Tuesday, 20 May 2008

Eating For Disaster Victims

"So part of today's proceeds will go to the disaster victims in Burma and China?" I asked the waitress who gave me the change.

"Not part of," she replied. "All of it."

That caught me off-guard. "All the proceeds?"


Patrick Teoh for Prime Minister.

Then I remembered another thing. "There was a little girl going around collecting donations," I said. "Is she authorised to do that?"

The waitress laughed. "Yes, she's been approved by the management."

It started out rather poorly. I thought I memorised the map well enough, but I ended up loitering around The Atria for half an hour. By the time I reached the venue, I was sick with fatigue and hunger, and really damned thirsty.

Patrick Teoh's Damansara Village was holding a charity-drive for the disaster victims in Burmyan and China (I didn't know how it was done until I picked up the tab). Patrons can satisfy their physical, spiritual and emotional hungers in one sitting.

Amazing, the kind of info you pick up from blog aggregators. Previously, FunnyBunny's panic over a disrupted DiGi line was calmed by news of a nation-wide DiGi outage from Project Petaling Street.

I thought things were starting to look up until I saw the words "Steamboat" and "Pulau Ketam seafood".

Typically, a steamboat dinner revolves around a constantly boiling pot of stock and people throwing raw ingredients into it, preferably seafood and stuff you can quickly boil and eat. Eventually, noodles go into the now flavour-rich stock for a satisfying conclusion to a good meal. Nothing is fried, so it's also healthier.

Let me emphasise: people. Steamboat meals are rarely singleton affairs. My lone presence caught the attention of The Man himself. "You should put it all into the pot," he said, indicating the plate of veggies, quail eggs, assorted fishballs and bean curd products. "You can continue to eat as they cook."

The one thing that grabbed my attention was the single live and twitching prawn; too bad it died before I could cook the sucker. Despite my sorry skills, I didn't manage to make my seafood taste like old tennis shoes. Freshly-dead shellfish are a tad firmer and juicier than those from my old memories. Maybe I should do Pulau Ketam again - and do it right this time.

(I've never had boiled tennis shoes, but it's good to know other palatable substitutes are available if I ever get curious.)

Too bad I couldn't order the seafood. I suck at dissecting crabs, and fish heads can be challenging. And it was just little old me at the table.

However, I would suggest sprucing up the bathrooms, and mosquito repellents. And they should have let KY draw the map.

Looove the d├ęcor.


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