Hari : Hello Ravi, How are you? I thought we could go out to a restaurant to celebrate Mittu’s birthday.
Ravi : A great idea! We’ll give her a treat. Where shall we go?
Hari : Let Mittu come. She can decide…….Here she is! Ravi and Hari (together): Happy Birthday, Mittu!
Mittu : Thank you. So have you decided? Where shall we go?
Hari : You choose, Mittu.
Mittu : Let’s try Asha Bhavan – that new place in Kanthi Nagar. I’ve heard they serve a delicious spread there, especially salads.
Ravi : It would be very crowded! Today is Saturday.
Mittu : I’ll make a booking now. Then we could be sure of getting a place. Hari, please pass me today’s newspaper.……..Thanks ……. (Turning the pages of the newspaper) Ammm …… mmm …….. aha here it is! 24098765. (dialling) Hello, is that Asha Bhavan?
I’d like to make a reservation for this evening. In whose name? mm… mmm… Mr. Ravi Arunkumar, please …… that’s right …… a table for three, please ……. at 7pm. Thank you. Bye!
Ravi : It’s only 5.30 now. Let’s play some Pictionary till it’s time to leave.
7.03 pm – At the restaurant ‘Asha Bhavan’
Hari : The place looks very festive. I wonder if there is anything special happening?
Ravi : Look there’s the maitre d’ hotel, I’ll ask him (going up to a gentleman smartly dressed in a suit) Excuse me, but is there anything special today? Your restaurant is
looking very festive.
Maitred’hotel : Good evening, sir Yes, today is the first anniversary of our restaurant. We are expecting a large crowd. Have you made a booking?
Mittu : Yes. In the name of Mr. Arunkumar …… a table for three.
Maitre : (signalling to a lady dressed in the restaurant colours of lavender and gold) Just a moment, madam. The hostess will show you to your table.
Hostess : Good evening! Please come with me. (Seats them at a table in a corner) Is this alright?
Mittu : Yes, thank you. (A waiter arrives with a tray of drinks. The Hostess serves them.)
Hostess : Please enjoy your ‘welcome’ drink.
Mittu : What is it?
Hostess : It’s chilled tender coconut water with honey and mint.
Ravi : (sipping his drink) It’s delicious! Thank you!
Hostess : Excuse me. I have to see to other guests. Enjoy your meal! (The three of them sip their drinks and look around the restaurant.)
Mittu : We’ll order the food a little later. Let’s enjoy the ambience of this place first.
Hari : I like the rich decor of the place and also the clever arrangement of green plants between tables to ensure privacy.
Ravi : And the music is not too loud … we can carry on a conversation! (Catching the eye of a waiter passing by and indicating to him that his service was required
at their table by nodding his head.) Let’s order food. (The Waiter dressed in a lavender and gold uniform appears at their table.)
Waiter : Good evening! Would you like to go for the buffet, Sir? Madam? We serve a very good buffet here. There is also a salad-bar.
Mittu : I think I’ll go for the salad-bar. I’ve heard they do scrumptious salads here. Is it all freshly prepared?
Waiter : Yes, madam. All the food prepared here is fresh. Every night all left-over food is given away.
Hari : I’ll try the buffet. I can see quite a spread there. Can you please bring the soup to the table, please?
Waiter : Certainly, sir. Which would you prefer? ….. the chicken –noodle soup or the baby corn–mushroom soup?
Hari : The baby corn-mushroom, please.
Waiter : And, what about you, Sir?
Ravi : Do you have any à la carte service?
Waiter : Of course, Sir. I’ll get you the menu-card. (brings Ravi a menu-card)
Ravi : Give me a few minutes please.
Waiter : Would you care for some hors-d’oeuvres?
Ravi : No,thank you. We’ll start with the soup. (The waiter leaves while Ravi studies the menu card) They serve quite a variety of food here. There’s Chinese, Italian, Mexican, as well as Lebanese, in addition to Indian. Everything is also very reasonably priced! This dish of Tacos is only Rs. 75, and it has prawn, cuttlefish, and lots of vegetables in it, from its description on the menu …. But it would be too heavy for me ….Mmm…let me see ….. shall I have a plate of vegetable spring rolls? … or, ….. maybe, I’ll go for soup and kebabs ….? …. Oh dear, this is so difficult. (Mittu returns to the table with a plate full of salad.)
Mittu : Come on Ravi, the waiter is waiting. Have a dish of steamed vegetables and some pita bread. Or, since you have been showing off your French, try a French dish!
Ravi : They don’t have any. I think I’ll have the soup and vegetable cutlets. (The waiter returns with the soup and serves them.)
Ravi : I’ll have the same soup and a plate of vegetable cutlets.
Waiter : Very good, Sir. (Returns with the soup and cutlets and serves Ravi.) Enjoy your meal, Sir, …. Madam.
Ravi : Bon appétit!
Mittu : What does that mean, now?
Ravi : It’s like saying ‘Enjoy your meal’ in English. (They eat in silence for a while, enjoying the music and the aromatic food on their table.)
Hari : This buffet is superb. They have such a variety of vegetables and salads. This corn and raw mango salad is out of this world! How’s your cutlet, Ravi?
Ravi : It’s good. I’m glad they haven’t added too many spices in it. It has a nutty flavour.
(Noticing some activity at the entrance of the restaurant.) Look, some celebrities have come in. O, I recognise that young starlet Faguni. I wonder who the other two
Hari : I recognise that gentleman ….. He does a cookery show on DD every Wednesday and runs a restaurant in Mumbai, that serves only Parsi food.
Mittu : And I know who that elegant lady is …. She is Lajmi Uday Sing, the gourmet cook who writes a weekly column on food in ‘The Bondhu’ every Saturday. Okay, people, are we done? Or, does anyone want dessert?
Hari : Of course I want dessert! There is such a tempting spread on the counter.
(Hari leaves to fetch the dessert.)
Waiter : Would you like some dessert, sir? Here is the menu card.
Ravi : Yes, please. I’d like the date pancake.
Mittu : I don’t think I’ll have any, thank you. (They eat their dessert.)
Ravi : (To the waiter) Could I have the cheque, please?
Waiter : What about some coffee, Sir? Ravi, Hari, Mittu : No, thank you!
(The waiter returns with the bill. Ravi pays. Waiter takes it to the Cashier.) (The Hostess comes to their table.)
Hostess: Did you enjoy your meal? Was everything alright?
Ravi : O, yes! Everything was perfect! We enjoyed the meal very much.
Hari : I was wondering if you did any outdoor catering?
Hostess: Yes sir, we do. In addition to the food we also arrange for the crockery, cutlery, as well as serving.
Hari : Here is my card. Perhaps we could discuss this in detail when you are not so busy.
Hostess: Certainly, Sir. Here is our card. In case I am not available, my assistant Najab Hussain will be able to help you.
Hari : Thank you so much. Goodnight!
Ravi : We had a very pleasant evening. Goodnight
Mittu : Thank you, my friends. I had a lovely birthday dinner. Goodnight!