Since my first visit to Togi, I’ve been back a couple of times and it appears that business has been booming for the folks there. On my last visit a few days back, we made the mistake of not making a reservation before dropping by. The place was packed for dinner on a weekday and we had to wait outside together with about half-a-dozen other patrons. Togi has “expanded” its capacity by adding more tables and chairs along the walkway outside its doors. Without a doubt, business is good.
Fortunately, we waited for only about 10 minutes before we got a table. My friend pointed out the framed clippings from the local papers and lifestyle magazines on the wall near our table. Ahh… that explains why Togi’s packed.
In a food-obsessed city as small as ours, a good restaurant is a tough secret to keep. Once featured in the local mass media, it usually gets overwhelmed by the sudden flux of over-eager patrons. Getting a table without a reservation becomes impossible. Service and, too often, food quality takes a beating.
I mourned briefly, knowing that I will be giving Togi a miss for the next couple of months until all the fuss has blown over. Ah well.
Needless to say, I did not enjoy my dinner at Togi’s as much as I usually do. The already tiny place was packed and so noisy that I could barely hear my companions. It took a while before we were served our tea and appetisers. When our orders were served, we had to help ourselves to the hot sauce jar and napkins from another table because they were missing from ours. The familiar lady owner kept her usual smile the whole time we were there, and the wait staff was trying their best to cope with the crowd, but we felt that, perhaps, it was all just a little too much for them.
The bibimbap was still good but I will probably wait a while before coming back.