Why was I in a hurry? I have a dinner appointment this evening with 3 friends and I could not work late today.
Finally, my colleague replied my electronic mail to say that his visitor has (finally!) left his room. I quickly went to see my colleague. However, discussions regarding work progressed to jokes about the idiosyncrasies of the human nature. Another colleague came by and joined in the discussion.
I glanced at my watch. Gasp! It was 7 pm already. I quickly left the office.
My friends and I had earlier arranged to have a-la carte buffet dinner at Dragon Gate restaurant at HarbourFront. When we arrived at the restaurant, it was almost 8 pm. Although it was right in the middle of dinner-time, the restaurant was not crowded. I guess the quiet market has affected all areas of retail and service line, including the food and beverage sector.
As the order form was in Chinese (which, as you know, I can barely read), I left it to 2 friends to place the order while the 3rd friend excused herself to go to the Little Ladies' Room. When she got back, the order was handed to the waitress. The look on her face was comical. She stared at the order form and then looked at the 4 of us. I could have sworn that she paled a little. I wondered what was going on.
The waitress gingerly mentioned that she will split our order into 2 parts and order the 1st part first. Our table was rather small so we thought that she had a good suggestion, else the dishes would not fit the table.
When the food started arriving, I was stunned. Why were there so many dishes and why were the portions so large? My friend looked puzzled and she said that she ordered all the dishes in small portions.
As there was a warning about being charged for wastage of food, we started eating. My, the food is delicious. As the conversations were free-flowing with a lot of jokes and gossip thrown in, we did not realise that we had consumed all the dishes in that batch. I am serious - the plates were so clean that the dishwasher probably needed to just wipe them before storing them in the cabinet. haha!
When the dishes were cleared, my friend suddenly remembered that the chilli crabs had not yet arrived. I looked at her in horror. I asked her, "You mean to say that what we just had was only the 1st batch of food?" We signalled the manager and checked with him. He confirmed that the 2nd batch of food was being cooked.
While waiting for the 2nd batch of food, I counted the total number of dishes that were ordered. You will not believe this! My dear friends had ordered 22 dishes plus 1 dessert each! Goodness me! I think the waiters and waitresses there were probably shocked at the number of dishes that we ordered.
When the 2nd batch of food arrived, we stared at the dishes and started laughing. There were 3 types of crab and 2 types of sea cucumber dishes, amongst others.
We struggled to eat the dishes. There was a fair bit of ribbing and pushing of food to one another. My friend asked the manager whether he could pack the food for us to takeaway. He started laughing. Initially, the manager was quite a serious guy but after constant teasing from the ladies at my table, he started teasing us back! It was quite hilarious.
Finally, the dessert arrived. Two of us ordered the hot red bean paste with lotus seed whereas the other two ordered the cold sago with coconut milk and mixed fruits.
Once in a while, my family would eat the dim sum buffet on sundays at Dragon Gate restaurant. I will recommend to my family to try the a-la carte buffet dinner at Dragon Gate restaurant as well.
post-script: No more buffets for some time, please! I need to burn off the excess food from tonight. Goodness me! I just remembered that my brother's birthday falls on 21 September 2008. My family has a tradition of celebrating birthdays by eating buffets. This year, my brother has requested for a change and he wants to eat brunch at Red Star restaurant. For the uninitiated, Red Star restaurant along Chin Swee Road sells dim sum. The waitresses will push trolleys containing dim sum for you to select. This is not a buffet but you know what they say about push-trolley-dim-sum. One can get carried away placing orders. The end result is the same. Over-eating! Now, perhaps I can find a way to cut down on my meals for the next one and a half weeks...... Liposuction, anyone?