|In It's better Days|
Wednesday, January 25, 2017
It’s not every day that you have your worst eating out experience ever. Mine happened yesterday.
So often when you have dined out a place, you anticipate the meal experience and get excited just thinking about it. So we entered Culture Gully the kind of food Space I NOW DREAD a tourist might stumble into, so offensive is its representation of India’s dining scene. For starters it was a bit too dark and I could see many lovelorn couples who probably mistook this for a hideaway for romance. Then I noticed that most of the places that did service had actually shut shop, Kerela and Chennai ( I am only talking of South India here) and it was more like a food court where you could order in expensive food. Anyways, now that we were here and in the mood for Dosas, settled in at ‘Karnataka’ where after a special request to keep the oil slightly less; My Utthapam looked as if it had spent time in the fryer rather than the griddle but stopped short of becoming fried Malabar Parantha. It lived in a greasy no-man’s land — and no man I know would love it. So of Course, I politely told the Chef to do it again….He blatantly refused, giving me a look that, ‘Why do customers even come here, when it’s my rest time’!! On my insistence he finally made it again but refused to give me fresh hot sambar which had gone rather cold by then. After finally making him understand my point of view, I sat down to eat. Trust me I can do a good job of eating because I know what it takes to make food. I can even clear the plate of food I find distinctly lacking. But this was uneatable. It was like the Rohypnol of the basic Dosa/Utthapam/Idli a dish with the latent to smack you into a coma!
I go to the Mumbai counter next and try to order myself some ‘Dahi Puri’….trust me it was a Herculean task as the order taker Jerry could not understand Hindi at all, nor English very properly
ME: How long will it take to get the Dahi puri? (In Hindi)
HE: Yes Dahi Puri and?
ME: How long will it take to get the Dahi puri? (In English?)
HE: Yes Dahi Puri and?
ME: Forget it, how big is the water bottle? (In Hindi and English)
HE: 40 Rs
I finally give up and order Dahi Puri and water (after conveying it through one of the cooks in the background) as they have no other drink available except water and Coca Cola.
If you are thinking of venturing into Culture Gully anyway and ordering something relatively simple and straightforward, like a Dahi Puri; It was the most unpalatable thing I have tasted in some years, provoking from my dining companions a string of diatribe that cannot be printed in a people newspaper.
The ‘Bhapa Dahi’ has a slight chemical taste that I was grateful for because it inclined to keep my own sweet intake to near-mormon levels! And trust me when we got out of this so called ‘Culture Gully’…it felt more like getting out of hiding in bunkers as if a World War was taking place outside!
In fact, when thinking ‘where should we eat tonight’, the reminiscence of your last meal is perhaps the first thing that comes to mind, and has you quickly moving on to the next suggestion! This place just lost a great customer and will never know why!! But I do have a question for them, When you hung that sign by the entrance that says, ‘KINGDOM OF DREAMS’, were you just messing with our MINDS?
P.S I did not take any pictures…and am sure you will thank me for that!!