What a silly silly stupid question. By the way, whatever is the meaning in the background, :)))) the answer is obviously IN. IN IN IN.
Sometimes its hard to be a chef… to be honest, its hard to be a chef all the time, when the food is the topic in any sort of way. I just realized a few days ago – when i was out with a friend for dinner – how much i hate going out to eat (all because of that f*cking duck-breast, which was sooo sooo sooo overcooked, that my knife couldnt fight againts it). Its really funny in a way, because i love tasting, and trying new restaurants is always the best way to see | learn | steal things, ideas, plating technique etc… but unfortunately most of the times i leave the place with a huge disappointment. I know, im too gourmet, criticize every single detail and complaining about it – but i feel im working, so i m simply not able to turn off myself and just enjoy the night (normally i have a kind of expectation about the place, food, event, cost – considering this i rarely manage to enjoy and relax a bit).
The point is, that u can easily find a nice place to go out if your wallet is fat enough. One of my best experience was in London in a restaurant of a hotel (to be honest, i never ever heard about that brand before) – i had the `cheap deal`, which still was not cheap at all, but the food was just amazing with a lot of small surprises from the kitchen all way thru. Just sat down when we got the amuse bouche – small, colorful, funky bites melting in your mouth. I didnt order starter – my friend did -, but i got a really nice consomme as the chef`s complimentary while i was waiting for my partner to finish the first course. Than the main was just delicious – small work of art. So beautiful, was really hard to start to eat, but yummy, perfect textures, colors, temperatures… my pigeon was beautifully pink and shiny, the small pieces of vegetables all prepped different way, the massive steak of fish cooked all way thru and still juicy in unbelievable harmony with the white wine & herb sauce and posh potato garnish… I had a dessert after, which was a fresh fruity dream. Last but not least the petit fours, different textures and shape of chocolate. Really cool. If i force myself to think back, maybe this was the only occasion when i was amazed 100%. That was a perfect meal – even if it was expensive, it was worth it.
Wait a minute, wait a minute. Can I say something, please? I looove eating out! Not if I did it very often… :(( Recently I am too busy – working dinner time will likely make you eat at home.
Anyway, I love it, as I just said. Because it’s niiiice. First of all, you are going out with someone, who is usually a good-enough company, otherwise you would not be there with him/her. Second, you dress up: get something smart and pretty, and considering how much effort some people can put into their usual boring jeans outfit, it is a change to see them looking actually good. Third thing, I am a waitress, full-f.g-time, which means what it means. I’m always just working, when others having fun. I can see on the guests’ face every day how good it is to have a nice dinner in a posh restaurant… Sure thing, I want it too!
The other day when I was on a split shift, I went for a lazy lunch in my break to Havana. I was not in a hurry and also had my laptop with me to keep myself entertained. I ordered starter and main course from their set lunch menu, together with a glass of wine. I did not have to ask for the wi-fi password, when the waiter saw my laptop, he immediately came with a card with the code on it. That’s just a pretty little thing but it made my day. Service was top notch, by the way! Food was really nice, but somehow I expected that. After main course I had a little break before I ordered a piece of chocolate-heaven from the a la carte menu. Aaaaah…! It was delicious!! Then I had a coffee, which was really needed, finished the whatever-I-was-doing-online, paid, and went back to work :/
Oh yes, that’s the big CON in eating out, The Bill. That lunch hurt me £31.00 (including service) + cash tips. Not if I grudged that money, I just wish I could afford spending more on eating out! :))
Lets write a silly list about it… PRO and CONTRA. Get our latest wonderful `dinner party at home` as an example… we invited one of our really close friend, Zsuzsika, who is vegeterian – which makes the situation even more interesting. So she eats basically greens – however, Marty and me were keen on to grab some crab. And here we go, the first negative point is, that actually we need to prep other kind of food, need to sort out Zsuzsika. Other solution just simply avoid her and not to invite anymore. Not to invite anyone, who doesn’t like the same kind of food what we do. :)))) anyway, i was planning to make a tasty authentic thai tom-yam soup with huge amount of vegetable (till this point it still suits to all of us) and than i just made quickly some dim-sum dumplings stuffed with umami flavoured sesame-mash potato for `Zsuzsi’s sake`! This is a positive thing, that with a small effort i could give extra attention to my friend’s different needs, so she felt really really special and important (just because i didnt let her know, how easy was to make those steamed won-ton buns :)).
Ok, i forgot something. Lets go back in time a bit, before we started the whole cooking proccess. We need to do the shopping, which is bad in a rush, when u dont have time, but in my case, one of my favourite `hobby` is food-shopping` (love spending hours to check the freshness of the meat, color of veggies, smell of cheese…). And at this point, u can make a decision about the expenses – u have a possibility to choose between a cheap or expensive dinner-menu. Up to u. Thats definitely a major factor for most of us while planning a dining party.
Lets say, that we arrived home safe from the massive shopping, and we’re just soooooooooo thirsty and we all know, that is absolutely necessary to open a bottle and try before the guests arrive – would be such a shame to serve not proper drink with exxxxcellent food. :) And its just the time to arrange the home-made yummy honey-apricot-vodka liquor in the middle of the table.
Here we go… another positive thought – we dont even need any friends to start drinking and having fun! And the prep is just coming now… we choose the music in the backround (not the stupid manager or the floor stuff) and dont need to wear fancy dress with party-make up on.
There is a `kind of messy part` coming, if we actually start cooking… with lots of lots of negative points… In this particular case we had crabs with Marty… and my fishmonger couldnt give me any already cooked ones – which means i needed to kill them. Not nice. Dirty job. Dirty and really really not cool, had lots of bad feelings after doing it. But im a chef, and i did much more worse things in the kitchen – so problem sorted out with a quick lord`s prayer (and a next blog post).
I was experimenting – as usual – cause i never made this soup before, which is fun, and i was lucky as well, because Zsuzsi is a massive tom-yum fan, she and her partner had it so many times and i thought in this time she could criticize me… and the best ever, when she realized how much she does like mine and finished the first bowl before we could even sit down.
Smell. Yes, i have to agree. I needed to learn not to try pan-fry shrimp paste in a little kitchen with the fact of a small `hardly can open the window a bit` if anyone else is in the flat at all. (really really really sorry Marty!!!!!!!!!! :S) THAT WAS SMELLY.
Either shrimp-paste, or me! One of us must go from this house!!! :@ -M.
Ready, steady, go! No fancy table set-up,
still we have everything together what we need:
good food, good company, good wine (and some cava, khm-khm…)
Washing up. Yes. Agree. But u can make some pan and pot wet a bit and chuck everything else in the dishwasher. Easy life, not that bad. Not good point, but solvable.
Another big PRO for eating in: the time-factor! There’s no need to manage bookings when eating in and also, you can stay as long as you wish. We both truly hate those people who are just sitting in the restaurant, way after closing time, having a chat, taking a break before their pudding (at f*g 11pm!) or mixing up the restaurant with a bar and keep asking for another round of vodka-coke. This is the reason why we would feel crap if we stayed for long in a restaurant – but don’t need to worry about that when eating in!
Not to mention the endless story-telling when friends get together. I’m telling you, better than a sitting with a psychiatrist. Invite some old friends who you have not seen for ages – entertainment guaranteed for the evening. Or pull the drinking just a little longer and you’ll end up in the funniest conversations you have ever had (like the one in we compared the rather weird sexual life of oysters to human beings. Did you know that they can change sex during their life…? o.O ).
Oh, and one more thing: if you dine in, there’s always some leftover for tomorrow! :))