Strolled into a steakhouse in Dubai, aptly called “Hunters” as the Italian restaurant only started serving food at seven. It was 18h15 and I was hungry. Sue me. No pasta then.
The waiter asked if I was on my own as he couldn’t see my imaginary friend. It’s a hippo in a tutu and her name is Angelique. (I’ve been alone for four days.) He directed me to a small table and insulted my hippo girlfriend further by removing her placemat. Now I not only felt sad, I looked the part too. Fortunately there was no one in close proximity of where I was being forced to sit.
Another waiter brought a menu and a tablet. I was excited as I haven’t played Temple Run in a while. As it turned out the tablet was not a game, it was an interactive wine list. I have obvisouly not seen everything there is to see.
Choosing a wine was easy as they had a South African selection. Trust me, I’m a coinnoiseur and know where the best wine comes from. Waiter #2 didn’t seem impress when I corrected his pronunciation of ‘Kanonkop’.
Another waiter came and took my order. I chose a fillet. He was offering a buffet of side dishes and seemed disappointed when I only wanted roast veggies. Did I cost him commission on the green salad?
Waiter #4 brought me some bread and butter on a rock. I’m not kidding. Butter on a rock. Could this become any weirder?
Yes it could.
Another waiter bought salt and I got slightly annoyed. They were interrupting a very delicate discussion I was trying to have with Angelique. She insisted I call her Angie and felt a bit self-conscious about her tutu. I told her no-one else could see her and then she got all offensive and asked if I thought she was fat. For a hippo off course. I said no.
Back to the salt carrying waiter. It was on a tray and there was a selection of 10. Ten types of salt. WTF? There was sea-salt from Australia, Garlic-infused-salt from India, Moon salt from Mars and armpit-salt from some big dude in Africa. What kind of pretentious person has a salt preference? But wait, there’s more…
As I’ve mentioned, it was still early and the restaurant had only one patron. Actually two, if they could see Angie. Point is, they were sending every single waiter available to my table. Rotating them like I was a freak show of some kind. I can just imagine the conversations in the kitchen.
”Go check him out, he is sitting on his own. He’s very tall and very muscular, with a chiseled face that makes Clint Eastwood look like a baby. And his hair, with those grey streaks, OMG. He is to die for. Go quickly. I also want another turn.”
The next one arrived with a little table and a huge cigar box, which I thought was a cigar box at the time. How wrong was I. He opened the lid and there was a display that would make Dexter smile.
“Sir, as you ordered steak, which knife would you prefer?” My mind was officially blown.
Is this what rich people do? Do they have a selection of steak knifes depending on the type of steak they’re having? Again he runs through the selection. They have French ones, Swiss ones, Japanese ones. And here I was thinking a knife is just another piece of cutlery. Some of these knifes could be used to skin a person, it looked like a toolbox of a serial killer. Is that a speckle of blood I see?
Before I could restrain myself, I asked sarcastically: “Which one would you recommend?” I’ve learned that a waiter serving uneducated partrons in a pretentious restaurant is not faced by sarcasm. He suggested a knife that wasn’t to heavy and would make for comfortable cutting. Again, I’m not sure what the others would be used for. He handed me the lightweight. Maybe I was wrong about the Clint Eastwood reference, as I’m sure they would have given him a heavy one.
Throughout the course of dinner several waiters bothered the handsome guy with his hippo no-one could see. They kept on bugging me, asking if there is anything else I need. I said no, even though the only thing I wanted was to be left the fuck alone and eat my fillet with my lightweight, sharp knife.
After removing the plates, the harassment commenced with new vigour as they expected me to have dessert. I kept on saying no to everything, until one of them almost cried and looked like a puppy left outside in the rain. I succumbed to the temptation and ordered coffee. It was bad coffee. No figure.
I paid and left Angie, she was holding me back.
Will I go again? Off course, I need to try that Japanese knife with the mother-of-pearl handle. It’s so shiny…