Friday, January 19, 2007

to eat or not to eat..

I attended a talk show before with a topic on food, held by one of the prominent female magazine. In truth, I got this invitation byway of my boss; she couldn't go and pass the invite to me, hence I went. Being kiasu, I looked at the invite, sponsored by planitum membership of a certain bank, and imagined a complete gastronomical experience of a 7 course dinner!

As I arrive at the venue; a prominant 5 star hotel in jakarta; I feel like an impostor already, but my stomach was encouraging me to "Go for it, girl! there might be lobster bisque, followed by a rack of spring lamb and tiramisu behind those doors!" said my stomach (the glutton!)

After a 15 minutes cocktail, streched to 25, we are finally being invited to go into the dining hall where 10 tables lovely covered with crisp white cloths and modest decorations are set around a rectangular platform where our host seated, and the event began.
45 minutes later I can feel my stomach began complaining and my nose sniffing the air like a hound on a hunt. Its almost 7 pm!
At length, the plates are being brought out, and placed in front of us.

No lobster bisque. Instead what limply lay in the middle of the plate are 3 (three!!) steamed fish fingers with their customary spicy nut dip. In Indonesian terms "otak-otak"!, which I usually purchased at mobile road side vendors on a bicycle at less than $1, but offcourse of better quality.
By that time, my stomach couldn't complain anymore, its food. So,with gusto, I attacked the otak-otak, cutting each into 5 sections and proceeded to clean my plate in less than 10 minutes,...well 8.

The lady next to me however, which I presumed filling in no one's position but herself, daintily cut each of the fish fingers into 12 itty bitty portions and consume them with the utmost politeness for the next ,oh, 20 minutes or so.
I was embarrased -at being seen as a hungry kid from the alley- ,amazed and amused as I learn her finishing school technique of cutting and eating what most people would pick up with their fingers!
Definitely not nicking someone's invitation to get in.

The rest of the dinner goes well after that initial hungry pangs, and belatedly my brain register the topic; "How to serve Indonesian food in a fine dining theme".
Well, that certainly explains the missing bisque! (or the lamb)

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