Monday, November 23, 2009

Walking out of a restaurant.

Last weekend Bordeaux and I decided to get out of town for lunch, so we drove up to the Winelands to have lunch at a wine estate. We'd done a little research, and picked a place that came recommended in some eating guides. But when we got there and looked at the menu, we were a little disappointed. The menu seemed a bit pretentious, trying too hard. The most succint problem with the menu was that there was something with 'wonton cups' in the appetizers-- and while I obviously have no problems with Asian food, I find it a bit tiresome how frequently restaurants in Cape Town add one token Asian-inspired item to their menu just to show how wordly and sophisticated they are.* Basically though, we were after a simple, delicious, lazy Sunday lunch, and this obviously wasn't the place for it.

So anyway, we walked out. We drove a bit to Fairview, a winery and cheese farm near Paarl, which we have visited often and always enjoy. We shared a massive platter of their hand-crafted cheeses (pictured above), which included a mature and flavourful la beryl, creamy camembert, and an incredibly rich and dessert-like cream cheese with cranberries. We ate it with crusty bread, a bitter preserved orange, slices of cured meat, and a chilled bottle of wine. Perfect for a late Sunday lunch on a very warm afternoon.

A few years ago, I never would have been able to walk out of a restaurant. I will admit it's a little tacky maybe, and I probably would have been a bit embarrassed about what other diners would think. But now I actually find something-- in an odd way-- satisfying about walking out of a restaurant. I suppose I've gotten to the point that I really care much less about what other people think, and I've also come to really appreciate the value of a good meal spent with someone I care about. I don't think it's worth wasting time on mediocrity, or settling for something less when there are much better options around. Admittedly, we could have been surprised. There's a chance that had we stayed we might have ended up liking what we ate, but we also just knew that we could have a much more enjoyable meal elsewhere. It's about realizing that enjoying the limited time I have is more important than worrying about my pride.

With all of that said, my grandparents used to walk out of movies that they found morally objectionable. I think their morals got stricter and movies more crass to the point that they would usually leave the theatre about five minutes in. So maybe it's actually just genetic, and I'm on a very dangerous road?

*And yet, good, straight-forward Asian food is very difficult to find in Cape Town. More on that some other time, perhaps.

4 comments:

jen laceda said...

No shame in walking out...but that's just me. Maybe it's my Asian gene that makes me think that way. :) How do you feel about tipping? Just curious. Just because I'm Asian, it's almost like reverse psychology. I tip more because I don't want to be stereotyped :)

Brett said...

It's a good thing you stole that Asian cookbook from your parents...

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Iris said...

Are these your own pictures, cause I really think they're great ! I love the colors.
I see you have big love for different cultures. I'd like to think that the world is ours and we can live/stay anywhere as long as it feels good. Home is where the heart is !
Anyway I just wanted to say keep up the good work!!!!