Monday, 2 March 2009

So what DO we want?

HRV asked last Friday (comment below) exactly what it was we diners-out want from the restaurants we go to? Does anyone want to help him out with some suggestions? Obviously HRV is a local chef, so he is genuinely interested.

How about coming up with some dishes / menu items you would like to see and what food / style you would want to eat in Hobart?I would be very interested. Very little is said except that we are criticised, and sometimes rightly so, about feeding our egos and not getting it right for the diner (with the possible exception of Sir Grumpy).


Anonymous said...

Maybe what people might want is a menu that just lists food items and ingredients/sauces. As in a make your own dish up then and there on the spot.
I do think this could be intresting lol. As the amount of times I am asked by a customers.....can I have the salad from this dish, the prawns from that dish....but I want the sauce from that other dish..... oh but I want the sauce on the side. But I dont want the olives in the salad oh or the cucumer too. Is that ok?? Erm well.. I will see what the chef is willing to do for you .....I cant promise. Then the customer looks at you as if to say well I am paying so I will make up my own dish as I please.
Hehe wouldnt it be fun to have a place make your own unique dish up. Hmm would feel very sorry for the chef who had to cook that

Christina said...

What I want is pretty simple I think.

I need and deserve good customer service.
A greeting, a smile, a welcome, even just an acknowledgement if it's a bit busy.

I want good value for money. Whether it be the upper end of the scale ie; Marque IV, Stillwater, Me Wah,etc
The middle of the road place, The Republic, Amigos, D' Angelo, etc or just the quick grab for Fish and Chips or Souvlaki Hut.
I like to feel that my money has been well spent, no matter how much I spend.

I like a cheerful, relaxed atmosphere, again no matter where I'm dining.

Not too much to ask, but somehow so hard to find.

By the way Rita and all, I'd be interested in your views on the "priceless" cafe story in Sunday's paper.
Name your own price is an interesting concept and would certainly keep people on their toes, but would it work long term?

Stephen said...


a really good and extensive cheese list. More important than an extensive wine list.

hrv said...

Monty's should fill that for you along with a couple of other Hobart restaurants. Unfortunately cheese is expensive and requires good space and storage - not to mention the wastage if if is not ordered.

Tassiegal said...

What do I want in a resturant?
A menu that is simple, allows the flavours to speak for themselves. Variety in the menu, but acknowledgement of the good sellers by keeping them on the menu.
A small menu - say 2-3 entree, 3-4 mains and a couple of deserts so I dont spend a hour trying to decide what I want to eat.

Knowledgeable staff who are proud of what they serve. A decent non alcoholic drinks list. Not just the normal "fizzy" or Juice.

Stephen said...

hrv, I was actually thinking of Montys as I posted my wish. What are the 'couple of other Hobart restaurants' to which you refer?

Rita said...

Rita's wish list for her ideal restaurant...hmmmmm....

Thinking logically: firstly a comfy chair, not a wooden monstrosity second-hand (or 3rd hand) from 6 others places that have gone bust! A welcoming person at the door - most important - to make me feel REALLY special, like management really want me there instead of me being a painful interruption to their day. A smear-free menu! How many times have I been handed something grotty (laughingly called a menu) that looks like the dog has gnawed at it first, then run round the back yard through all the mud and puddles with it?

Now we get to the food! I know the tongue-in-cheek comment by Anon 9.58 was meant to be reasonably sarcastic, but I actually think that would be a good idea. Everyone IS different. We all like different things, and combinations of things. Some of us have specific dietary constraints. Why not have a daily list of local fresh meats, fish, veges, fruit etc, and a list of ways they could be prepared and served, maybe with accompanying suggested sauces, and let the punters dictate their own terms? Much the way Luke and Katrina used to have it at their cafe at Grandview.

Yes - it WOULD require the chef to have some imagination! But you would buy in whatever you could source that day and just use that. Obviously winter would require more meagre use of fresh goods than summer but vats of various dried beans etc would overcome that.

Failing that idea taking off, I would like simple food minimally interfered with, so that the original true taste and flavour of it was still discernable after the cooking process. Hence, for instance, fresh tuna would taste magnificent (as it does at Meadowbank), and not be curried! I would also like the serving sizes to be entree-sized. I detest huge plates of food in front of me, and also think people generally eat way too much in their portion sizes. This nation of 'overweighties' could well cut down a bit!

I know I'm older, and I DO love my food but think in hindsight that simple is better. You are all heartily sick and tired of my holding up Marque IV as the creme de la creme of Hobart restaurants, but there is no way I would ever cook the food Paul does, at home. Even if I invited you for dinner and wanted to impress the hell out of you, I wouldn't make any of those dishes. Simply because I believe a lot of food speaks for itself. I don't need to tizz it up.

I can make most food, and have in the past, but at this stage of my life, have now reached the conclusion that when you take away the smoke and mirrors, it would be nice to be left with a quality foodstuff, and memory of same.

Apart from that, I'm with TG re the drinks. Am SO over being offered just OJ, coke or lemonade if I prefer non alcoholic. Life would be so much more exciting with something additional!

As Christina noted, a good fun, casual, relaxed atmosphere is non-negotiable. Value for money works too. I get so crabby when I (am happy to) pay $30 or 40 for a meal of chicken cooked for a few hours in white wine & herbs then spend 10 mins searching in vain for the shred of chook! Or find three prawns in a Prawn main course for which I've been charged round $40 as well!

I suppose basically what I want is CARING - from the chef, from the waitperson, from the business owner.

Stephen said...

I second the vote for ergonomic chairs.

Stephen said...

oh, and no more wobbly tables, or tables that tilt suddenly if you rest elbows on it.

oh, oh, civilised table spacing rather than being packed into a cattle truck.

Forde Montgomery said...

I like a bit of space around my table as well. Add to that a bar tender who doesn't baulk at a request for a Manhattan for an Apèritif. Food wise you can always find what you are looking for nowadays so no real requests (better to stick to what you, as chef, prefer). Time to focus on the extras.

Anonymous said...

Really good noodles. Home made thick rice noodles and Pho with real stock.Steaming chicken noodle soup with real noodles and no MSG.Does anyone make their own noodles in Hobart? Please tell me where??