I celebrated my friend’s birthday a few weeks ago, by taking her out to dinner to Minami Restaurant, in Yaletown.
Before this trip, I liked to think of Minami as Miku’s little sister. As were were seated and looking through the menu, our server mentioned that the Minami menu was 80% similar to the Miku menu.
The food was fantastic, our server was great.. but Minami hit two of my biggest restaurant pet peeves that left a sour note in my memory.
1) Why is it so loud?
The restaurant was quite full when we arrived at 7:30pm. Aside from smaller tables of 2-4 people lining the sides, there was a big party sitting at a long table running down the middle of the room. The “room” we were sitting in probably seated about 50-60, but it was deafening loud in there. It was like there was no design for any kind of noise reduction.
I found I had to raise my voice quite a bit and lean in towards my friend so she could hear me. This was very uncomfortable, and impacts our ability to have a flowing conversation over dinner. Imagine going out on a date, and then having to shout at your date over dinner – very attractive (sarcasm intended).
Pet Peeve: I hate loud restaurants.
2) Why is it so dark?
It was very very very dark in the restaurant, only lit up by very dim lighting, and individual candles on each table. It’s like walking into Hollister and feeling like I need to bring a flashlight to see what’s inside the store. It’s the kind of dark that if you don’t tilt your menu the right way, you can’t catch the dim light of the candle, and therefore you won’t be able to read the menu probably. Has it not been considered… if I can’t even see my food properly, how am I to enjoy the exquisite artwork that the chef put together on my plate?
I understand this is done for ambiance and mood-lighting – but there’s a difference between making it “romantic” by dimming a few lights, and making it Dark Table-esque, where I have to discreetly examine my food to figure out what I’m putting in my mouth.
Pet Peeve: I hate dark restaurants.
I know I enjoyed the duck entree and the aburi oshi salmon I ordered – but honestly, these two pet peeves are enough to prevent me from returning to Minami to enjoy a second meal.