There are all sorts of places to go and enjoy yourself and all sorts of ‘suggestions’ as to how Yaudah Bistro should emulate them.
‘Why don’t you have live music? And have a dance floor?’
Answer: ‘Will that make the food taste any different?’
‘You’d attract a higher-class crowd with more money to spend if you’d improve your décor. Put in air conditioning.’
Response: ‘Will that make the food taste any better?’
‘I’d like to see more [vegetarian / Chinese / paleo / Mongolian / elite / healthy / raw] items on the menu.’
Rejoinder: ‘Why should we stray from doing what we do best? Look at the Ya Udah Bistro menu. Go ahead – take you time. The waitress is not going to pressure you to order real quick, gobble down your sugar, grease and starch and get the hell out, like in the garish and unpleasant décor of a fast-food joint.
’The food. That is our expression of culinary artistry, and nutrition, and healthy living.’
The competition: do you really get your money’s worth? Consider the late ‘News Café’ (neither newsy nor a café – meaning ‘coffee’ during its existence). This writer was invited there when it first opened, along with the ‘themed’ Planet Hollywood and other overpriced fantasy destinations.
The generic rock music was so intensely loud, non-stop, that you could not even think, much less have a decent conversation with the persons accompanying you – which in many cases is the reason you invited them. The waiters had to write everything down because they could not hear either. And the food (sigh). Easy to forget, hard on the pocketbook (and the stomach).
‘Oh but people don’t really go to a place like that for the food’ was the rebuttal I was given. ‘They go for the atmosphere.’
Ya Udah Bistro has been around for nearly four decades and it definitely has its own unique atmosphere, as long-time patrons can attest. Why is that?
It’s the food, dude. The kind of food we serve up, at the prices we charge, in the location we inhabit, attract the type of clientele who make the mood – relaxed, familial, charming, conversational, even sometimes amusing.
This is not some earth-shaking discovery. When you walk into our ‘au natural’ open-air eatery you immediately feel this is something quite special, even if you are not quite sure what that ‘something special’ is. It’s what attracts penny-pinching pinched-face British expatriates and shaggy back-packers staggering under a load that would kill a camel and whiskery one-foot-in-the-grave Dutch-speaking eternal residents of Menteng (though fewer of those these days, alas, as both feet have skidded underground). Also plenty of Japanese and Chinese businessmen, with office associates or families – and you know they are certainly aware of money-for-value when they go eating around.
So if you want a carnival atmosphere go pay to see Stinko the Clown drive his car around a ring before a score of Little Stinkos pour out of it.
If you want loud music you have plenty of choices of where to go deaf. If you want ‘mood’ and ‘atmosphere’ go to Paris (and prepare to be insulted for the money you dare to offer a Michelin restaurant).
We have an absolute standard of pork knuckles and soup-of-the-day and fine beers & table wines and smoked snapper and all the rest of the tasty goodies that folks keep coming back for more of, year after year. That pleases us, and convinces us there is no need to crank up the volume or add a floor show.
Have more food, dude. And wash it down with drink like nowhere else. (BURP)
The ghost of Django would undoubtedly agree.