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Restaurants are the temples of modern society. Nowhere else do we converge in good spirit for lively discussions, intimate romances, and delicious food and drink. What may have been the watering hole in the caveman era is now a place of shiny plates, fancy interiors, a small army of servers, and air conditioning.

But not every restaurant is equal.

Restaurants come and go. It’s a brutal business. One day you are the hot new thing and then the next everyone moves on to the weird fusion sushi joint down the street. It’s a fickle venture, but that’s no reason not to strive for perfection. This piece will paint a picture of the perfect restaurant. Something with no peer and no holds barred. But first, a few caveats.

This piece is written by someone who has had lots of experience eating in restaurants. Owning and running a successful restaurant? Now that’s another story. In fact, if you follow all the steps in this list, you will likely go out of business. Or you will own the most EPIC restaurant ever.


Now that’s out of the way, here are our keys to perfect restaurant:


The perfect restaurant is unapologetic.

If you are a Mexican restaurant, own it! Serve pure Mexican goodness. If you are a fushion restaurant, own it! Have weird fusion dishes, maybe a burrito with pancit inside. That would be weird, but damn, it would be interesting. There would be no pandering to the masses. No dishes in the menu just because they sell well. Every dish in the perfect restaurant is there for a reason. Every dish matches the overlying theme.

Be unapologetic and proud.


A perfect restaurant is spotless.

It would be so clean that you could pick up food from the floor and eat it. Every plate and utensil would be as shiny as when they were bought. Guests would magically have the mud from their shoes disappear as soon as they walked in the door. With nothing to hide, the kitchen would be an open kitchen to showoff just how sanitary and insanely squeaky clean everything was. The bathroom would have its own private janitor waiting for someone to walk in and get rid of the mess.


A perfect restaurant has professional photographers as waiters.

How many times have you requested to have your photo taken by the waiter, but were disappointed by their shaky hands or giant fingers? Fret no longer. With professional photographers as waiters, every photo would be the best possible. They would have strobe lights on standby, an assistant to help them clear the table, and a high end camera on their belts everywhere they went just for that perfect picture.


Photo by Scott Pacaldo

Photo by Scott Pacaldo


A perfect restaurant has the freshest food ready as soon as you ask for it.

Wouldn’t’ that be cool? Maybe we could go a step further. As soon as you walked into the restaurant, there would be a scanner that analyzes your walk, eye movement and brain pattern. Then as soon as you sit down… voila! The dish you were going to order appears on your table as fresh as possible and ready to eat. Finally, no hungry wait.


A perfect restaurant has bag holders everywhere.

This is for the women out there. You sit down in a restaurant, ready to eat a hearty meal, looking forward to ordering your food, and then you realize, where do you put your bag? Do you make it hang on the back of your chair? Should you ask for an extra chair? Maybe you’ll just place it behind your back? These are all bad options. The restaurant should have those small hooks under the tables specifically for those lady handbags. Or for the men with man bags.


The perfect restaurant has free service water.

Bottled water was made at a time when people didn’t have confidence in the water. Thank god that time has long gone and there are many ways to get perfectly fine water. With that in mind, you shouldn’t be stepping foot in a restaurant that can’t reliably give good service water to their guests. If any restaurant forces you to pay for water, make a run for it. Never come back.


The perfect restaurant has incredibly fast service.

The waiters and waitresses would be like vultures, always lurking, always looking for the perfect moment when a costumer looks up. As soon as eye contact is initiated, the waiter dives right in for the request. There’s nothing more frustrating than watching two waiters talking to each other for five minutes straight, without taking notice of the costumers in the restaurant.



The perfect restaurant has reasonably priced alcohol.

It doesn’t have to be dirt cheap. You don’t want to be eating in a restaurant that feels like hanging out in a dive bar with drunken dudes mulling about. Let’s acknowledge that many a meal feels great with a glass of wine, a bottle of beer or even your favorite shot of whiskey. No sense over pricing these items. Whenever alcohol prices are too high, that’s a sign that they don’t want you to order their alcohol. Now why would they do that?


The perfect restaurant has a pair of cojones.

Balls the size of Mactan Bridge. It takes courage to ask for feedback with regards to the food. A simple, “How did you like the food?” is enough to learn from a customer. Many places don’t do this because they are afraid of criticism, but it’s that feedback that makes a perfect restaurant. How else will they improve? Most customers don’t share how they feel. If they didn’t like the place, they’ll simply never come back.


The perfect restaurant has no internet.

This may seem like something that a perfect restaurant should have, but here’s the case for not having internet. How many times has a perfectly good gathering been ruined by people constantly on their phones? This isn’t the fault of the restaurant, but they can help facilitate a good experience by forcing people to actually interact in real life as oppose to their digital counterparts. No internet makes for a better eating experience. Period.


The perfect restaurant has the right music to suit the mood.

Each dish has a corresponding song perfectly in tune with what the dish conveys. Better yet, the restaurant could have a sensor analyzing all the dishes being served while an algorithm creates the perfect playlist based on the exact dishes ordered by the guests. The playlist would set the perfect mood facilitating a perfect eating experience. Lastly, the music shouldn’t be too loud. We want to have our meals in restaurants, not in clubs.

hongkong food


The perfect restaurant has food to die for.

Saving the most important part for last, so much goes into making the perfect restaurant, but if this part isn’t right, then everything else does not matter. There’s so many ways to define a truly good dish; it keeps you coming back, it tastes amazing, it reminds you of something from the past, it evokes an unexplainable feeling inside. Whatever characterizes good food, the perfect restaurant has that in spades. In fact, let’s be honest, there are many places we keep coming back to despite failing everything else in this list. The reason always goes back to the food. Which is good news, failing everything else in this list is secondary to good food. Good food trumps all.

All hail good food.



Carlo Villarica

Coffee stuff in

Follow @sobermusings.
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