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9 April, 2004

Friday Five (9 April)

No 'Friday Five' again for the third consecutive week - has the meme's home site died?  Again, I've decided to use an earlier set of questions from the archive: 12 April, 2002:

1. What is your favorite restaurant and why?

I like Ikys, an Indian restaurant in Lancaster, as the food is generally (though not always) good (also inexpensive), the staff are friendly (though there was a spectactularly inept and rude waitress for a while, it was always fun to see what she'd do or say) and most importantly I tend to go there for spur-of-the-moment meals with friends.
The Water Witch is a pub by the canal in Lancaster, serving real ales and restaurant-quality food produced by a professional chef. The portions are good too. However, the last couple of times I've visited, the service has been stunningly slow - something like two hours from arrival to receiving the main course.

2. What fast food restaurant are you partial to?

I buy fish & chips once every fortnight or so, and take them home. If the question refers to McDonalds or similar: none. The food is foul, and there's the cultural imperialism thing. Okay; in an emergency (no food in the house at ~22:00, or in a strange city and hungry) I'd consider going to KFC.

3. What are your standards and rules for tipping?

If the meal and service are particularly good, I'll tip the socially-acceptable ~10%, and recommend the restaurant to others.
If the meal and service are adequate, I'll also tip ~10%, but won't go back or send friends.
If the meal is poor but the service is adequate, I'll still tip - it's not the serving staff's fault.
If the service is bad, independent of the quality of the food, I won't tip, irrespective of whether others in the group do.
So I almost always leave a tip, but it certainly isn't automatic.
Non-UK readers might need to be reminded that tipping is not a major part of UK culture: taxi drivers and waiters receive tips, but that's it.

4. Do you usually order an appetizer and/or dessert?

I'll usually have a starter if others in the group do, as it's no fun to sit and watch others eat, but I'd rarely choose to have soup or whatever just for the sake of it. If something on the menu grabs my attention, that's different - Thai fishcakes from Som Siam restaurant in Lancaster are better than the main courses, and that's no criticism of the main courses.
I don't remember the last time I ordered a dessert. If the main course is any good, I'll already be full, and I like very few of the desserts in the typical restaurant repertoire, so the only likely option tends to be some excessively sweet varient of chocolate fudge cake, which isn't the way I'd choose to end a rich meal.

5. What do you usually order to drink at a restaurant?

Typically water, occasionally a pint of bitter bought whilst waiting for a table and taken through. If the group decide to buy wine together, that's fine.
That's tap water - I wouldn't dream of drinking bottled water. Do you know that 'Evian' spelled backwards is 'naïve'? Tap water is clean, and I've never noticed any taste to it, so I'm damned if I'm going to pay a premium for pretension.

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