Saturday, July 22, La Grotta, Makati. Countries represented: Thailand, Russia, the United States (by default), S. Africa, Portugal, and the Philippines. We had expected Argentina to join us, but he was in Iligan.
8 people, 6 countries. Not bad for a simple lunch, organized on the spot. Cam and I had thought of having lunch, then I invited a couple of people, she invited a couple of people and when we gathered, there we were, the world. Sitting in a little bistro off the main business center of Makati. A new guy from Argentina who had been invited to the lunch had to fly to Iligan for a business trip and couldn't make it. We'd have had 5 of the 7 continents represented if he had.
As I was the only one of the group who had had lunch there previously, I felt a bit of responsibility for their gustatory welfare and enjoyment. While most of the dishes were ok, the service that day was below par and we had to suffer through so many reports from the kitchen that this dish was unavailable, or that dish was no longer available. Golly. I did reprimand our server, the brother to the cook. We had made reservations, we got there early, we even ordered early on, yet our food was the last to arrive among the other guests and the irritation of having to re-order. Luckily no one was of the temperament that requires extensive mollifying. However, it was a severe disappointment, the only damper to our appetites.
I'm sure La Grotta has it's good days, and I had a good meal there on an earlier occasion. But it is always such a hit or miss proposition, eating out in this city. And when you have guests, and guests from all over, it would be nice to just enjoy a meal without resorting to bitching or worrying about quality and service.
Of course, in the Cole Porter song I'm taking advantage of, the main character ends up in a far sorrier position. It's all relative.