Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Spice, Smoke and Small Talk

The other day I was at the Jewel of India- the desi restaurant in Hanover with a friend B for lunch.

Though the menu Jewel of India is three pages longs, over time we have established that among those three pages, only a few items are edible. Rest are just there for us look over and retranslate the item description back to Hindi. So limited are our choices at jewel of India is that there really is no choice.We always get the same starter, same main course and mostly the same kind of roti.

However, since Jewel of India primarily caters to the American junta here which likes to "go for an Indian" once every two weeks, the food is flavored accordingly. When decoded, this means that the food, in its normal state is bland. There is absolutely no taste at all. To mitigate this problem, we ask our food to be as "hot" and as spicy as they can make it. Hot is in inverted commas because of the restaurant owner's very punjabi accent which makes one think of a kind of market held once a week.

For the record, B ordered a paneer shahi korma hot and spicy, while I asked for chicken tikka, very hot and very spicy. You cannot imagine what the restaurant waale uncleji told me on hearing this. He was like we cannot make chicken tikka very hot and spicy because it sizzles when it is hot and spicy and we don't want the smoke coming out of your plate to cause any inconvenience to others.

!!! ???

As you can imagine, I was pissed off on hearing this. I was lamenting at this discrimination when uncleji suggested a middle path. He would serve the chicken tikka on a normal plate and not on the iron plate on which it is normally served. That way, it would not sizzle. I happily agreed. Anything for chicken tikka.

Now I am wondering what things other diners can do at a restaurant to cause inconvenience to others. I was at a different restaurant yesterday where there was a big Chinese group- there were about 20 of them. If such a huge group is sitting on a table across yours, your voice is drowned among theirs. It is simply not possible to carry on a conversation without shouting.

Will a restaurant management ask its diners to keep their decibel levels low, so as not to cause inconvenience to other diners? Is hearing loss on the same level as losing your sense of smell?



Mitushi said...

The decibles of noise is always more when it is coming from a group which you are not a part of.

Sui Generis said...

Its 'majority' which makes the difference :)

Huzefa said...

Sui, The bad part is that I am a minority almost everywhere I go. I love it..

shruti said...

witty satire presentened as enigma,
i like the caption

UmmeAaiman said...

Imagine a hot and tender "americanised" chicken tikka in the mouth, you tryin to remember the yum food of Indore.. and 25 people saying "Ni How Ma?" on the other table.

Srue ti'll mkae a msesy cofunsed sattgpehi of ur mnid!!!