5 Things to Look Out for in a Restaurant
by Nur Aziemah Jul 01, 2016
Girls are girls. While our males counterparts may just look at the food that is served, I think it's safe to say that being girls, we look out for more than just the quality of food that is being served. So, if we have two places which are just as good, we know that one place will always be a preference when it comes to choosing between the two, if they fit the bill on any of the 5 things below!
What do I mean by clean? By clean, I really do mean no questionable liquid on the tables, random trash on the floor and especially, no stained cutlery please. Alhamdulillah however, I could safely say that generally in Singapore, this is not much of an issue when I do go out to eat. On a side note; having a clean toilet within or near the premises is definitely a plus point for me, especially whenever I want to comfortably hang out with friends and unwind for a few drinks after a meal. So if you want me to stick around, a clean toilet is a must. must. must.
2. Friendly Staff
Friendly Staff at Ratu Lemper
Having staff that are friendly, welcoming and helpful is enough for me to overlook "just okay" food and make me willing to come back and give it another go. I remember going to a certain cafe (during its lull time) for the first time and being warmly welcomed as soon as I stepped in. They were playing nostalgic music from the 80s and 90s in the background and began to sing along to it light-heartedly. Even though I was awkwardly alone since I was still waiting for my friend, I was already falling into that comfortable feeling. Surprisingly, the staff even asked me if I minded when they wanted to switch songs. They even secretly gave me a discount on my drink! (I found out when I noticed the discount typed in the receipt). So basically, just treat me like a family member and you are more than guaranteed a loyal customer in me.
With numerous concept restaurants popping up, naturally I have expectations of a halal restaurant to be within certain boundaries. After all, I can't possibly be comfortable if I'm constantly fretting over some uncomfortable factors around the area. I remember one time, when I was purposefully hunting down a certain food place, because of its super duper high recommendations from thehalalfoodblog.com. After a long walk, I was not about to turn away without eating their food. After ordering from a (grumpy) lady, I looked for a seat. While I was eating, I started to look around, only to realise that, the drinks stall was really a bar, and that I was really in a bar with walls all over screaming "BUY MY BEER".
Even though the food was good - there is no way that I'm going back there. I really hoped no one snapped a photo of me in my hijab against a beer poster background... It would have looked so... Wrong. Scary face masks, wooden puppets and its associations as decoration, would also be a no no.
I love restaurants or food places that provides a musollah, or if they are near a mosque. Love them. LOOOVVVVEEEE them. With a musollah available at the restaurant itself or at least a mosque nearby, it becomes a whole lot more convenient for me to eat out and enjoy myself without having to be concerned about rushing off for prayers. It is even more important if I plan to eat out during Ramadan. A musollah within the vicinity of the restaurant is especially helpful when we are planning huge family dinners involving our grannies that will insist on praying right on time! Off the top of my head, we know that Sakura international Buffet at Pasir Ris, and Tang Tea House at Sempang Bedok provides such facilities. But if your makan place doesn't have a musollah, it would be helpful to just point out where the nearest prayer facility is!
Lastly, one of the five on my list of things to look out for in a restaurant would be wifi. Wifi is a lifesaver when you have to eat out alone or you need to wait for your "late-as-usual" buddies or while you're waiting for your food. It can be quite handy sometimes when you need to rush through work to meet your daeadlines or have to access online documents for a group project while with your group mates. Wifi is not a must have but I have to say it is nice to have. But when your friends and family do arrive to meet with you, try the phone stack game! Stack all your phones in the middle of the table: The first one to grab his/her phone DURING the meal foots the bill! Works like magic, and suddenly everyone will have more to talk about.
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