It was a day of romance for my husband and I, and as in most stories there was a villain at the end of it. It was like a lovely green crop swaying in the fields washed away by the torrential rain. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it. I mean I can make so many such statements just to prove to you that what a horrid ending it was to our beautifully planned day.
After a movie and a day full of shopping we decided to end ith with a day of eating at a new Indian restaurant recently opened in our vicinity. A calculated risk, since I have eaten at its sister branch before, and the food there is close to home coked food. Most of you who live in Hong kong and go about eating in Indian restaurants will agree that the Indian food we eat here is made especially to attack our digestive systems.
So we are finally seated in a humble setting waiting for the good waitresses to help us with our orders. There is no sight of a host or a hostess and we soon realize how cruicial is the role to a restaurant. After waiting for just a few minutes the waitress is ready to take our order for beer, papdi chaat, tandoori chicken and a glass of water; considering it an Indian restaurant we should have already been offered water without asking, but hey, I am not complaining. So finally we get the beer and the papdi chaat, still waiting for water. It is a new restaurant, it is possible they haven’t got their water lines yet. If it was Rajasthan I would even say she was off the the nearest water source to get me a glass of water. But we are in good ol Hong kong and the system works, the things are in place, everything happens on time, but not a glass of water. I am thirsty just talking about water (and by the way we are still waiting for the tandoori chicken; the chicken won’t go into the tandoor). I better have a glass of water. Finally we do get the tandoori chicken, turns out the chicken didn’t like the seasoning, I know I didn’t. Still waiting for the glass of water.
By this time we are there for half an hour and the customers have realised that the best way to get service here is to start working themselves. So there was this guy helping himself to the plates, water, napkins, glasses..another few minutes and I bet he would have started taking the orders too. I am still waiting for my glass of water.
There is this other couple who is waiting all this while to pay for their bill and make an exit. So now they are waiting for their bill and I am still waiting for my glass of water. Meanwhile these two waitresses one after the other every five minutes goes and asks them if they have received the bill. But neither of them gets the bill. So the both of us are still waiting; they with the money in their hand and I with the parched throat. Now its like a competition. Who gets to the finish line first; the bill or the water. I must mention here that my husband has already received a second pint of beer.
Finally we have done the best we could with the tandoori chicken, i.e., finished it. What do you expect from a girl who is on a diet (good thing the chicken had been on a diet too). They say you musn’t starve yourself – it’s not good for weight loss. Our really humble order of palak paneer and 2 rotis is finally jotted down on the piece of paper…I am still waiting and so are my competitors.
After about 15 minutes there is the grand entrance of the host. He seems rather harried, but I look at him as a white dove who will make peace with us all. He goes around trying to get things in order but these stables prove too daunting for this Hercules. His white flag has soothed some while some are ready to battle, actually mostly my competitors and I; we are still waiting.
Now I really want to raise my voice but the waitress comes back saying would we like to place our order for the main course. WHAT…I am hungry…….please feed me. I want to hold her feet and beg for food, instead I just place my order again. That’s the classy thing to do, but I also gently remind her that we had already placed an order and that I am still waiting for my water. By this time everybody has forgotten completely about my competitors..good for me, looks like I will win.
Finally a badly whipped up last minute palak panner, two rotis and a glass of water (hurray I win..I am now awarded the gold medal in the race to wait) is put before us. The palak paneer is missing everything other than palak, paneer and some huge chunks of onion. I lose it by then and I have to confront. Now the thing is I want to be really calm and just say: I know your service was bad because you are understaffed but we cannot swallow this green pulp. So this is what happens: When I start off the host (who is already harried) turns hostile and starts attacking me with words. I wish he knew never to attack a hungry girl on weightloss on the one night when she is out. Neverthless, he has done it and I no longer see him as a white dove, instead there is this man who is standing in front of trying to tell me how real palak paneer is made. So after the battle of words we finally leave with a discounted bill, disappointment on our faces and hungry stomachs in search of food and drinks.