The good thing about being part of a large company is that you usually get more than one Christmas party. There usually is a company-level party, sometimes there is another for the department level, then there is the project level party that is mandatory to hold. Sometimes members of the various teams conduct an unofficial celebration.

On December 12, the onsite TopD team had a project celebration as it’s monthly social event (aka team building). The party was held at a Thai restaurant named Kinkin. The celebration coincides with the Client’s own Christmas celebration so we were able to go home early (if you can say that 6PM is still early).

After arriving in the place, the seating arrangement was already decided by the social committee. They distributed the pinoys to 2-3 per table, I guess in line with the maximize the networking possibility. They know that Filipinos have a tendency to clump together. πŸ™‚

I was seated in the farthermost table with Harold and Penpen. Harold had to leave for a while due to a prior church engagement but he was able to come back after 30 minutes. We barely finished the first course when arrived so he didn’t miss much. He started the ball rolling in heckling Nana though, which lasted through the night. πŸ˜€

The food was very, uhhmm, presentable. Fine dining is intended for human interaction with food and wine as highlights. Unfortunately I have a very healthy appetite so I was skeptical on how my tummy will fare during the dinner. I think Girlie and Francis will skin me alive if I didn’t come so that also contributes a lot in the decision to go. One thing that is not lacking in the menu was the wine. Each course have its own accompanying wine but I can’t remember which ones were which since I know next to nothing when it comes to wines. All I know is that some of are really fancy sounding, and one even came in an artistic vessel:

The menu we had was composed of the following (as I remember them):

For appetizers (aside from the assorted finger foods we found in the table that we had fun in christening weird names to Nana’s discomfort) we had fish balls, pork strips in skewers (barbecue?) and spring rolls dipped in spicy sauce.

Then came the soup which is clear soup stock with basil and other herbs that I didn’t catch. The servers gave us some chili oil to spice things up. Maybe it is because the stock, while aromatic, basically tastes like weakly flavoured water?

Next came the first course which was served in a classic Danish-designed plate. The course was composed of chicken and seafood in green curry with fried beets on the side. The course was served with some scallops lightly seasoned with herbs, and some fried orchids.

I was so hungry that I finished the plate first in our table. The orchid was alright although the small serving is not enough to allow me to really give a good judgment of how it tastes like. It helps in keeping my grumbling stomach at bay and that is enough for me. I think I am so hungry that I am seeing red when the meal comes with green curry. Checking the pictures restored some sanity as the curry is indeed red in color. Note to self, if I get hungry again I only need to pick some grass and put some herbs and vinaigrette on it. πŸ˜›

After that course came something more substantial: braised pork on top of some swirls of fresh pumpkin brulee. It was accompanied with what is described as “pad thai that is missing the main ingredient which is the noodles.” Hmmn, this itself warrants a comment that I learned was the same across all tables. If a dish is missing its main ingredient, does it still have enough credibility to be called as the original dish?

Nice dish but this is also a runner-up for the Nicolas Cage movie: Gone in 60 seconds. πŸ™‚

Next came the piece d’ resistance of the whole dinner: duck on duck. The main dish is a lightly prepared duck in red curry served with fresh broccoli and jasmine rice. The dish is complimented by a spring-roll composed of a filling of duck leg marinated and spiced then left to ferment for four days, then enclosed in a freshly made rice wrapper. Yummy although the serving size still leaves something to be desired. Nana didn’t even touch her plate but I was beaten to the punch in asking to finish her plate. 😐

The dessert actually came in waves. The first wave was a mango sorbet accented with a peach/passion jelly. This came with a “dessert wine” which I find very sour but the rest of the gang said that the wine was too sweet. I think I may have picked up the wrong glass. πŸ˜€

After finishing the mango sorbet we were given some mint breath freshener which I thought ended the dinner but then they served us some baked coconut meat with salted ice cream. The last time I tasted salted ice cream was when the salt in the ice surrounding the sorbetes (or dirty ice cream in street parlance) gets accidentally sprinkled inside the container. The taste was uhm, interesting unfortunately I didn’t get the chance to take a snapshot.

During meal intervals the party committee had some intermission numbers consisting mainly of each table doing an interpretative rendition of some Christmas songs. Our table did the Rudolph the red-nosed reindeer song and we expected to land at the last place since we had a terrible presentation. It came out that having one of the judges hatching the idea (and probably going in last which means the judges have the most alcohol during our presentation) is enough to make us win the contest. I think another factor was that we have Harold in the team, and Harold effortlessly brings cheers and happy thoughts just by being Harold. Amazing!

The best surprise of all was when we opened the give-away. Harold was quipping that it is an iPod and we were surprised when it was indeed an iPod shuffle meant for everybody. Coolness factor x 10. πŸ˜€

The party ended at around 12am and we were at the apartment at around 1am. I was already bone-tired but I was hungry so I ended up munching some crackers while being half-asleep. Social dinners are fine but I don’t think I will really enjoy one unless the multi-course menu have super sized portions. πŸ˜€

Pictures of the event can be viewed here, hosted by Picasa of course. πŸ™‚