Saturday, April 14, 2007

A Step Back in Time

Tanglin Club - bastion of old money and colonial privilege, where the list of past presidents reads like a Who's Who of Malayan history (anyone remember J.W.W. Birch of bathtime stabbing fame?). How on earth did riff-raff like us end up at such a notoriously exclusive club for dinner? Believe it or not, we had our parsimonious friend, KKN, to thank. KKN who comes from a respected and respectable family (we're not sure what happened to her...) is a member of the club. Of course we were there to "make use" of a $50 discount voucher she had managed to get her hands on...

strangely teutonic (sorry, Churchill, old man...)

It was obvious from the first moment we stepped into the Churchill Room, Tanglin Club's fine dining restaurant, that we were somewhat underdressed. We were in fact in officewear, but the other guests were in evening wear. One look at the menu though and we were put at ease. Prices were quite reasonable, for fine dining, that is. Entrees were from SGD$22 to $36; only the wagyu beef was priced higher.

bread basket

We nibbled on the bread while dithering over the menu. Of the lot, the appetizers looked the most exciting. Some of our choices included:

duck salad with camembert cheese and cranberry sauce

lobster bisque

crisp foie gras on a bed of roast potato slices and balsamic vinegar sauce

There was also an hor d'ouvres bar which one could opt for, instead of ordering ala carte.

sashimi and salad, from the hor d'ouevres bar

The appetizers were all impressive. HM particularly liked the camembert cheese in her duck salad, and the foie gras was pure melt-in-the-mouth goodness. Another of our dining companions, SGN, declared the lobster bisque the best he's ever had.

Then came the entrees. In addition to steak flambe, buttered monkfish and vegetarian lasagna, we also had:

lobster and scallops on the half shell with basil and garlic

veal tenderloin and lobster tail with grilled vegetables

No one had any complaints about their food, although the grilled vegetables were wasted on the non-vegetable eaters in our group. I certainly enjoyed the veal which was really tender.

We had just enough room left for dessert, so we ordered one each.

my crepes suzette with macadamia brittle and vanilla ice cream

HM's warm lava chocolate cake with homemade ice cream

SGN's creme brulee

ES' walnut crusted brie with truffles

and KKN's apple pie ala mode

The desserts were a fitting end to a luxurious meal. Sated, we sat back to enjoy our coffee and chocolates. Things looked like they were going to draw to a close; most of our fellow diners had left. Little did we know that the proceedings that had been, up to that point, staid were about to take a turn.

after-dinner choccies

Suddenly, a crowd of distinguished-looking uncles and aunties, dressed to the nines, descended on the restaurant and swooped onto the dance floor. The pianist who had been tickling the ivories gave way to a (possibly Filipino) band. The latter promptly swung into a mixture of sentimental favourites and golden oldies. Think bar mitzvah band. The couples rumba-ed, tango-ed,waltzed and rocked, and rolled enthusiastically, to an eclectic mix of Johnny Be Good, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Tennessee Waltz and even The Moon Represents My Heart. For a moment there, we did worry about the possibility of dance-induced back injury and heart attack, but we figured there was most likely a doctor or two in the house, maybe even an orthopaedic surgeon or cardiologist, so we sat back and admired them for their ability to be light on their On Pedder-clad feet. And the music was sing-along-able. Poor SGN though, the youngest in the group, was mercilessly ribbed for attributing the Bee Gees' "Smile" to Westlife (sure, Westlife covered it, but that's so after the fact. Tsk, young people these days...) It was all hugely entertaining.

When we finally left, I couldn't help but note with irony that a motley assortment of senior citizens doing the Conga to La Cucaracha in a retirement home would have been pathetic but, here, in the lap of luxury, it was a celebration of life. Such is the power of money.

(HM, KKN, ES, and SGN: you may want to check these out.)



Anonymous ES said...

Most I've had in a while in the least expected place. Thanks KKN!

2:05 pm  
Blogger HM said...

Thank you, KKN for the most wonderful meal yesterday!!

3:27 pm  
Anonymous KNN said...

What's SGN? Soon Guay's Nwet?
And ES? everybody's saviour?

9:36 pm  
Anonymous es said...

Hey KKN, why are you calling yourself KNN!? Hmm...

9:53 pm  
Anonymous SGN said...

KNN, soon guay's nemesis

5:12 pm  

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