Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Cockroach for dinner

Good evening! I just returned from a nice casual dinner at the Fort with my good friends Jonathan and Beliz. We were supposed to go to Je Suis Gourmand for dinner but JSG had an event tonight so we headed elsewhere in the area to another casual bistro. We three were really looking forward to catching up for a couple of hours of downtime after a hectic and quite stressful week. We actually see each other a whole lot -- almost every other day, in fact -- but oftentimes recently it's been with other people and related to projects and things we are doing together. So it's not that easy to catch up.

But this evening was not about work or projects, but about joking around and telling all kinds of stories. We got together at around 730 pm and enjoyed our meal pretty much until the main course -- a rice dish with chicken in it -- arrived. That was also pretty good until I cut the chicken up and saw something that looked like a really big piece of exotic spice at first glance.

What's that on my plate?

When I looked more closely, I realized it was a flattened baby cockroach sandwiched in between the chicken! Perhaps because I was so tired after a long day, I didn't even scream. Instead I let out something more like a yelp, which made both Jonathan and Beliz look at me.

"What's the matter?" Beliz asked. I was gesturing frantically with my hands but not saying much, but my Blackberry was right next to my plate and I had just put it down after sending out a series of messages, so she actually thought I had received a message and realized I'd double-booked myself. "What's wrong?" She asked again. "Did you have another party to go to tonight?"

I wished it was as pleasant a dilemma as that! "There's a cockroach in my food!" I finally managed to say.

Drinks on the house -- and the cockroach too

Of course the waiters seemed just as surprised as us, and they quickly took the dish away. Later on, the head waiter came over to apologize and to offer us drinks on the house. Of course, the rice dish was also made complimentary and we never saw it again.

"I thought this kind of thing -- where you actually see a cockroach in your food -- only happened in the movies," Beliz marveled.

"Well, now you know it happens in real life as well," I said.

An affordable meal after all

Incidentally, Jonathan and Beliz paid for dinner. When the bill arrived, I reached for my wallet to pay for my share, when Beliz jokingly said: "We can take care of this. With the cockroach, the rice dish and the drinks out of the way, it's actually affordable." We said our goodbyes after that. They went off to a party but I begged off to go home, catch up on emails, do a bit of Facebook and actually get some sleep before midnight. And just before closing my phone for the night, I texted Beliz: "Thanks for the cockroach dinner." Still waiting for her to reply.


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