A Motley of Restaurant Experiences

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A restaurant is not just a place where we eat a meal, but is place where we connect with family and friends, make memories, know the culture of the city and enjoy a timeout.

While, we would like to have a wholesome experience, unfortunately, not all our experiences in a restaurant are good. Some are bad and ugly as well.

Today, I have a few of my friends sharing their extraordinary restaurant experiences. Read on…

Tulika Singh

A few years ago my friends and I decided to try out a new fine dining restaurant along with the kids. We had fabulous South Indian meal of dishes we’d never heard of. When the cheque came it seemed unusually inflated. A quick look revealed between us we’d downed about 7-8 bottles of water and that came to about a thousand bucks. That was it – a lesson learnt – now when the server asks us ‘Bottled water or RO?’ we all chorus out ‘RO!’.

Parul Kashyap Thakur

I was out for lunch with a friend. On my recommendation we went to Burma Burma.

We ordered starters and chatted. Then ordered the main course and continued talking. Suddenly the power went out. To our absolute shock, we were told that main course would not be cooked. The manager apologized and told us that what we ate would be on the house. The gesture was kind and would bring me back to Burma Burma. Customer delight is a real thing.

Burma Burma[4]

Lotus Stem Crisps at Burma Burma

Rachna Parmar

Darshinis are my favourite go-to for fresh, hygienic South Indian food. Adiga’s at Arekere is an iconic eatery that I’ve been visiting regularly for the past 15 years. Steaming hot sambar dip idlis, crispy vadas, masala dosa, rava dosa, bisi bele bath, thalis and much more. And filter kaapi too. Everything is super fresh and tasty. Easy on the pocket too. If you are in Bangalore, try eating here.

Roshan Radhakrishnan

One of the first outlets in Kerala of the world’s most famous fried chicken has consistently been in people’s ‘avoid’ list for a few years and having given them a few chances, I agree with the crowd.

Undercooking a chicken for a universally fixed recipe is one thing but my final straw moment was when I went there for lunch and ended up leaving when 50 minutes after paying the bill, 2 out of 3 items I ordered had still not been prepared in this ‘fastfood’ center. The staff didn’t even try to raise a fuss when I asked for my money back before leaving… they were so used to irate customers and poor feedback.

A Motley of Restaurant Experiences

Esha Mookerjee Dutta

They say you can never do Hiroshima without trying the Okonomiyaki, or the Japanese pizza, that many consider as the ‘soul food’ of the city. This extremely popular savoury pancake is made with noodles and toppings of one’s choice which includes eggs, chopped vegetables, meat and/or seafood.

Last week, we braved long queues to be at one of the best places to experience this —the Nagata-Ya, near the Peace Park in Hiroshima. Having heard some rave reviews of the eatery, we braved the serpentine queues (Nagata-Ya have a no-reservation policy) and what an experience it was! Orders were taken while we were still waiting, so once we were seated, food was served directly on the hot plates on our table to ensure it stayed warm throughout.

A standard Okonomiyaki here costs ¥900 (approx Rs 550). Optional extras include garlic chips, deep fried squid, grilled squid, shrimp or green onion. Since we opted for vegan meals, they cooked ours with vegetable oil instead of lard and even offered us an allergy-free sauce to go with it, which we loved.

While travelling, local cuisines are a must try. And if you’re in for a great local experience, then Nagata-Ya offers excellent value for money, and their perfect ambience and excellent service ensure you leave the place with wonderful memories.

Sunita Rajwade

On my sixth birthday we went to Gazebo, a swank restaurant at Bandra’s Linking Road. My eyes popped when I saw the dark interiors and a live band with couples dancing.
But I was even more surprised when the restaurant presented me with a cake and the whole restaurant clapped as the band sang happy birthday!

Corinne Rodrigues

We discovered Lilliput, a restaurant which had opened a couple of months earlier and is run by Varghese Paul, a graduate from a catering college, assisted by his parents. We went there on the first evening of our stay and were so taken up with the food and the ambiance that for the rest of our stay in Cherai we ate at least one meal everyday in Lilliput.

lilliput-restaurant-cherai

Lilliput at Cherai

Mayuri Nidigallu

Amethyst is synonymous with Chennai, and I would just be echoing a whole lot of locals when I say, ‘I love Amethyst!’. This aesthetically pleasing and spacious restaurant is the place to head to if you are looking for a great ambience, flavourful food and an exclusive menu. Their desserts are sinful and I always pick mine as soon as I get there, and order my meal later. Housed in a sprawling bungalow with ample greenery in and around it. Amethyst also has stores on the premises, so you could shop away while you’re here too. Whether you’re looking for a place to have your meal with just a book for company, or a romantic dinner with your spouse, or even a boisterous day out with a gang of girls, head to Amethyst.

