Top 10 signs you know you’re in a good restaurant

Ananas Bar and Brasserie

Signs of a good restaurant

We often ask ourselves at Urban Chic Guides ‘What makes a good restaurant?’   Is it the food?  Is it the service?  Is it the ambience?  Is it the new it-chef?  Is it the price?

So, we put our heads down and came up with our list of the Top 10 best signs you know you’re in a good restaurant.

  1. The bread and butter is good
    Call us carb loaders but we can seldom resist simple bread and butter, or oil for that matter, done well.  BUT – it has to be good.  We don’t want to waste the fat or the stomach space.  So, when you sit down at that restaurant and the bread and butter is good, chances are you’re in for a treat.  But isn’t it so hard to resist filling up on that bread?
  2. The server is attentive, notices everything, yet doesn’t appear to be watching you
    This is indeed a special skill.  Your wait staff need to be there in an instant when you need something, yet you don’t want to see them hovering over you.  It’s a fine line.
  3. The details are taken care of
    Did you notice how your napkin was rolled ‘just so’ when you left the table?  Did you notice the simple flower table decoration?  Did you notice the condiments served with your dish or that special pouring sauce?  Details maketh the night in our opinion.  So many things you may not even notice can inevitably make the experience more memorable.
  4. The waitstaff are knowledgeable about the menu
    Don’t you hate it when you ask a seemingly obviously question about the menu and yet the waitstaff have no idea?  Not on.  Wait staff should be trained to explain the menu and what they are serving.  No excuses.
  5. The food comes out at once
    Seems pretty simple but when you’re dining in a group, whether it be 2 or 10 or more, it goes without saying your food should all arrive about the same time.  Absolutely no exceptions.
  6. The plates are cleared at precisely the right time
    Again, this is a fine line.  No-one likes to look at empty dishes, yet don’t you hate it when the waiter removes your plate while you’re uttering ‘I’m still eating that….?’  Or even worse when the wait staff clear the table’s plates and leave you eating on your own.  Epic fail.
  7. Money has been spent on the bathrooms
    It’s all too easy for a restaurant to scrimp on the bathrooms.  Poor form in our opinion and often leads to early negative judgement from us should the bathrooms not be up to scratch.  But, we believe a great bathroom fitout is a very good judge of a quality restaurant.  Again – back to the details.
  8. You are not rushed from your table
    Ok, we know restaurants want to make money and we’re not against that.  It’s business after all.  Maybe you can turn the place over twice in a night.  Lucky you.  But, rushing diners from your table is not good practice in our opinion and always leaves a sour taste in our mouths.
  9. The ambience is just so
    Too busy and loud where you can’t hear people talk is no good.  But if you’re the only group in the restaurant that certainly doesn’t make for a pleasant atmosphere either.  The tables shouldn’t be placed too close together.  The lighting should be dim, but at just the right level to still allow you to read the menu.  The ideal ambience should make you feel warm and welcome the moment you step through the door.
  10. The food is good!
    Last but certainly not least, without doubt the most important aspect of a good restaurant is the food.  Yet even good food will not always work without all of the above!

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