Tag Archives: cafe

Spooning: the art of it

Spooning, is an art. The right spooning adds to the experience; be it cookery or coitus. And I find it amusing, how most eateries take the art of spooning so lightly. Should the spoon be served IN the food or WITH it? Or should it just be kept in holder? Let’s deal with the dichotomies with delicacy.

Hot Spooning: do you like the spoon dunked in hot soup?

Hot Spooning: recent recurring experiences in my favourite Chinese restaurant left me quite hot in the head. The server thought it prudent to dunk the soup spoon in the hot soup. The china soup spoons (ladles, rather) are not dipped in the soup as the spoon becomes as hot as the broth. Many customers burn their lips trying to put the spoon in their mouths. Or they sit blowing soup bubbles across the table. Or they just eat soup with a wrestler’s grimace. This explanation didn’t really help as the server looked like I read out his school report card aloud. I must add here that I am not a fan those huge soup spoons. They look more like mini boats that don’t go inside mouths without making the eater look like giraffe posing for a selfie.

No Spooning: some traditional restaurants ditch the spoon

No Spooning: this brings me to another gastro experience of mine, in the city of Chennai, a few years back. I noticed a popular eatery with a peculiar serving style for the ‘dosa’ (India pancake made with fermented batter). The bowl of ‘sambar’ (a sort of spice lentil soup with vegetables) was stashed in the middle of the dosa and served without a spoon. I observed my fellow co-eaters who picked out the bowl of sambar and poured it in the ‘pit’ of the dosa. That then was consumed by hand. Since I had a meeting to go to and didn’t want turmeric stained nails, I asked the server for a spoon. He looked at me like I was an alien. I gesticulated for a spoon. He looked at me with disdain, like I was not honouring some local custom. I wasn’t apparently? He did get me a spoon, but made sure I waited long enough for it.

Play Safe Spooning: Keep all in one place

Play Safe Spooning: the new-age casual dining spaces and cafes play it cool and very safe. Each table has a stock of all things needed – from mustard and ketchup to a stash of forks, knives and spoons. Use what you want, how you want. This does eliminate a lot of spooning issues.

Game of Spoons. Pic courtesy: Etiquette Scholar

Game of Spoons: It is commonplace to label an eatery a fine dine restaurant because a couple of knives, forks and spoons are placed close to the plate. It is, however, far from the truth. Some, I have seen, do not have the courtesy to remove a used spoon after a course! And then there are some that give you a spoon to eat your noodles!

To close, it is my fervent plea to first know the type of restaurant you are, the food that you serve and the spoons that are dished with it. Spooning, as one will appreciate, is an art.

The Sum Of Us

THE SUM OF US Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Math was never a favourite of mine. Let’s say, I didn’t have the appetite for crunching numbers. But when I saw this equation, I liked it instantly. The Sum Of Us. An urban, chic cafe that claims good stock, since it is the 2nd offering by the famed duo Tom and Serg, as they do their coffee, since they have their own roastery.

It was a lunch meeting venue. It was for me. You are welcome to make a special visit. Fear is that in lunch meetings, the focus is never the food. But since the meeting was food related, I made sure to be as shameless and gluttonous as I possibly could.

The Sum Of Us - Double for me
The Sum Of Us – Double for me

Began with my hostess’s recommendation of a double Sum Of Us burger that included fresh tomato, lettuce, cheddar, pickles with a side of mayo and fries. It was a tasty, fresh burger, no doubt, but would have preferred the mayo and fries to have more flavour. My partner gobbled on a soft-shelled crab burger. He only resumed conversation when the burger got over.

Salted Caramel French Toast
Salted Caramel French Toast

What followed, was beautiful indeed! A fat slice of salted caramel French toast with a dollop of mascarpone cream cheese, fresh banana and candied macadamia nuts. You should have seen the plate when it got over. Bet they didn’t have to put it in the dishwasher.

And when TSOU claimed a good understanding of coffee, it certainly called for drinking a cup, as we sat outside enjoying the changing Dubai weather. I agree that good coffee needs full fat milk for a ‘fuller’ taste and texture. And coffee that scalds and scales your palette is not something that will happen here because all coffee is served at 65 degrees C. The good cappuccino was downed quickly over the remaining conversation.

Will be back at TSOU, primarily to try out their breakfast options and a few other sundries.

 

#BurpAndBelch Meter: 3.5 burps

#5WordFoodReview: I Can Eat Alone Here

 

Chai Tea? Is that a Martial Art?

Seriously, who helped name that on the menu? Chai Tea!

It is like naming your bolognese Noodles Spaghetti. Now, you wouldn’t do that, would you? Then why have Chai Tea on your menu?

Separating the Chai from Tea
Separating the Chai from Tea

Let me explain – tea in the Indian sub-continent, and a few neighbouring countries, is called Chai. Unless, a few restaurants in Dubai really want to “over emphasize” that they serve tea, I feel such naming should be scrapped outright. Yes, “over emphasize” is a moronic expression and completely incorrect, much like “more happier”. As is Chai Tea!

If restaurants serving spiced tea that incorporates cardamom, cinnamon, milk and sugar etc want to highlight that, then it should be called Masala Chai or Masala Tea. Not Chai Tea.

And on behalf of many in the industry of food writing and appreciation, I would issue a warning not to name dishes like mentioned below:

  • Coffee Cafe
  • Biryani Pulao
  • Pilaff Pulao
  • Saffron Zafran