Just the other day, I was talking to a friend who had been to this zany, new eatery in the city. The Restaurant had an amazing ambience and the most chill vibes you could get in a city like Delhi. After seeing her, very posh looking pictures on the Instagram, I couldn’t help but ask her on how the Food was at this new chic eatery. Which is when, she informed me that the food sucked with a capital S! For a moment, there was silence between that very animated conversation. I mean, how could a restaurant that invested so much on ambience could ignore the sole objective of its being – serving good food?
But as dining out becomes a new excuse to let our hair down and eateries are the new Instagram hot spots, we see an enormous number of eateries that look and feel good but fare not so great on the food-o-meter. So, are the current generation of neo ‘foodies’ prefer ambience or food more? Is the whole purpose of dining out, which was to satiate our taste buds today has been reduced to a moment to flaunt plated dishes clicked against drool worthy backdrop? Or the goodness of good food ensures that honest, modest eateries are still flourishing never mind the fact that they don’t have the social media sass?
A Mix Of Both
Image Credit: instagram
Food experts however feel that a good eatery should ensure a mix of both the factors. As Akanksha Dean, chef, blogger and the youngest Indian to ever train at world’s best restaurant, Osteria Francescana in Italy feels that both have a crucial part to play. The young chef says, “The diner feasts with the eye too. So, the quality is important whether it be food or ambience. The diner is looking for an overall experience. So, I would say both the good quality in food as well as a great dining atmosphere is important.”
Especially if a restaurant is aiming to be known by the experience it guarantees then there should be on overlooking either of the aspects. Talking about what was given precedence at the world’s number one restaurant, the young chef says, “the tables were set to perfection at Osteria Francescana, every little bit of detailing was looked into so that the diner could have pleasurable experience.” She adds, “At the same time, the dishes that were dished out were made to be of top quality because the key ingredient was the food and you couldn’t go wrong with it.”
Food Holds The Key
So, as Dean points out that food remains the primary focus of any restaurant, it also explains the continued patronage, many modest eateries continue to enjoy despite their bare bone existence. Lovers of rich, Mughlai food, brave the bylanes of Old Delhi to enjoy a plate of Nihari at the Karims’ near Jama Masjid. Similarly, in Mumbai if you are near Kala Ghoda you would be better off skipping any fancy eatery to enjoy Sanjay Sandwichwala’s road side grub that has gained iconic status. Especially, the new millennials in a bid to embrace every thing traditional are not shying away from been seen at a dhaba or a local kiosk if it serves fare worth talking about. So, perhaps as food experts point out that while food remains the driving force, ambience gains equal importance if it’s a fine diner. And for everything else, there is always that shanty dhaba with the best butter chicken ever, where we do not mind digging our fingers into. Never mind the ambience.
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