Home CommunityCommunity Features Nama-Slay: Restaurant visits, the Indian way

Nama-Slay: Restaurant visits, the Indian way

by Aiden

Sumati Huber lifts the curtain on this quintessential Indian experience.

It’s finally happening! You’ve managed to coordinate almost all your relatives for a Sunday night family dinner. The booking is for 8pm at a newish Indian restaurant in town, and even though everyone won’t show up before 8.30pm, it’s time for an enjoyable feast.

But wait! Let’s take a look at the contenders who make this the outside dining experience that you’ve grown accustomed to having. See if you recognise any of these types of people that shape your restaurant visits every time you go out with your extended Indian family:

The Boss Uncle: This is the de facto patriarch of the family. He has already given his credit card to the waitress on the way in with strict orders that he will be paying for dinner and not to accept anyone else footing the bill.

The Wannabe Boss Uncle: He actually showed up five minutes earlier to slip his credit card to the waitress and told her not to let anyone know that he will actually be paying today because he initiated the dinner. He has informed the waitress not to charge Boss Uncle’s card.

The Confused Waitress: She is holding on to two credit cards and has no idea what to do, so she is ignoring the situation and will have the uncles battle it out when the bill comes. Little does she know what she is in for.

The Relative Who Wanted to Stay Home: It took a lot for this auntie to come out because she only likes ‘home food’and doesn’t believe in dining at restaurants. She may have already eaten before she came.

The One Who is Going to Demand to Speak to the Chef: No matter what dish is served, this auntie will not be satisfied and will make numerous requests for the chef to come out and answer for the appalling thing he dares to pass off as‘food.’ She will proceed to tell him the correct way he must cook each dish, the number of curry leaves that should be used, the amount of jeera powder to add, and ask how can he call himself a chef if he didn’t squeeze the lime in the end.

The Picky Eater Who Will Customise Each Dish: This relative, whether they are fussy or have different food preferences, will ask for every single ingredient of a dish to be named, and then order the chicken only to have it turned into paneer.

The Auntie Who is Annoyed They Served Ice Water: When this auntie sees the waiter pour from a cold jug, she will ask him to take back all the water and replace it with room temperature liquid with absolutely no ice for everyone. She may also request a pitcher of garam pani for herself.

The Cousin Who Knows the Owner: Whether they really do or not, it’s not a successful restaurant visit if you don’t at least try to get a discount. Name dropping gets this person far.

Now that we have established the scene, let’s get this dinner underway! Make sure you don’t notice the ruckus that you are causing with your noise and constant demands. Don’t even worry about speaking quietly when you make comments like, “This food is too salty!” or “They didn’t serve this dish hot enough!”

Wait excitedly for the moment when one person at the table asks, “Did they change the chef? They must have, the food tastes different.”

Feel free to send the dishes back if they made it wrong or if it’s not to your liking. Double check the bill carefully to ensure they didn’t charge you for it. Definitely throw a fuss if you do see it listed on the check and proclaim loudly, “We will never come back here again!”

Of course, you will be back, but what fun is it if your family doesn’t bring their unique and eccentric personalities to the table? Enjoy your meal (even though you won’t) and don’t forget to fight over who is going to leave a nice tip!

An unreformed party girl and mother of two, writer, editor and observer Sumati Huber tries to make sense of our unique Thai-Indian society and the aunties that she will one day become.

Related Articles