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Baby-friendly? Whatever. Where's EX-friendly?

Verashni Pillay wonders why restaurant guides don't tell you what you REALLY need to know.

by: Verashni Pillay: Food24 | 02 Sep 2009

If seduction is warfare, ending a relationship can turn into a Cold War arms race with none of the niceties of international politics.

Then there's the Aftermath. When the smoke has cleared and you've stopped flinching whenever you hear his name you agree to Hang Out. You're both militantly casual about it, half "forgetting" to reply to SMSs. But the whole thing has the dynamics of a high school reunion with the fun spontaneity of, say, a walk in a Cambodian minefield.

Then he SMSs that question: "Where shall we meet?"

I could cop out and let him choose. But picking the venue equals homeground advantage and while you strictly don't really care what he thinks about you anymore... you kinda still do.

So I bought some time and hit my traditional sources for finding good places around the Mother City. (obviously), Dining out, Eat Out... I scoffed at brand loyalty and threw myself on their collective expertise. These pundits of all things cuisine and cool would save me! There were boxes to tick for fire places, dance floors, cigar lounge and EVEN a cheese room. But for the first time in my Web 2.0 life I was left… unsatisfied.

These supersites told me if a venue was child-friendly but was it, alas, ex-friendly?
And not just ex-friendly, what sort of impression would it help one convey? Sure the restaurant sites helpfully showed you the menu, gave you directions and the rest. But not a word on flattering lighting in key spots, helpful recriminatory songs (i.e. Beyonce's entire oeuvre) and the presence of, say, an attractive model-cum-waiter who would discreetly flirt with you while taking your order. Where were the important details, for goodness sakes?

They allowed me to pick my ambience, my budget, my entertainment and the number of courses. But what about letting me say:

  • "I'm trendy but not pretentious?"
  • "I know awesome hidden spots, like these, aren't you sad you dumped me?"
  • "You didn’t know I can negotiate a crab mallet, did you?"

    ...that sort of thing? Food sites. You have failed me.

    I was forced to crowdsource it. Facebook status update:

    " has loads of cool search option (ambience, music, etc) but nothing on 'good places to have coffee with your ex' (I've moved on/ we're cool/ I still hate you/I want to be your friend). Market gap? I'm just saying..."

    Nine 'likes' and 12 comments later I knew I was on to something. My friends had made recommendations based on lightening specific to my skin tone, waiters who would appeal to me, crab dishes with the most paraphernalia.You know. The REALLY important stuff.

    See? Winner! Now why couldn’t the food sites have helped me that way?

    Do you agree with Verashni? What additional categories would you like to see in your restaurant listing? And... where do YOU think she should have this horribly over-hyped dinner?

    - None



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