You go into a restaurant. You get a table. You look at the wine selection offered and carefully choose a bottle. The waiter arrives with the bottle, shows you the bottle and then meticulously open it. The waiter pours a small amount into your glass. You carefully inspects it and then slowly drinks it. What happens next? You approve the wine. The waiter pours wine for your group, places the bottle at your table and then walks away while you carry on with your conversation. Have you ever wondered what happens if you don't like the wine? Does the waiter take the opened bottle back thereby giving you a second chance? I have wondered about it. But frankly, I do not know what happens in such a case.
Why am I thinking about all this? The other day, I was in an Ethiopian restaurant with my favorite dinner group when the manager came up with a strange question. "Do you have problems with incense?". The answer was no. A couple of minutes later, they served a dish, which had a distinct incense flavor, to the table near us. So the next table had ordered the dish. The kitchen had prepared the dish. Now they were concerned if the smell would be a problem for us as we were seated nearby. For me, this is too late in the game. Moreover, if the management has to worry about the offensive smell to people seated nearby, then they will ask to everyone in the restaurant considering the size of a Parisian restaurant. Finally, I consider Ethiopian cuisine as exotic. Leave your reservations behind if you are visiting exotic restaurants. When you walk into the restaurant, you are doing it for a new experience. Go with the flow.
By the way, Ethiopian dinner was indeed good. The vegetarian dishes was similar to our dal curry. The meat preparation reminded me of home. They add a lot of spices and cook it for a long time for the spices to seep into the meat. One of the dish was more like dry jalfrezi and another was like a hot Rajasthani meat dish I had in Jaipur named laal maas.Tags: Musings,Incense,Ethiopian