Monday, November 10, 2014

A tapas and paella dinner at Donosti at the Fort, and Saturday night at one of my favourite restaurants in Manila.





In Manila today, living a Travelife, I had dinner with one of my favourite ambassadors and his wife. This ambassador heads one of the countries most important to the Philippines and the three of us always have a very nice time together.

As long as I'm in Manila, we meet for lunch or dinner at least once every two weeks.

So the last time the three of us had dinner before tonight was at my house, just before I left for Tokyo for two weeks. I prepared all their favourite foods for that dinner.

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A TAPAS PLACE IN THE FORT

Meanwhile, tonight, we ate at Donosti at the Fort.

Donosti has been around for a year, and it's relaxing and casual. The Spanish guy who runs the restaurant was born in Bilbao and then he lived most of the time in Barcelona -- "two places which are not really Spain," he explains.

And, of course, two places known for very good food.



A PERFECT STORM,
CONCERNING MY PHONES

I was slightly late and I had no phones today as my Blackberry conked out and the line of my iPhone died on me -- so I had no way of telling them I would be late.

I didn't even know their mobile numbers as these were on my phones.

The ambassador teased me, about my no-phone situation: "That's probably trying to tell you something. You obviously need to slow down or get away from it all."

Yes, I'm going to be in Morocco pretty soon, and that's a pretty nice and effective way to get away from it all. But not from the shopping, as I've just arranged for a car and driver to take me to some very nice stores I never went to when I was in Morocco last June.



But back to dinner tonight in Donosti.

When I got there, a pitcher of sangria was already waiting -- and although I don't really drink sangria, it sure was nice to have it to start the evening right today.

I'd worked all day at the office and had a nice Japanese lunch with my editorial team nearby. And then I'd rushed home to change for dinner.

TAPAS AND PAELLA FOR DINNER


For dinner at Donosti tonight, we ordered lots of tapas to start, including fried baby squids served with aioli, jamon on crusty bread and Spanish chorizo.

I especially liked the fried baby squids, as this dish really reminds me of Spain.


Then for a main dish, we had a paella and some fresh clams in a parsley sauce.

To end, we had a chocolate fondant and the traditional Spanish almond tart, both with banana ice cream. I ate so much of these that I actually got a sugar rush.



WHERE TO EAT ON SATURDAY NIGHT

And while all this was happening, a couple of friends were on Facebook Messenger so I could see their messages popping up on my non-working iPhone that thankfully still could access free WiFi.

We're trying to decide where to eat on Saturday night, you see, and our first choice was fully booked.



So I typed out a message as quickly as I could: "How about Donosti? I'm here now."

I thought it would be very easy to try and arrange a table for nine people while I was already there.

MY FAVORITE RESTAURANT


But several of my friends on this Facebook message thread had other ideas, and so we're going somewhere else.

But the final suggestion is thankfully one of my favourite restaurants in Manila.

A NICE WAY TO SAY GOODBYE TO MANILA

Yes, it's one of these restaurants always on my shortlist, on the few times I actually have a say on where to eat in Manila.

And I already know in my mind exactly what I want to have.

So it'll be a nice way to end a short stay in Manila before flying off to Morocco, on another wonderful adventure in my never-ending, and never-endingly eventful Travelife.





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