As a foodie and avid cook (coulda, woulda, shoulda been a chef) when I dine out I want to achieve two simple things: the enjoyment that being in the company of others brings, and, a dining experience.

It really doesn’t matter where I’m eating, so long as ingredients are in season, well prepped and superbly cooked. What does matter though is whether the experience represents good value for money.

Locals won’t want to hear it, but most Brisbane eateries are way out of their league when it comes to front-of-house service standards and the quality of the food coming out of their kitchens.

While there are plenty of fantastic entry level establishments (that don’t have pretensions of being anything but) and a handful of excellent fine dining rooms, the ‘mid-tier’ is a complete and utter void.

In my experience Brisbane’s dining scene is littered with semi-pro restaurants charging over the odds for half decent food and lousy service. Until we as customers demand more from our eateries nothing will change!

So to the team at Tomatos in Rosalie, who served up bearded muscles in a way too salty broth this weekend, it’s not good enough. Ditto to the lads at Oyama who recently presented seriously uninspiring sashimi.

When I’m paying the kind of cash these restaurants and others like them are asking, restaurateurs need to step up to the plate before I’ll fall in love with their restaurant and pay a mid-week visit. And we all know it’s the mid-week customer that matters.