I decided to take Matt Bird’s advice about being intentional about my relationship with people in my circle and set a date with the beautiful Nicola who’s on my team in church and of whom I knew absolutely nothing (other than she is allergic to gluten).
It was relatively easy to choose a time and place as she’s more organised than I am and has her free times in her head!
She told me about this Vietnamese restaurant in Soho called Pho and as they serve gluten free meals, it was a no brainer.
We got to the restaurant, it was a delightfully tiny place with sunlight streaming through the windows and friendly-ish staff. It is an ideal place for a good catch up as it was not noisy and although small and sort of cramped, you still had privacy with your date.
I had the delicious Pho Xao with chicken and prawns while Nicola had the bun because it was gluten free. We waited 20 minutes for our meal, which was not a problem as we both enjoyed our conversation and getting to know each other outside church activities.
Our meals came, we dug in and I excitedly ate my tasty and spicy Pho Xao (I added chilli sauce to it of course).
Nicola on the other hand was not really feeling her meal and after a few chopsticks full, she realise why: it had soy sauce in it and that soy sauce had gluten.
I sort of panicked but she assured me she won’t drop dead or anything and we called our waitress to ask if there was soy sauce in it…she confirmed our worst fears. She offered to get the manager to speak to us and we accepted. In hind sight, we should have just left.
A scrawny looking lady came to our table and practically blamed us for not telling the waitress that we wanted a gluten free meal.
In shock, Nicola explained that she comes to Pho often and knows for a fact that that particular meal was gluten free.
What would this manager say? “Someone lied to you about that as we only make food gluten free if we are told. It’s not our fault if anything happens…you did not tell us you were gluten free.”
Talk about enraging two ladies who just wanted to play catch up! Thankfully, neither of us burst out in anger but what struck me was the fact that we didn’t set out to complain. The manager was sent to us presumably to placate us and all she did was stir up a nauseous feeling of rage.
As they say, attack is the best form of defence but there was no need to get defensive at all. We were not looking to sue them or anything. We did not even want free drinks or vouchers.
What I am pointing out is the fact that a restaurant should have the decency to be tactful when such things occur…even if it is the ‘stupid’ customer’s fault.
In other news, it is my sister’s graduation this week! I can’t believe she is already done with Uni. It feels like she started last week. I am waiting on her to send me pictures because as the true Nigerian girl she is, she has two outfits and would wear both…that’s just how we roll. Plus my Aunty has simply insisted she has a grad party to top all grad parties.
Have a fab day people.