A lot of people have been asking me why I am such an Instagram addict when it comes to going out and having food. Well, I have to say I have been taken in by the whole #foodporn movement as of late, and even though I am becoming better and better at cooking my own grub, there is something ridiculously… sexy about food at restaurants. Now, I am not going to contradict my previous post on the subject and go, yes, food worship is a fantastic idea, let’s all do it; but there is a reason people consider cooking – and dining, – to be an art form of sorts. There is just something so wonderfully indulgent about having a napkin in your lap, the wine list next to you, the waiters bustling about trying (if they’re good at their jobs, that is) to satisfy your every whim in hopes of getting tips. I wouldn’t say it’s a feeling of power, not necessarily, but it’s the ‘getting away’ psychology of today that makes it so enjoyable.
By ‘getting away’ I mean getting away from the domestic – the domain which we have exhaustively explored and turned into our own. In other words, the boring place we know inside and out. There are just so many things we can make for dinner without delving into cookbooks or sifting through thousands of cooking websites. We fall into a routine and going out to a restaurant is… a form of tourism, I suppose. It’s our opportunity, on a smaller scale than, say, travelling to Bali, to get away from real life and feel cherished, loved, and well-fed.
When I cook for myself, I appreciate the work I have put into what I prepared because I know first-hand what it’s like to slave over a stove. When I go to a restaurant, though, the service is all for me. I don’t need to do anything to get the food on the table. It’s a kind of innate laziness that makes restaurants so enjoyable, I suppose. It’s the feeling of liberation from the kitchen, in a way.
There’s also the aesthetic aspect of it. Admit it, chances are, that if you are at a restaurant, your dish will look much better than anything you can whip up at home. And though it might not taste as good as it looks, which is, sadly, the case sometimes, it still makes you appreciate the finer things in life more. I can’t explain it – food is associated firsthand with taste, not appearance, yet in our day and age it’s all about appearances, isn’t it? It’s all about the exterior; which is sometimes so good you don’t want to ruin it by biting in.
But bite in you do.
The reason why I like going out, from a purely psychotherapeutic mentality, is also because I don’t know about what is in my dish. When I cook, I am careful with ingredients, not only because I’m a poor college student, but also because of my deep-seated fear of overdoing it on the calories. I know this has to change; and this veil of ignorance that is placed over my eyes, this blinder that exists in every restaurant is a way of psychological liberation. Of course, at first I would starve for knowledge and Google my dishes meticulously; now, though, I couldn’t give a bigger damn. Why should I? Someone’s job is to feed me with good-looking, wonderful-tasting food. Who am I to refuse that on the grounds of numbers?
Luis and I play this game: we pretend we’re on MasterChef. We’ve turned into quite the food critics when it comes to going out. The hoity-toity tone of our conversation about how the cheese compliments the sweet potato gratin lulls us into this sense of superiority if only for a while.
It’s exciting to explore new places. We try to make it a point to go to a new restaurant every weekend. We make reservations online, look for offers and discounts and in the end get pretty good deals – which adds to the beautiful flavour of accomplishment that accompanies our dinners.
Going out is my form of therapy. I might just be slightly addicted to it.
But hey, I eat, don’t I? And never let it be said that I don’t.