You will not believe how many emails and text messages I get every week asking me to recommend a restaurant. Now I don’t mind occasionally helping out with a recommendation but it’s kind of annoying when I am given no criteria. This is my worst, which I received today (and hopefully the sender reads this and sends me a better request):
“I’m looking for a restaurant reccomendation for the Cape Town city bowl area – nothing tooo fancy but good food and worth going to.”
So, there are plenty of great restaurants in the city bowl. You don’t want it too fancy, does that mean it must be fancy but not too fancy? Good food? I’d take that as a given, and worth going to as well. Basically the only restaurants you have knocked off the list are Ocean Basket and Spur and even the Ocean Basket might fit the criteria.
These are the things I need to know:
When? This is a really important piece of information because of you want it for tonight then most of the places I would recommend won’t have space at this late stage. If you’re planning ahead, then great, I can recommend freely.
How many people? If you’re booking for 2, you could sneak into some places but if you’re looking for a table for 8 then you could have a problem especially at short notice.
Budget is also very important because good restaurants range from reasonable to unreasonable but I’d recommend them all.
Any food preferences? Comments like “we can’t eat seafood” or “my wife is a vegetarian” really help me to recommend appropriate places.
Location is important, this particular request mentioned the city bowl which is a good. Some people want a restaurant in Cape Town including the winelands.
Ideally you would tell me what sort of food you like. Steak, Thai, etc. Or even better, tell me some places you went to and liked so I can think of a similar place or tell me some places you went to and didn’t like even.
This may seem like a lot of information to compile for a restaurant recommendation, but let me let you in on a secret: It takes me quite a while to think of appropriate suggestions and the less info I receive, the longer it takes. Why should I do all the work for you? I’m quite disinclined to respond to recommedation requests with no criteria.
While we are on this topic, if I had R5 for everytime someone asked me what my favourite restaurant is or which is the best restaurant in Cape Town, I would be very wealthy. Let me answer these questions for you right now.
I do not have one favourite restaurant. Depending on who I am dining with, what I feel like eating, what area we are in and how much money I have, there will be an appropriate restaurant. I seldom eat at the same restaurant often.
As for the best restaurant in Cape Town, again this is a difficult question to answer. There are several really top restaurants and at that level it’s difficult to choose one as the ultimate. Besides, I don’t have the money required to be eating at the top level restaurants in Cape Town all the time, so I’m not the best person to ask this question.
Thank you for listening, rant over.