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The Unreliable Guide To… Restaurants

By Nat Shepherd on March 24, 2017 in Other

Don't mention the war.

Don’t mention the war.

Getting a good table in a busy restaurant is a really important life skill. Believe me. Nothing is worse on a hot date than being refused entry to the fancy eatery of your choice. Actually, the only thing that might be worse is being allowed inside the hallowed portals, but being given the worst table they have – the ‘Poo Table’. Paying top dollar for a view of the toilets is never a good thing, particularly as every time the dunny door swings open you and your date will be tempted to face-plant your lasagna rather than breathe in the stench that wafts your way. Takeaway never looked so good. If you are determined to enjoy the fine dining experience, fear not; the Unreliable Guide is here to help…

1. Make a reservation – Yeah, we all know we should book, but where’s the spontaneity in that? Also, really busy places often won’t take bookings, and if they do they might still take one look at you when you arrive and put you on the Poo Table. Booking is no guarantee.

2. Become a regular – Now this really does work. If you visit a restaurant regularly you should get what I call ‘Frequent Eater Points’ (FEPs). To my mind, FEPs are the only points worth collecting. I have four regular places I go to on rotation and I can turn up any time and they will always find me a good table. Be aware that this only works if you are polite, courteous, and tip well. Otherwise you will accrue negative FEPs and the staff will either ignore you completely or spit in your salad.

3. Remember names – This is the advanced level of the point above. Find out, remember and use the names of the staff, from the maître d’ to the lowliest busboy. These people can really make or break your evening, so treat them with respect and kindness. If they speak a foreign language, learn a few polite words of their lingo. Never ever be rude to the people who interact with your food. They have the power to put poo in your pavlova. At best they will remember you as an arsehole and the next time your paths cross they will do all they can to make your life difficult.

4. Dress well – If you visit a fancy restaurant you must be aware that the people who run it have ‘made an effort’. They’ve found a nice place, painted it up, chosen the decor (or a decorator), and they are paying a king’s ransom to some overrated chef. They’ve thought up an exciting menu, found suppliers, created dishes, selected the best wines. They are creating an atmosphere that entitles them to charge you $39 for a small plate of beans. Likewise if we, the public, are going to pay those kind of prices we will be expecting an ‘experience’, so when you turn up in your jimjams looking like something the cat dragged in, it is not good enough. It doesn’t add to the ambiance. At best it will land you a seat at the Poo Table. Look smart, look sexy, look your best and you’ll be showcased in the best position for all to admire.

Finally, remember that we are lucky enough to live in one of the most beautiful parts of the world. The Unreliable Guide suggests that if you can’t be bothered with any of the above, simply grab some takeaway and head to the beach for the best seat on Earth.