The ‘Light Of Asia’ Indian restaurant didn’t have the best reputation for a long time, but that changed with the new owners a few years ago.
I’ve had lots of people advise me to go.
So this Bank Holiday weekend we put on our walking boots, clomped 5 miles along the coastal path, and arrived at 1:35 looking forward to their good value lunch, a warm welcome and even warmer curry!
First impressions are important, and a locked door isn’t the best.
We peered through the window like urchins, and could see people eating.
My watch said 1.35, and their sign clearly says the bargain lunch is 12PM-2PM.
Feeling confident that 1.35 falls between 12 and 2, we rang the bell.
After a long wait, a chap answered the door.
You know how staff in Indian restaurants are usually delighted to see you?
He looked like we were presenting him with a dead dog.
He told us that the restaurant was closing.
We told him it was 1:37, and there were two signs saying 12-2.
He wasn’t bothered.
He told us they could manage a takeaway, but we couldn’t eat in.
We told him we’d walked along the coastal path, and you can’t really sit on the seafront eating an Indian.
He stared at us, thinking of whatever he was planning that day which didn’t involve working in a restaurant.
We walked away, and checked our watches again.
We had been turned away most ungraciously from a restaurant, well within it’s opening times, and we were shocked and stunned.
I know that sometimes a restaurant can’t cope, or have to close early, but the least you can expect is some sort of apology, some acceptance that this is inconvenient.
“I’m very sorry, but come back at 5.30 and we’ll do the best meal of your life!”
We all have bad days and not everyone should be in the job they have.
But having experienced Light Of Asia’s shocking attitude to their customers’ faces, I wouldn’t want to eat what they make out of sight in the kitchen.