Don’t poke my food. I hate that.
I will do the poking. Heck, I paid for it.
I have a grouse with a few restaurants serving Indian and Chinese cuisine. In hindsight, grouse seems to be a mild expression that does not really capture what I feel. I have a bone to pick with restaurants that do not know how to serve their food.
There are two parts to my disgruntlement. The first deals with spoons. My food-mood goes for a mercurial dip in the South, when I see spoons shoved inside food and curries. Most times I have had issues with South Indian restaurants, both in India and abroad, that literally stab the food with spoons and serve. Might as well put some ketchup blood to complete the scene. Don’t poke my food. I hate that. I will do the poking. Heck, I paid for it.
Why would anyone dunk in a spoon in piping hot sambhar? Why? Why? Why?
So, to manage my temper issues, I decided to elucidate the matter by explaining that the temperature of the spoon rises when dipped into the lava-hot sambhar and one has to wait for the spoon to calm down before one can put that hot-rod in their mouths. I realised that the server understood the problem, and that was me.
Then there is the case of the sambhar bowl embedded into the belly of a crunchy dosa. I am encountering a sense of calm as I perceive your nodding in agreement. Those that feel like the sambhar server, allow me to explain. The dosa is this amazing crunchy roll with a soft and creamy masala in its belly. It surprises the eater who embarks on discovering when the crunchy skin ends and the masala takes over. And when a sambhar bowl is forcibly “pushed” in the belly of the dosa, you are murdering a perfectly crisp dosa. I do not want to see the “guts” of the dosa spilling and sticking along the bowl of sambhar that sits like a killer trajectory that found its mark. I asked for a perfect dosa and not a zombie-dosa.
Incidentally, I have stopped visiting a known Chinese chain because they like to dunk in soup spoons in tongue-burning-hot soup. I tried educating the servers; spoke to the floor manager. They went on to mark me as a “difficult customer”. Let’s understand that soups served in food courts do not dip spoons in the broth. Decent and fine dine restaurants place and showcase their cutlery. It is the customer’s prerogative to dip their cutlery where they want and how they want. But somehow, the servers in the Chinese restaurant failed to realise, really.
Serving food beautifully, is an essential part of the whole dining experience. It is something that impacts the overall “taste” of the restaurant. Tap your spoons on the table if you agree.