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[Opinion] Restaurant with Taste or with Style

Posted December. 18, 2003 23:15,   


Only a while ago, it was young people with talents such as dancing, singing, and magic skills that were very popular, but now it is those with knowledge of restaurants with great food and pleasant atmospheres. Especially with the end of the year now approaching as well as many dinner gatherings, people are inquiring about restaurants with great tasting food and style. However, it is not easy to distinguish those restaurants among the countless restaurants out there. There are many cases in which, if it is very stylistic, then the quality of the food is not that high, and if the food is absolutely delicious, it lacks style. One also has to consider the rule that men usually prefer better tasting food to style whereas women prefer to dine at the restaurants with style as well as delicious food.

The restaurants with delicious food are not necessarily the ones with style. Restaurants with delicious food are usually the ones that have been at one place for a long time. The atmosphere is clean, but the buildings are usually old. Reservations are not easy to make if one is not a regular at those restaurants, and they generally serve only a couple of dishes in which they are confident of the quality. I have never experienced a good restaurant with a department store-like menu. The owner is the cook himself/herself, and the price is not that low either. Of course, the owner takes peculiar pride in their dishes. Once they make enough money and then move into a better building or change their decoration, the customers stop coming, oddly enough.

The restaurants with style are usually in districts where there are many first rate hotels, department stores, or upscale residences. They use high-quality interior items and luxurious silverwares. A reservation is a must and the menu varies. They are equipped with first class cooks and well-trained waiters and waitresses along with sumptuous ingredients. The customers have to pay a high price for these meals. They also have to pay attention to what they wear as well. The restaurants change their decoration as the seasons change, and if they fail to introduce new dishes according to the change, then the customers stop coming. There is not a thing comparable to bad food at a restaurant with a superb atmosphere which makes me feel really bitter about spending money.

I personally prefer a restaurant with delicious food to a restaurant with style. Whenever people ask me how I happened to know about so many great restaurants with wonderful food, I always tell them that it was “all thanks to my investment of money and time.” Think now. How much time and effort has the human race taken on in distinguishing foods that are edible from ones that are not. As a gourmand says, he or she who first ate a watermelon, which has red flesh with black seeds in them, is truly a brave person. Many of our ancestors must have lost their lives over distinguishing poisonous mushrooms from safe ones. I was invited to a restaurant with magnificent food that only accepts five people per day for the date of January 19 next year. I look out for the day, everyday.

Editorial Writer Oh Myoeng-chul, oscar@donga