The three of us Kainaz, me and C chatted late into the night and well into the new year before we called it a day at 4.30 AM.
Helped on in the way by a some amazing ham and salami from Sante's. Cheese that Spice and More got earlier in the month.
C had wished for sannas the last time we met on Christmas. The folks at Judes heard her. Thy had a bag left when I went. The sannas were really nice especially when reheated with a little bowl of water (so that the moisture is retained apparently) under C's directions.
The Sannas met her approval too.
The pork vindaloo disappointed C a bit as she felt it was a tad under salted. Her diagnosis was that it had been cooked in a hurry. I gave the fiery red curry a miss but had a blob of fat which was divine. And C was right. It tasted much better the next day when we had the leftovers for dinner.
H, our veggie detox friend's mom had sent us a stunning spicy Maharashtrian prawn curry. The sort whose taste stays back well after the dish is over, the sort which makes a person with a sore throat plunge in, cough, and plunge in again... a temptation one can't say no to.
The night was rounded up with eclairs, often recommended by M, and divine chocolate cheesecakes from Sante.
Oh, and did I say that I cracked the bubbly at the stroke of midnight? C was saving it for a special occasion. This was as special as it gets in my books at least.
No. C is not an imaginary friend. She is not the Woody Allen. Nor is she the primate on the TV screen. It's just that she is a bit media shy and isn't in the photo.
The morning after
We woke up bleary eyed a few hours later. Attempts to make tepid coffee and limp toast, fried eggs with left over cheese and cold cuts and it was time to say goodbye to C.
We headed off to Kamling to meet the family. You can make out the difference in energy levels in those who had a hangover and those who didn't in the photo below. Don't miss the happy and smiling portly waiter who took our picture. You can catch his reflection in the mirror. Pity he couldn't hide the effect of a year of great meals on me in the photo.
The food was phenomenal. Our starters of hot and well flavoured crab sweet corn soups and very well balanced pork dumplings signalled a good meal ahead. The dumplings were so tasty, the pork so good, that I didn't need any condiments with them.
The steamed flour coating held the heady filling together without overpowering it. Doing its job like the conductor of an orchestra.
The roast pork with onions was as sublime as it was during our last visit. Those who had it couldn't stop singing hosannas in its honour. The meat was very tender, thinly sliced and the sauce had a very faint sweet aftertaste.
The fried rice was authentic and had broken, podgy rice rather than the long grained ones used in 'Indian' Chinese. And, unlike Indian Chinese, the rice here was well flavoured, didn't need any of the sauces of the table and could be had without a side dish if one wanted to.
We tried Hong Kong prawns which they served without batter on our request. The prawns were very fresh and each bite had a pleasing spring to it. The delicate sauce had a slightly spicy aftertaste to it which helped wake me up.
What a fantastic start to the new decade! As Fergie would have sung, 'this year's gone be a good year'.
(Note: we did order vegetable spring rolls and chilly potato for Mama who is a vegetarian. I have no idea how they were. But those who ate them liked the dishes)