Order Up, My Friend!

Eating out is supposed to be always a sweet treat,  an invitation to relaxation after a day’s toil or a week’s load of work and house chores. But sometimes, the variety of dishes found on a restaurant’s menu – or the lack thereof – makes the experience more exasperating than relaxing (or more dull than delightful). You have to pick just one or a few out of the many delectable-looking dishes, you have to calculate whether the prices are within your allowable budget or not, and you want to try something different from what you normally eat while at the same time ensuring that you’re not picking something that will upset your stomach. The whole idea of eating out then suddenly becomes a cumbersome planning venture.

Photo from coles.com.au

Now, if only you can just head over to the restaurant and your ideal meal will simply magically appear in front of you once you sit down… but no, the world doesn’t run on pixie dust, unfortunately.

So, how about we spice things up a bit and flare up an otherwise humdrum experience? Let us allow that passion for food to resurface and that hunger for dining pleasure to overwhelm us again. Let eating out be that adventure that we will somehow truly look forward to. It’s time to bring back the joy in eating out, the zest in food indulgence, and the fun in ordering.

How?

Let me semi-quote Jigsaw from the Saw series by saying, “Let’s play a game.”

Alright, hold up, I don’t mean that we are going to play a game of torture using food as tormenting devices. Although that sounds quite interesting, it’s mean and is and should be totally against our conscience. This whole scheme I’m thinking has, in no way, been influenced by Jigsaw or any of his apprentices. It’s okay, no need to panic.

So, here’s how the game works.

First, invite a good friend who’s up for this challenge to dinner (or lunch). Go to some restaurant or bistro or any other variant that both of you have never been to. Ask for the menus and browse through the available dishes. While at it, don’t think of what you want to order for yourself. Instead, think of what your friend would most probably enjoy out of all the different dishes (and ask your friend to do the same for you). Keep your selections to yourself. Don’t ask what the other person wants or doesn’t want. Just secretly pick which ones you think are perfect for your friend’s meal that night while taking note, of course, of allergies or any other prohibitions (I’m assuming you know each other very well). Once ready, call for your server. Silently point at the dishes you’ve picked and ask him/her not to repeat the orders. Wait, chat, and be surprised. At the end of the day, see who picked the most number of correct dishes (what the other person really wanted or enjoyed).

Photo from stepbystep.com

In short, this game is all about asking your friend to order for you and you doing the same thing for him/her. Not only is this a way of allowing yourself to taste a different kind of mirth and adventure by altering the conventional “rules” of eating out, but it is also a way of getting to know your good friend more. Its end goals are twofold, really: to impart to you and your friend a new sense of excitement in eating out and to strengthen a friendship over good food as you get to know each other’s tastes, preferences, and dislikes in food. Engaging in this activity is a great way to have fun, to bond with a friend, and to take pleasure in eating all at the same time. Rid yourself of that selfish, bothersome way of ordering and give this game a try.

It’s interesting. It’s fun. It’s different. It’s a way of strengthening bonds between friends. And it’s for the spirit of getting a kick out of the eating experience. Try it, and find the fun in eating out again.

Well then, ladies and gentlemen, let the game begin.

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