Sunday, April 27, 2014

Restaurant Experiences

Just want to share a few experiences we had in restaurants.
We went to a name brand Mexican Restaurant on Mother’s Day.  It was very crowded.  We waited for 45 minutes at the bar since they don’t take reservations.  Finally we were seated.  Ordered drinks.  Then ordered dinner.  I ordered enchilada with rice and beans.  My wife did the same.  Finally, after a long time, the food arrived.  It was enchilada with rice and a salad (instead of beans).  Asked the waiter where was the beans.  She said they ran out of beans and therefore substituted salad.  I asked “are you kidding? Mexican restaurant running out of beans?”  She said unfortunately yes.
It is like a Punjabi Dhaba running out of dhal.  Or a restaurant in Chennai running out of Idli during morning breakfast time. We declined to eat and left the restaurant to a nearby Italian. (We may have agreed for the substitution if the waiter had informed us about this before bringing the dinner.)  Did not pay for the drinks.  They did not ask either.
This happened in a restaurant on our visit to London.  This restaurant is near Victoria Station.  We (me, wife, and 2 kids) wanted to order pizza.  We were skeptical about the size of pizza in that restaurant.  Therefore, we asked the waiter to show us the size of a large pizza.  He brought a sample.  We were shocked.  It was a little less than the size of an oothappam.  In USA, if you order a large pizza, it will be enough for almost 3 people.
We ordered 6 large pizzas.
My wife and I were visiting Paris.  At that time, my brother was living in Paris and therefore did not have to stay in a hotel.  One evening we went to a restaurant for dinner.   That evening it was very windy and raining.  The service was poor.  What can we expect?  We all know French restaurants have the worst service in the world.  One guy wrote and I quote:
French person offering service, is not your friend. I've been served in California by people who seemed to be offering me their body when all I'd ordered was a glass of seaweed and echinacea juice. You won't get that in France.
“Sometimes getting good service in France can feel a bit like non-consensual sex.”
My brother was pissed off.  So his wife and my wife and me.  We were given a table near the door.  Whenever some one comes in or goes out, the door will open and the rain and wind will hit on us.  The food was mediocre.  Finally, when the bill came, my brother did not want to leave a tip.  I told him that if we don’t leave a tip the management will think Indians do not have manners to leave a tip.  I said in order to express our displeasure we should leave a tip of one cent.  He did that.
This is funny.  This happened in a restaurant in Chennai.  We went for dinner in a restaurant.  At the end, we gave a very generous tip to the waiter.  We usually tip American style, i.e. 10% to 15% of the bill.  By chance, we went to the same restaurant 3 days later for dinner.  The same waiter recognized us and started to wait on us.  He brought the dinner.  He wanted to pay extra attention and give excellent service. 
Therefore, while we were eating, he stood very close to our table.   We felt so uneasy.  After a few minutes, I told the waiter “if you move back 3 feet, I will put in an extra Rs.25 in your tip”. He moved back.
Love to hear from you any unusual experience in a restaurant.


  1. Some experiences sure leave a bad taste in your mouth... But my observation is the serving size is larger in US than European countries. Your observations about french food is spot on SG, my parents too had quite a terrible experience in France.

  2. Last experience was funny SG.

  3. So many unusual dining experience:)

    When food of our choice is not served, it robs the joy of dining out, especially when it is a celebration.

    I remember eating enchiladas with rice and baked beans in commercial street, bangalore. The taste still lingers in my mouth.

  4. I had one in a London resturant at Orchard Street in a japanese restuarnat.It was my first try with jap food,it was raw,fish smelled.
    I walked out,but paid

  5. Very interesting experiences! Earlier this year, we went to a cafe in Delhi. We were a group of 8 people and all ordered for Burgers which was highly recommended by the chef. And when the order arrived, we were zapped... everything was in such large portions and sizes!! One burger was sufficient for 2 adults!!

  6. Yesterday, I ate dinner at a restaurant here. After I paid the bill, I noticed that the waiter had kept 10 rupees more than what was due to me. I promptly kept it back (as a tip) and returned :)

    Here, for whatever reason, ppl. don't tip more than ten rupees. Even if the bill comes to a couple of thousand rs!

    Destination Infinity

  7. Thanks for your comments Reshma. You are correct. Serving size is larger in USA.

  8. Thanks for your comments Aakanksha. I am glad you liked this post.

  9. Thanks for your comments Asha. Except this particular restaurant, I have never seen a Mexican restaurant running out of beans.

