A good restaurants is the combination of many factors. It is about food, service, décor and ambiance. An excellent restaurant is also creative, avant-garde and provide a signature on every dish it serves and you want to come back. A superb restaurant is a virtuosity of hospitality and all the culinary arts culminating on the plate put in front of you.
I qualify as restaurant an establishment which has a proper kitchen, tastefully decorated dining room or area with a comfortable sitting, the dining tables must show care in their setting, the menu should be clean and well written and the service must be professional and knowledgeable. A restaurant provides dishes made from scratch with fresh foods.
There is few exception but I know that a restaurant with a menu with as many pages as a phone book cannot provide quality dishes. Quality does come in small quantity. A menu offering 10 to 12 main courses is adequate to provide quality.
The hospitality and restaurant business is challenging but much more when the staff is not at par and poorly trained.
The service can make or break an eating establishment. The kitchen staff should focus on quality and consistency.
Waiters/ waitresses should make suggestions to clients and be cognitive of the ingredients used in a particular dish.
Now about the client… yes, you or me! Please don’t go to a Japanese restaurant, it is an example, and order Italian food. It is OK not to be conversant on the offering of a restaurant. Ask, ask and ask.
Do not request a dish outside the menu but is perfectly right to request for your food cooked to a certain doneness. I know in Africa the meat is usually well done but well done meat tend to be tough and difficult to chew.
Use logic, or try. I heard a client telling a waiter that her sparkling water was defective because the bubbles would not stop forming.
Be adventurous. Always ordering chicken and chips in not being adventurous.
Do not use home cooking as a barometer for good food.
For some men – it is in very bad taste to make sexual comments or flirt with waitresses.
For some women – it is very odd asking other women in your group to join you to the bathroom.
Do not add salt or chili before tasting the food. Some very fine establishment do not put salt or pepper shakers on their tables.
Do not occupy a restaurant table for idle conversation with friends without ordering anything.
Patrons should show appreciation of the service by providing a tip. Sometimes I think it should be mandatory and added as a percentage of the total to a bill.
Now, it is enough said. Why all that? Because I want to share my experience in restaurants which I visit. Now, remember what I said about by good, excellent and superb restaurant.
If I am asked about a restaurant which did not impress me – I will stay silent. Silence does talk.
If I am asked about a restaurant which I do not know about – I will say so.
I forgot, I really enjoy Indian food and especially Indian vegetarian food. Now, it would be so nice if the menus were written with words that a majority of the country could understand. I very often must have someone or a waiter translating the menu.