Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Part 2 of a very British lunch cooked by Derek Quelch at the Dusit Thani Manila

Yesterday, in Manila living a Travelife, the Travel Companion took me to lunch at Tosca at the Dusit Thani Manila, for the British food promotion of the Dusit, with celebrity British Chef Derek Quelch.

It was very nice of him to do so, as I really wanted to have that sticky toffee pudding from Tuesday's lunch all over again.

This was sticky toffee pudding #1

I'd had lunch with Dusit GM Alex Willats and his wife Claire on Tuesday, you see, and the food had been really good.

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Then just I finished lunch on Tuesday, I found a BBM from the Travel Companion on my phone.

We started talking and I eventually sweet-talked him into taking me to Tosca again. That was yesterday.

We met at Tosca at 12:15 pm and it was a nice afternoon of reminiscing about things British.


He's great company on a never-ending Travelife.

And yesterday, he was the perfect companion for lunch, as well, as we both like sticky toffee pudding very much.

In fact, we'd shared two pretty nice sticky toffee pudding for two lunches in Cape Town on our first trip to Africa.

This was our sticky toffee pudding in Cape Town in 2012...

This had been a really nice trip, and it was the first time in Africa for both of us.

And then we'd done Tanzania last year, for three safaris and a couple of days on the island of Zanzibar and then Dar es Salaam.

No sticky toffee pudding here, but it was lots of fun anyway.

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I actually only remembered one sticky toffee pudding lunch in South Africa, which was at a steak restaurant in the V&A of Cape Town, after we'd visited Robben Island.

But yesterday he reminded me that we'd also had sticky toffee pudding at Reuben's, at the One & Only Cape Town, and that it had been very good.

Reuben's at the One & Only Cape Town


Both of us know quite a lot about Britain and British food, but he knows way more than me.

In fact, yesterday he impressed me with his stock knowledge about everything from sticky toffee pudding to The Goring Hotel, which is where Chef Derek Quelch used to work.

We'd been talking about glamorous train rides since I'm about to go on one next week. Then I just happened to say: "It's not like some other fancy trains that are so beautiful, but they're not ensuite."

Then he said: "Speaking of ensuite: Wasn't The Goring Hotel the very first hotel in London to offer ensuite accommodations?"

How would I know? This was over a hundred years ago.

But, guess what? It turned out that he was right.

We asked Derek Quelch about this when he came around to our table, and he confirmed that The Goring Hotel was indeed the first hotel in London with ensuite facilities.

You should've seen the usual I-told-you-so look the Travel Companion just loves giving me, at times like this.


Interestingly, we always end up having exactly the same thing when we eat at restaurants.

He's probably copying me, of course.

But today, we began with a very nice salad, and then we both had a mushroom pie for the main course.

For dessert, of course we both had the sticky toffee pudding.

We usually share a dessert, but this was one time I told him: "I'm not sharing with you. Get your own, please."


In terms of calories, I was quite naughty as well.

I ordered an extra main course of pork belly, although I put it in between us and cut it exactly in half, so that we would both get a portion.

Then I also ordered ice cream with my sticky toffee pudding -- just because life is short and it's so nice to have a sticky toffee pudding with ice cream at the end of a pretty nice lunch.

Then it was time to get back to work.

Our phones had been pinge-ing all through lunch and we're both going away on trips -- and there was just so much to be done on this very busy afternoon, just before Travelife Magazine's Rockwell Travel Fair, in my never-endingly eventful Travelife.

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