Friday, Jul 06th, 2012
Last year when I was randomly searching for information so I can design and bake a collection of spice route inspired cookies (just a random food-related business idea), I came across a group called Once Upon a Table, it’s a private supper club in Hong Kong that hosts themed dinners at a different home every time. To welcome the year of the Dragon, their first event of the year is named after Bruce Lee’s famous movie, “Enter the Dragon”. The invitation of the dinner couldn’t have come at a better time as I did have a dragon sneaking into my life at the time.
To top of it off, he was actually born in the year of the Dragon and a big fan of Bruce Lee’s movie. So, it was a great start for a secret date with me “dragoned out” with a Dragon date enjoying Dragon inspired food/drinks, decor and everything in between. This “dragon-coordination” thing was very random and it wouldn’t have happened if I actually tried to plan this all with timing, location and character wise.
It was one of those foggy spring nights in Hong Kong where it was rainy in the city and the road leading to our secret private supper club location was barely visible with the taxi driver driving at about 30 km/hr and the fog so thick that we could barely see 1 meter in front of us. I assured him that we are indeed attending a dinner at a secret location and not on our way to visit some sort of secret cult where I am offering him up for human sacrifice.
The journey to this private supper club dinner was an adventure on its own but when the “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” dish came with an amazingly tasting pickled lamb curry and a chicken with rice, I looked over and he said it tasted exactly like his dad’s lamb curry. How all this happened I have no idea, but all I can say that one of the organizer was born very close to his family home in India and somehow this recipe have circulated half way around the world and now in front of us. I love surprises but coincidences are even cooler because it’s not planned it just happens!
I am a big people watcher when I am eating at a dinner table, especially observing how others eat so one of the highlight points was when “Puff the Magic Dragon’s Egg” dessert got served. It was magical because everyone looked like a little kid as one of the organizers went around the room pouring spoonfuls of chocolate sauce on huge frozen chocolate eggs (the size of a ostrich’s egg). Guests were the chocolate eggs with the home-made/hand-churned mint ice cream with popping candy while smiling as it frizzed and popped away in people’s mouth. They were trying to not look overly excited about the sensory overload and trying not to be too greedy about getting more chocolate sauce but when prompted a second time said yes and you can secretly hear their taste buds saying “score!”. I can tell you the moaning sounds in that room was at all times high that night.
I might not have started off the year of the Dragon feeling the greatest but since this ceremonial “Enter the Dragon”, things have gotten a lot more smoother and serene even at the worse of times. Let’s just say that those Chinese horoscope readings do know what they are talking about when they say rats and dragons are compatible, okay well…what I really mean is that they both like to eat sea urchin or at least one of them tries to eat it to impress the other.