Ken's visit to Wellington (28th February 2009)

Ken’s back in town for the weekend so I went to pick up my buddy after his salsa workshop around 1pm and spend the rest of the afternoon catching up in between running around town doing errands and chilling out at my flat.

Ramnish had suggested earlier that we head to Southern Cross to see Brazealand prior to dinner with Pip at Calypso Café so around 5pm, Ken and I headed out to Southern Cross to catch up with the others. The band hadn’t started when we got there so we stuck around and had a beer. Had a few dances with Luciano and Ken while I was there, even caught up briefly with a few familiar faces in between dances. Didn’t stick around much for the second half of the gig and left shortly after Ramnish and Nicola turned up.

I so would have liked to see how huge the serving of $15 feijoada they had on the menu tonight but no one in sight ordered the dish. Bummer! I would have loved to have that for dinner, more so with the wet and cold weather outside!! But since Ramnish doesn’t eat much pork and I’ve always been meaning to try Calypso Café, we stuck to the original plan and headed over to meet Pip and friends at 6.30pm.

Oh, there was this really dodgy guy who asked me to dance forro. I had my doubts if he really didn’t know how to dance and asked me to teach him (first, forro is an easy dance and second, I think he’s Latino so it was quite unlikely he couldn’t dance forro), only to find him dipping me on the floor by pressing his hand on my chest (or breast, rather) for the dip, then asking me what I thought of it with a sly smile. Er, I think that’s the end of our little forro lesson and I excused myself and ran off to Ken who could see I needed help. Eeks!

Calypso Café is located at the corner of Vivian and Taranaki Sts and is Wellington’s only Caribbean restaurant. Nice little place that for some bizarre reason played salsa music this evening (we thought it wasn’t very Caribbean). The food was great though we felt the service was rather poor – it took over an hour for our meals to be served (and we all ordered mains)! The front of house person didn’t seem to know what she was doing nor was she saying the right things to us hungry and not-so-happy patrons. Honestly, they should have more front of house staff because the place was nearly packed yet only 1 person was serving. Hmm…At some stage of the wait, Pip and Ramnish got bored and had a salsa dance – ha, free entertainment while we waited!

I had the Calypso Chicken which was chicken on the bone, slow cooked in coconut milk, lime juice and spices, served with rice and veggies. Cost $18 and was very tasty. Ken has the seafood gumbo – I don’t know if I like the gumbo. Kind of reminded me of seafood chowder mixed with thick vegetable soup. Ramnish’s fish dish looked rather interesting and boy, you should see Matt’s (FYI, Matt is Pip’s bf) dish of lamb ribs – it was massive!

My 2 cents? Food is nice and affordable but you need the patience and time if this is the service they plan to keep up. Will have to come back another time to try their tapas and brunch.

After dinner, we split up into smaller groups and headed our various directions and agreed to meet up later at the salsa ball. Ken and I went to catch up with friends Yvonne and Kim for a drink at Hooch and all four of us moved on to St James Theatre for the salsa ball about 10pm. The girls where so funny – they literally manhandled me to St James so I wouldn’t quietly run off home. I wasn’t planning to go to the ball and was still contemplating paying $15 to go but they gave me no choice!

It has been quite a while since the last ball was held at St James – the last few balls were held at Loaded Hog. I prefer having it at St James only because it was a convenient inner city location and we could go to a bar or club after the event. Caught up with lots of friends and had quite a few dances. There were several visiting salsa dancers tonight from Auckland (besides Ken) and Whanganui – awesome! I had a lot of fun dancing with Aucklander Alvin, even though he was a LA style dancer (dancing LA style just meant I had to concentrate more because I’m not very good at keeping to the line which is what LA style is mainly about). Also dance with Mohe for the very first time – the Cubans have their own style of dancing! Damien also popped by and we made up for all the dances we didn’t get to dance at the Cuba St Carnival haha…

You wouldn't believe this but the dodgy guy I met earlier also turned up at the ball!!! He pulled the same trick on Stacey, asking her to teach him how to dance. Scott and I were standing at a corner near the fan to take a break in between dances. Told Scott about my earlier incident and we were more than ready to run to Stacey's rescue if we see her flinch. Then again, I could so see Stacey kick the guy in between the legs if he tried anything (oh yeah, you don't want to mess with Stacey...). It was rather amusing to hear her tell both me and Scott after her dance that she thought the guy was dodgy. Definitely!

Photos taken at the today:


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