I’ve been eating out for every meal since we landed in Thailand. It’s the way of things for digital nomads unless you’re renting a place with a kitchen, and this is rare, certainly not the route we are going.
There have been places here where the food tasted great, but the service was awful. We’ve literally encountered scowling faces, no one coming to the table for crazy amounts of time, orders being forgotten until 45 minutes later when you have to go to the hostess or some random wait person and ask for your order only to be told… “oh… forgot.”
I mean, I’m talking HORRIBLE service. It’s enough to destroy the entire eating experience and set you off into a world of indigestion.
Great service at a restaurant is love.
There are varying levels of service, of course. In a perfect world, one that isn’t so impossible really, I’d advise to only go to those places that give you the best service and provide the best overall experience. What that will be for you might be different than what it might be for me or someone else. That’s OK. Determining what that is for you, however is important to having the best experience dining out you can have.
I remember a few years back going to a restaurant where the waiter approached our table with a quiet elegance, he shared what the specials where with such detail and almost… a pride in the beauty of the dish that it all felt like a poetry reading. Add to that the fact that he had recommendations on which he loved most, what to drink with it and that he was always aware of where we were in our meal throughout the evening and it was spectacular. The evening became about the pleasure and artistry of the food we were eating. It’s been years, and I still remember that evening.
Would I have loved the amazingly prepared food had I not had such impeccable service? Honestly? Not as much. I think this is important.
Connection with those around you while you’re eating is critical to the full reception of the meal you’re having. When your wait staff, host and chef are attentive to you and your needs, but most importantly to the overall experience you are having in their restaurant, food truck, or food stall, you will feel cared for, seen, valued and connected to the others around you in this moment. Souls crave connection, and when you add this to a meal… it’s like being home, or… love.
I talk about this in my eBook, Cultivating Your Food Practice. Who you surround yourself with while you eat is incredibly important and influential on the how your body and soul receive it’s nourishment and pleasure. Restaurant staff that love their work, love good food, love what they are coming together to offer their patrons is a magical element that can elevate that place of business to something beyond the ordinary and allow us all to have amazing experiences around our food.
So… When I find a place with this kind of service, I go there, repeatedly.
Luckily, I found that in Chiang Mai at a restaurant called Oyori The Grill. They’ve had a few write ups that are worth the read, here and here and here for some photos.
Over the course of two weeks, I must have gone there 10 times. Every single time I went the service and the food were amazing, but of course, as you can imagine… going there so much, I became a familiar face. By the end of our stay in that part of town, Nayoon and her staff knew me, my order, opened the door for me as they saw me approaching from across the courtyard and even included Jon and I in a smoothie tasting as she was working on a few new recipes. When we circle back up to Chiang Mai, you’ll know where to find me.
Tell me where you go for both amazing food and impeccable service. I’d love to know.
How did we not go to Oyori? 🙂
Yes, agreed, service is an important part of a memorable meal. And its rare to find truly dedicated staff who know the food, pairings, origins, etc.
We had a fantastic meal at Tamarind in Luang Prabang, which lived up to the amazing online reviews, and the service was quite exceptional.
Elena Rego says
Tyler, For amazing service on the island, go to Market Fresh Bistro in Makawao and Star Noodle in Lahaina off the top of my head. You’ll love both.