someone can tell me what the hell a food critic is all about. Still, for me, I am ok with the criticism of any food or the cook who has prepared it as long as you don’t waste a rim of paper in describing its taste or make the cook the president of the nation. I am also fine with the minimal taste of the food or the ambiance where I am eating it as long as the food is not British which invariably always taste absolute shit or the place isn’t an Udipi restaurant. That said I am seriously worried of our hospitality manners and standards every time I venture out to have my lunch or dinner. The sensibility, sanctity, sanity and many of those which you normally associate with a sane mind seems like gone for a toss, every time I step inside an average restaurant of any city. Let me say this, my observations are limited to Tire-III or at best Tire-II restaurants since I don’t dine at five star hotels for two primary reasons.
- Because my debit card might just run away as shown in that SBI advertisement at the very sight of the bill amount and as it is I also am not that great at utensil cleaning either
- It is suffocating to see that overtly emotional hospitality of the hostesses with almost choking tone as if they are watching Lalit Modi hugging Sashi Tharoor with Rajiv Shukla putting on an ugly fitting suit standing beside with a moist pair of eyes.
So here we go, on things that need some serious consideration of our hoteliers before Arnav Goswami can pick up the story and start debating it with a dozen panelists, which could also have Manish Tiwari one of them.
The Menu Card: Not all but majority of them try to win a Nobel Prize in literature for the Menu Card alone. For God’s sake I want to know what you can offer me to suppress my hunger a bit, not a book thrown at me which in all likelihood is as shitty as the manuscript of Ra.One. I don’t mind you describing the item a little bit to build the confidence among the eaters that you are not serving outright poison or help those foreign chaps who invariably spend the entire day inside the loo after getting impressed with the word ‘Tandoori Chicken’. But naming the food item that no way sounds like food but resembles with India TV news headlines is as bizarre as doubting how can the stage break when Nitin Gadkari was on it. ‘Samundar Ki Lehron Se’ for the seafood section. Really? Who the duffer comes up with such names? Somebody answer this to me right away. Or all of you have hired the guy who gives names to Ekta Kapoor’s soap operas? And what about the individual items? Do we really have something bloody ‘Prawn Maratha’ at the first place? What’s the specialty of the dish or how it is prepared differently from the standard Prawn curry that you have given such an impressive name? Or is it, the great Maratha Sharad Pawar who is personally going to serve it every time you order one? And please someone educate these chaps that we have enough conflict with the Chinese on various fronts, including Chang the Indian idol winner. So last thing we can afford is another front opened when we so blatantly humiliate their food in every restaurant of ours. If I was Wen Jiabao, then I would have already issued orders long back to drop few nuclear bombs by just looking at something called Chicken Manchurian in Indian menus. What the hell a Manchurian is by the way, which you call a Chinese dish which even the Chinese never knew exists?
The Washrooms: People are here to eat not to shit. True, but taking this line too seriously lands all of us with the kind of washrooms that we find in average restaurants. Half of our restaurants force the female dinners to curb their urge to go for a pee by their sheer disinterest towards building up something called descent washrooms. Now if someone can’t understand why majority of female eaters look like Rakhi Shawant, I can only pity they don’t understand how the facial expression can change dramatically when you try to weather some terrible pain. It is only for that long habit of Indian males in discharging almost anywhere including car tyres and electricity polls, they appear to manage with the washrooms but trust me they are no better for men either. For majority of our restaurants, a thing called hand-wash is as alien as hair for Rajat Sharma. The piece of soap they so unceremoniously keep for patrons to use becomes a floppy mass of shit soon, only to be thrown at people like Aakar Patel as a sign of disgrace. With all honesty, given a chance, I would rather run towards Digvijay Sing and kiss his chicks than using it. The hygienic condition of most washrooms remains fixed as the IQ level of Rahul Gandhi. Dismal that is. I bet, a person who can stare a good minute at the bowl and then still can proceed to answer the nature call not only must be conferred with the highest civilian award but also his brain must be preserved to know how to tolerate the future Lalu Yadavs of the nation. That said, here I have figured out a trend in our advantage though. The conditions of the washrooms are pathetic with proportional to the quality of food they prepare. A good bet could be to rush in first inside the washroom to check before deciding on to dine or not. Trust me, you won’t be betrayed by my theorem.
Ambiance: I can eat at a roadside Thela, but again he doesn’t claim his Thela to be a restaurant either. Hence the least I can expect from a restaurant is a place where I can sit and have my food without spilling it on myself. How one can think of making tables with all four legs of different length can only be explained by Nirmal Baba it seems. Least we talk about the piece of table cloth you put on is better since I am still struggling to conclude which looks more scary – the piece of cloth or facing up the fast and furious Venkatesh Prasad. I am sure, as long that shit is spread on the table the so called appetizers would fail miserably to increase the appetite of the diners. And what about that song that is playing in the background? In the name of song, all that you can force us to listen is the gazhals of Pankaj Udhas? That too from that skewed up album Nasha? Until someone doesn’t get annoyed and threaten to dislocate few front row teeth of your staffs you keep us listening that song which I am sure Pankaj Udhas wouldn’t be listening anymore. And heavens, what you have for a change? The ‘Breathless’ album of KennyG? Who has told you that saxophone increases one’s business? And son, take those curtains out immediately and send them to the laundry without wasting any time. Let me assure you, looking at a piece of cloth hanging out in front you, which perhaps haven’t seen what water looks like since its creation is not something one appreciates while having his/her food. If you really want ugly and dirty things around your restaurant, then you can make Munaf Patel sit across my table if you wish but not these. In fact anything but these curtains. Please.
Hospitality: I wouldn’t have highlighted this point, if not for one thing. I want the answer and that too in a hurry. Is it you guys who got inspired by Rajiv Shukla or is it the other way round? I mean, I am no Barrack Obama nor I am sure the majorities that turn up at your place are. I have absolutely no issues if someone putting on a pair of trousers and a shirt takes my order. In fact I am even fine with if he puts on a pair of jeans and T-shirt reading some crappy quote or even for that matter a simple authentic Lungi as in the case of Udipi restaurants. Why you have to make your waiters wear those grossly ill-fitting blazers? I mean why? The very sight is so irritating that on any day I would rather prefer listening to Dr. Manmohan Sing addressing the nation than someone so horrid looking fella taking my orders. Trust me, had I been in the place of that waiter I would have charged extra for putting that blazer since turning yourself to a clown, yet working in a restaurant deserves some extra bucks. Ok fine, you can play those Pankaj Udhas or KennyG in the background but please take these blazers off the shoulders at once.