A series of heartwarming updates posted by a Twitter user have earned over 100,000 ‘likes.’ The coronavirus lockdown means that Twitter user Sumo (@smm0228) isn’t able to eat lunch in the restaurants in his neighbourhood. So he called one of his favourite spots, a local Western-style restaurant, hoping to order a take away.

“Are you planning to do takeout bento box lunches?” he asked.

“I’m afraid not. Warm rice is a lot tastier than cold rice, so we don’t do take-outs,” said the woman at the other end of the line.

‘Ah, so that's why* it's so tasty,’ thought Sumo. "I love your cooking, so when the authorities lift the lockdown, I’ll have to go back," he added [1/7]

* Sumo clarified in comments to our writer: "I meant it was so tasty because they pay a lot of attention to the quality of their cooking."—the editors

He was impressed, so just as he was about to hang up, the woman asked: "Do you think we should do bentos? Wouldn't it taste bad if the rice were cold? If we do, should it be at lunchtime?" To this, Sumo replied: “The rice in the bento lunches I’ve eaten until now might have been cold, but it’s never been hard." [2/7]

There’s a lot of demand for bento lunches. And if self-distancing goes on for a while, there’ll be demand for bentos in the evenings too. If you were to start doing take away bento lunches, I’d definitely buy them.” A few days later, Sumo wrote a letter to the restaurant to tell them how much he’d always liked their delicious food (...) [3/7]

It had often helped him to recharge his batteries after a hard night’s work. At first, Sumo thought of sending it anonymously since he was embarrassed to hand it over. But then it occurred to him that they would only really see how much he appreciated their efforts if they saw his face, so he decided to go there in person [4/7]

When he got to the restaurant (...) he told the woman how grateful he was. “Things are tough at the moment but keep up the good work," he said. The woman seemed surprised but she accepted the letter and said thanks (...) [5/7]

A few days later, he saw a note posted in the front window of the restaurant. ‘We now do takeaway lunches,’ it read. It asked customers to place their orders at least a day in advance. What went into each lunch box would be at the manager’s discretion. When Sumo saw the note in the window, he rushed home to place his order.

As soon as she took Sumo's name and number, the woman in the restaurant realised that he was the customer who’d written the nice letter they’d received (...) [6/7]

“Thank you very much for your wonderful letter,” she told him. “You’re the first person to order a takeaway lunch from us.” (...) [7/7]

When Sumo went to pick up his bento box, the woman at the restaurant handed him his fresh, hot lunch. She also gave him a bouquet of roses. “These are from the owner,” she said. “To say thank you for your letter. You must have made him very happy.”

Sumo (@smm0228)

Sumo was very surprised, not just by the flowers, but by the delicious array of dishes he found in his bento box. Along with his hot rice were a mini hamburger, a chicken cutlet, a piece of fried fish and three side dishes.

It was such a tasty lunch that Sumo decided to write another note to the restaurant.

Sumo (@smm0228)

In a subsequent Tweet, Sumo mentions how impressed he was by the owner's decision and how quickly he started serving bento boxes for lunch.

Sumo’s tweets about the restaurant generated lots of interest from other users. Here are a few comments:

  • ‘I’d like to know where the restaurant is, but I don't want to ask because I don't want it to be overwhelmed with orders. But it sounds like a really nice place.’
  • ‘This story made me cry for the first time in a while. The restaurant manager must have been very happy.’
  • ‘So moving! The moral of the story is: if you don't tell people how you feel, they’ll never know.’

By - George Lloyd.