Amethyst

Amethyst at Chennai

Enjoyed reading these experiences? Over to you now! Please share your good, bad, ugly or funny restaurant experience. We are all eyes and ears!

My theme for this year’s Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is Food Talks. Join me for some interesting, fun conversations about food experiences, experiments, basics, tips, ideas, hacks, trends and much more.

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  1. Enjoyed reading the experiences of so many about their favorite and not-so-favorite restaurants. My own preference for a particular south india restaurant called ‘The Chutney Company’ in Kolkata leaves my friends in a bored taste. But I can’t get over their rava masala dosa and the one dozen kinds of chutneys that they serve.

  2. A very interesting complication of experiences in restaurants. A good experience ups the face value and more foot-falls of the eating place while a not-so-good experience leaves a bad taste in the mouth.

    We visit the China Bistro (chembur) very regularly. It is hubby’s fav and whenever I suggest to eat there, a large grin appears on his face. We opt for buffet lunch. The welcome drink, soup, starters and main course are excellent. The veg and nonveg sections have a wide range of variety. We have a bite of main course. And my son attacks the desserts. We leave satisfied and satiated. The staff is friendly.

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  3. Good to know about different restaurants in different parts of the country. I also like Adigas for South Indian food as Rachna mentioned.

  4. Such a wonderful post, Shilpa!

    Let me share one of my experiences here. My vegetarian husband and I had gone to ‘Fatty Bao’ one of the famous places in Bangalore. While I had sushi and he ordered veg baos, we found a piece of pork in his bao. Not the ones to create a scene or preach religion, we politely informed the server what had happened. The next thing we know, the chef came in to apologize. Not only did they replace the entire dish for him and not charge a penny for it, they even gave us their post popular desserts on the house! It was delicious and even though we insisted on paying, they did not let us. Good customer service is what makes restaurants tick and that’s what they should always invest in.

  5. Running a restaurant is much much more than simply serving food. It is part of hospitality industry. Not only food, location, ambience, behaviour, cleanliness, and politeness all count. A short sighted restaurant may kill a goose that lays golden egg by over charging. A good businessman will give discount, waive bill if the discomfort is due to reataurant, all this will make customers come back again and again.

  6. This was such a candid and a surprise post of the series dear, what vivid views and experience each one has had. I am so enthralled buddy.

  7. During my many trips to India, I’ve experienced lots of restaurants, some great some not so. My first experience of eating from a leaf with my fingers was quite a culture shock, but today when visiting Indian restaurants here on England I invariably dispose of my cutlery, much to the amusement of my fellow diners!

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  8. Loved reading all the reviews. It made for quite an eclectic mix. And so glad to have been part of this, to add my one-of-kind experience to the list. Especially enjoyed reading through the comments as well. Such a fab post, this is, Shilpa!

  9. Wait. 125 bucks for one bottle of water? Which brand was it yaar?

    Dad and I recently ended up in a Hookah Bar, in search of a coffee shop! There’s this place near Gupta Store in Vaishali Nagar. Some “Cafe”, as per the sign outside. But there are no windows or anything. Stairs lead down to the basement. And when we went inside, we found it was all full of smoke and hippie kind of crowd.

    Had to come back out and go the trusty old CCD on Gandhi Path!

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  10. RO! was surely hilarious, so was the Burma Burma.
    I had a rather weird experience at one popular Americal giant, our plates and dishes were having stains and in fact, were stinking. The pasta serving bowl was little chipped and cutlery was greasy. Also, they didn’t have any drink we asked for. When I confronted the manager for this shady presentation he refused to take any serious note and tried to brush up the issue under the carpet. But when he learned I also happen to review the place in Zomato, his tone changed. He offered an apology and deducted pasta’s amount from the final bill.

  11. I loved the idea of this post which turned out into a great list of some amazing eating joints. My favorite was, is and will always be Barbeque Nation, for my love of the grill. I invite you to read my R & S post too which I posted quite late.