  10. Thanks for your comments Mr. Chowla. I am sorry you had a bad experience with this Japanese restaurant.

  11. Thanks for your comments Shilpa. You could have "carried out" the unfinished portion of the burger.

  12. Thanks for your comments Rajesh. I have a question for you. Since the waiter short changed you 10 rupees, why didn't you just ask for it back?

  13. It was interesting to read about your experiences. I don't have any bad experiences, only a few good ones.I had ordered coffee in a cafe, which served to me warm, that is it was as hot as it should be. Just as I was about to complain, the waiter came and said all by himself that the coffee is not hot, and that he would make a fresh one again and serve it to me.
    It was so thoughtful of him to do so without my opening my mouth.
    Somehow the food in the US is not all that great,and the portions are too much, but it suits them as they really eat a lot there. I always like to stick to pizzas and I never get tired of them, and they seem to me much safer and more filling than other food. SO whether in europe or the US I always love to taste different types of pizzas.

  14. very interesting..about finishing, in Chennai.Idli vada are haf the time not available....

    Last experience where waiter stood near by..I have had this often here..its so irritating people watching you eating...

  15. Your post was about restaurants, but what I learnt from it is that I need to travel and widen my horizons. Hope that happens soon :-)

  16. @Rama Ananth

    “Somehow the food in the US is not all that great,and the portions are too much, but it suits them as they really eat a lot there.”

    What the hell does that mean?
    Not all that great compared to what? Compared to where?
    We have more variety and taste than any other country in the world. No one else comes close.

    Portions are too much compared to what? Compared to where?
    Look you don’t have to eat the whole portion that is served to you in one shot. If it’s too much then take it home for later.
    We’re just trying to give you your money’s worth. We don’t want you to go home hungry right after going to a restaurant.
    What’s the point of paying for an undersized meal?

    “it suits them as they really eat a lot there”
    WTH kind of comment is that?
    Who died and made you the expert on how much people eat in the USA?
    A laughable comment.
    I guess I can now make an opposite comment that people don’t eat enough in India…and that many people are malnourished…yet somehow hypertension and diabetes still runs rampant over there.

  17. Thanks for your comments Rama. I am glad you had only good experience.

  18. Thanks for your comments Renu. Idli not available in Chennai during breakfast time? Surprise to me.

  19. Thanks for your comments Karunesh. You will be a world traveler very soon.

  20. Hey The Cagey Bee,

    I read your comment. People have their own opinion based on their personal experience.

  21. I generally travel to small towns on work. During my early days, people would not serve me at restaraunts there because they felt it was strange that a young woman should sit alone at a table. They probably thought I would be joined by someone. I finally gave up on restaurants and started order room service, making sure that I was near the door when the waiter came in with the food. Otherwise you never know what might happen

  22. Different people in different ways as five fingers are not alike.Anyway people like me who have to brood in the nest of home experience a novelty from this write up.You show that every matter can be highlighted

  23. US size is indeed huge. That applies for dresses/shirts too. Mexican restaurant running out of beans is indeed funny! lol!
    I have never been to France so no idea about the service. I will keep this in mind if/when I visit France. That was a good idea of leaving 1 cent as tip. Sometimes I don't like the service and still pay tip just because they will think that we lack manners.
    lol@the Indian waiter. I have seen that happen too.
    I don't think I had any unusual experience that I remember.

  24. Thanks for your comments Meera. Even in USA, women who are on business, do not dine alone in a restaurant. Like you, they order room service.

  25. Thanks for your comments Sarala. I am glad you liked this post.

  26. Thanks for your comments Ash. I am glad you liked this post. You are right about the clothes.

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  28. Interesting post..
    there many restaurants here who give pretty good service as they know very well that they would get tips.
    There are occasions when we do not get service and there is of course a difference in how we tip them.:)

  29. The last one was the best!

    I had shouted at the waiters when they just dumped the plate with a sound on our table...We are not eating for free!

    I think I have got this 'chalta hai' attitude. I just stop visiting them the next time Refrain from complaining, most of the time for the quality of the food.

  30. Thanks for your comments Chitra. I agree with you.

  31. Thanks for your comments Sandhya. You are right. If the service is not good then we should stop going there.

  32. never had such experiences as i rarely visit hotels! but once i and my friend had visited a newly opened resturant n ordered burger! it was so pathetic, that I had stopped eating burger for a year!

  33. Thanks for your comments Swathi. I feel sorry for your bad experience.