A few old school mates and I were looking for a place to eat. Our first and second choices were jam packed at lunch hour, so we entered a posh-looking empty restaurant nearby, named after a French general, no less.

Can you see where the iPads are tucked in?

The decor was pretty impressive. Dim lighting, wooden panels at the bar, wall to ceiling units stocked full of wine and spirits.

Two things stood out – they take their wine pretty seriously, and they wanted ordering to be pretty high-tech.

A friend whose husband is quite into wine, looked at the list and said they stocked good stuff. At reasonable prices. So she bought a bottle to bring home when the waiter informed us that bottle purchases by dining customers would receive a 30% discount.

There were iPad minis slotted between the row of seats along the wall, one for every guest, to function as a menu and order form. Touch on your choices and voila, orders go to the kitchen.

Except that it wasn’t quite seamless. There were at least 2 hiccups with our 4 orders and the maître d had to return the wrong orders and confirm the right ones again. 
Technology certainly has its limits. So all that IT investment didn’t impress us much.

The food that did come correctly eventually was all very good though. Not exactly cheap for a set lunch, but acceptable, given the ambience. 
Was still a good time of catching up – lots of laughter and commiseration. We are at similar life stages, grappling with similar issues. 
There’s something about chatting with friends you’ve known for ages, and kept in touch with through vastly different ‘eras’ of life. It’s interesting how we are pretty much the same at our core, and how that shows through how we approach the present. 
There are things we grouse about, and don’t look forward to (primary school system yuck). But thankfully, nothing too major. Nothing a pretty lemon tart can’t solve. Amazing how much better the world looks after dessert. 

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