Hew's birthday dinner & Lost:Shades at Happy Bar (15th February 2009)

Hew invited a bunch of friends over to Osteria del Toro for dinner tonight for her early birthday celebrations (her actual birthday is on the 17th). It was also the last time most of us will see her, Jonathan and Edmund before they embark on a 6-week trip to Australia and South East Asia. You guys will have an awesome time!

I’ve been meaning to check out Osteria del Toro since they begun renovations across the street from my workplace. Very beautifully and elegantly decorated, it is a Mediterranean restaurant and serves an assortment of food from tapas to pizzas, pasta to tagine dishes (food cooked in a large cone-shaped like cover, typical of Moroccan cuisine). And it is also the only place I know of in town that serves sangria!

I guess the interior of the place built up my expectation that the food too would be exceptional but I was rather disappointed at the sangria and paella I had. The sangria was not properly made i.e. the cut fruit was not soaked in the red wine long enough thus no fruity flavour to the sangria. The paella, which was enough to feed 2 (I shared it with Hew’s friend, Linda), would have been nice minus the extra dollop of salt in it. I was waiting to see if Linda had anything to say about our dinner but she was quiet so I thought it was to her liking only to find out after we’ve had half the paella that she too couldn’t stop drinking the jug of water to rid the saltiness! Another friend of Hew’s had a tagine dish which was tasteless. Hmm, perhaps the chef put the salt in the wrong places…Jane insisted we brought it up with the waitress serving us and to appease us, the restaurant offered us (me and Linda) free dessert. Nice try but I had to go shortly to a play with Damien so told Linda to get my share’s worth for herself. Thankfully the meals of the others were alright and I tried Hew’s lamb tagine which was really nice. Guess I will need to come back another time and give them a 2nd chance when I have more time.

Sorry guys but I have to run! Catch up with you all again soon and safe travels Hew, Jonathan and Ed!!

Left the dinner group about 8.45pm to meet Damien at Happy Bar for another Fringe Festival event, this time a play titled LOST: Shades. Cost us $15 each and upon entry, it was as if we disappeared into some la-la land. We were greeted by 3 masked women wearing a mask of a crow and actually ‘crowing’ whatever they were mumbling at us, looking at us oddly, making us (or rather me) felt I’m ET or something. We were ushered to the empty seats set up – the chairs were of all random shape and heights! The stage was covered with unused envelopes and there was a live 2-3 piece band playing music that was so out of tune in the background. All in all a rather strange yet interesting atmosphere.

Haha, I could see Damien raising one of his brows at my response to the question one of the ‘crows’ asked me. I was asked if I lost something and I thought, well, why not give them one they can’t answer, and said “lost love”. It’s a tough one to solve and I doubt they could solve it for me tonight ;P

Plenty of audience participation in the 50-minute long play – we had to go outside and stand around the open air car park next to Latinos Bar, turn our chairs around several times to face the stage or the bar where the performers did their acts, even walking to the back of the storage area and sat along the stairwell to watch the remaining of the play.

What was the play all about? Honestly, I don’t know. It was rather random – it had the crows, a woman who kept typing letters and leaving voicemails to her friend who wouldn’t return her calls, another woman who kept reading these letters from some far away land, and many other acts which I do not get what was the meaning behind it all, except that I was completely lost. Hmm, perhaps that was EXACTLY the meaning of the play, to makes us all walk out of the bar absolutely bewildered. Still, I had fun and thought it was rather amusing. Thanks for asking me to come along, D!


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