Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A wonderful sayonara dinner at the private dining room of the Dusit Club of the Dusit Thani Manila

Last night, in Manila living a Travelife, I attended my nth sayonara dinner in the past two months.

So many friends are leaving so I've either been attending a sayonara dinner or hosting one almost every single night that I've been around, since May.

This time, it was for a dear couple from Australia who are leaving Manila shortly to take up a very important diplomatic posting somewhere else in the world.

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The dinner was hosted by my good friend Cecile at the private dining room of the brand-new Dusit Club at the very top floor of the Dusit Thani Manila.

This private dining room, done ever so stylishly in black and white, is excellent for entertaining.

Dusit GM Alex Willat had first mentioned it over lunch a few months ago, when it was still under construction. However, I'd not gotten around to seeing it first-hand until last night, because of my never-ending Travelife.

I have to say that the Dusit Club really exceeded my expectations last night.

Meanwhile, Cecile, who never fails to charm everyone she meets, planned everything for the night perfectly, down to the last minute details. It was truly a Travelife sort of night...

It was a very intimate dinner, but champagne, plus very nice bottles of sauvignon blanc and pinot noir, were flowing freely the whole night.

We even had a mezzo-soprano for live entertainment, who sang opera favorites ever so beautifully.


Dusit executive chef Christian Werdenberg last night

The five-course meal was planned and cooked by Christian Werdenberg, Dusit Thani Manila's executive chef himself.

It was delicious, as well as very interesting in terms of flavors and pairings.

Seared duck liver 
with lentil salad and mesclun leaves

Brie cheese and champagne soup 
with grapes and walnuts

Calamansi sorbet with mango espuma

Main course
Slow roasted fillet of beef with fondant potatoes

Roasted pineapple with yoghurt ice cream

I have to say that I finished every single thing on my plate, for all those five courses.

The beef fillet was excellent, and the brie in a soup that was neither creamy nor heavy was just superb. I'd never had brie in a soup before.

Every single senior executive of the hotel was around, as well, to ensure that the dinner went exactly as planned.


And when it rained, Cecile even had umbrellas ready as take-home gifts, all nicely wrapped and ribboned.

Each of us received an umbrella with a unique saying about a smile attached -- sort of like a fortune cookie, since the umbrellas were handed to us randomly.

We all looked at our "smile fortunes" excitedly. Mine said something about a warm smile melting the hearts of everyone around me.

It was very sweet. And when I read my "smile fortune" out to Cecile across the table, she smiled knowingly at me as if she knew something I didn't.


That's one of the two guest of honors in the middle.
He's off to an ambassadorial posting somewhere in this world.

The company was great tonight, and we all took turns telling amazing stories about Travel and Life, in that truly beautiful Dusit Club.

As I'd just returned from Sri Lanka over the weekend, I had lots of stories to tell -- including how I was the only guest for two days in one of Sri Lanka's most beautiful hotels.

When we weren't telling stories, we were exchanging jokes.


And my friend D recalled a classic European joke that had us all in giggles.

She said: "In a perfect world, the chefs would be French, the mechanics German, and the lovers would be Italian. And everything would be organized by the Swiss."

Then she continued: "In a slightly less than perfect world, the chefs would be German, the mechanics French, and the lovers would be Swiss. And everything would be organized by the Italians."  

Or something like that. Anyway, we all laughed.


Everytime something really funny or memorable came up, one of us would say "That's so bloggable" -- meaning what great content that would have made for the Travelife blog.

Of course, only things for public consumption ever make it to this blog.

So about 90% of the time someone said "That's so bloggable" last night, we knew that in reality, it was never making it to the public side of this never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.

But even the 10% that does make it here is providing enough content anyway, for a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife blog.


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