Friday, April 25, 2008

Noise, NOISE, N_O_I_S_E and Other Irritations

After you read this you might wonder why I continue to go to restaurants.
I have often railed about the discomfort of eating in excessively noisy restaurants and the lack of consideration displayed, so frequently as the night passes, by gradually less and less inhibited patrons. Indeed I have walked out of several of them including Gingerboy and changed tables at quite a few others.
The article in this weeks Epicure (22/04/2008), 'It's Your Shout' by Michael Harden is worth reading and caused me to consider a few of the other things which turn me off the restaurant scene.
There are the failings of the venues.
Crowded tables one can barely squeeze past and to small to accommodate the crockery, uncomfortable seating, and cheap tinny cutlery. Even expensive stuff that slides into the plate as soon as you put it down is no joy. I also dislike finding myself sitting, cheek by jowl, next to shoddily dressed patrons e.g. in old jeans and sneakers at 'good' restaurants. Dim lighting is fine but menus should be able to be read without having to adjourn to the toilet where the lighting is so much more user friendly! And I certainly appreciate a bit of plain English.
There are the waiters.
Many are very professional but others so often exhibit patronising and/or excessively familiar behaviour, make vacuous comments such as excellent choice sir, see my article Homo Sapiens Patronisata, and not infrequently serve the wrong table with the food I ordered or vice versa and all to often bring a wine of a different year to the one I ordered. Wine by the glass not poured at the table is another occasional failing
On top of this some restaurants , where the food may be only moderately expensive, have terribly bloated prices for their wines.
Service can be appallingly slow, probably a function of the organization, or lack of organization, of the kitchen
I also detest very small serves and the absence of any salad or vegetable without it having to be ordered separately at 'top end' restaurants.
Finally I find the no reservation policy a pain. I deeply resent having to wait 30 or 40 minutes for a table. In my book restaurants are there for me and my convenience not vice versa.
Now if the dead tree media, which have no room for a letter from the public, get a look at this they might have fuel for some more articles of interest!


Anonymous said...

Very good critic Elliot, I do agree with you. I also think a lot has to do with the quality (or lack of) of staff adds to this huge problem here.
Great reading thank you.

Anonymous said...

Tx John,
I appreciate the feedback

Anonymous said...

Totally agree Elliot.

Any place with a concrete floor and is packed, I don't even bother going in. It actually hurts my ears...maybe I am getting old.

La Boucherie of Paris in Toorak Rd had the nicest lamb and a superb pumpkin and hazelnut puree which I dreamed about...but I was almost eating it from my neighbor's lap. Too close, too noisy, all too hard.

Re the "no res" policy, there's a seafood place, Waterfront, in Port Melbourne like this.

Their food is good and it's a lovely place, but their service is appallingly slow.

I would have dined there 3 times with friends...never again.

Anywhere I have to wait 30 minutes...I'd rather go elsewhere. I guess good luck to them if they can afford to do that.


Anonymous said...

Hi Kerryn
Organizing a kitchen must be really difficult and I have some sympathy with chefs but somrtimes it is over the top. When they have really good bread I find it hard not to fill up on that before the food comes. I recall someone sent a scathing review of a celebratory dinner at Waterfront where they waited forever. I was not very impressed with the food there

Sandra and Elliot said...

Hi again
That anonymous was us
S & E

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