Few years back, someone visited a restaurant I recommended and asked me “What do I order?” My reply was “Whatever you want”. I was a little surprised by the question. I have never asked anyone what I should order. It depends on my mood and craving. How can anyone tell anyone else what to eat.
I am wiser now and realize that the new world, with its social media icons, has a group of ‘foodies’ who treat eating out as a tick mark activity. They will go to a new city and ask for food recommendations. Then they will travel from one end to the other end of the city to mark it off their to-do list. This gives them a status of a true social media icon when it comes to food. Then they will go around telling people what to eat where. And to only eat that specific item in that restaurant.
They don’t enjoy food like you or I do. They don’t have personal views about a restaurant. The objective is to proclaim that all the popular places have been visited and now every person can turn to them for recommendations. Unsurprisingly, all these people have tried to make money out of this, by way of food walks or blogs.
This is how the conversation went with one such person:
Him – Arya Bhawan, Ramashray etc etc
Me- I have been to Arya Bhawan. Great food.
Him- But what did you eat there?
Me (confused because I have been there 4 times with different people and ordered something new everytime. Also, I helped my companions finish their food too)- Many things.
Him- What you should eat there is the thaat idli. For Pongal go to XYZ…
Me *subtle eye roll*
When I like a restaurant I end up trying as much of the menu as I can. In fact, all my favourite restaurants serve consistently good food. They won’t make a good sandwich and a bad pasta.
Sure, there are places like Smokehouse Deli in Khan market where I have only ordered eggs benedict. And yet, my answer to “what should I order at SHD at Khan market?” will always be “whatever you damn well please”. Because my preference for eggs benedict is personal. Am I the most knowledgeable or well travelled person? No. Neither are you. So, the best sandwich in your books won’t be the same in my books. So shut the fuck up and let people eat.
Don’t go to a city and ask people “where can I get the best dosas? or the best sandwiches? or the best kebabs?” Just experiment and come to your own conclusions which should be kept to yourself unless someone specifically asks you. Or check out Zomato and tripadvisor for balanced views.
And if someone asks you what to order at a restaurant, give them one tight slap and point towards the menu.