It was supposed to be my "birthday dinner", with just the parental units and me. Then we added Foodie Wannabe to make it a foursome, which was fine with me as I relished the opportunity to teach him a thing or two and broaden his perspective. Finally, I got a call as I rode the bus to dinner, informing me of the addition of another person. My systolic blood pressure probably went above 180 during the split second that the news registered in my brain, and stayed that way for a while.
A few people close to me know that, just like them, I'm picky about who I eat with. For casual meals I'm not really going to mind, but if it's supposed to be a "gourmet" dining experience, I prefer to eat with foodie friends who know and can talk food. I don't want to eat with people who can't appreciate what they're eating, as it detracts from my own enjoyment. Yes, I'm snobbish like that. I'm willing to shell out big bucks for a good meal, and I want my money's worth.
So imagine how pissed I was upon being told that my birthday dinner, at a restaurant I had never visited but has been wanting to try out, would have the company of someone who has no appreciation of fine cuisine, has practically zero table manners, and who would on any given day rather spend 1/20th of the money to eat at one of Taipei's many night markets. Why the fuck do I have to spend 3 hours eating with HIM?
The amuse bouche arrived, and the freaking kid immediately started to talk about how he was still going to be hungry after this meal, and that he would have to hit the night market to fill up his stomach. I wanted to yell at him to get the fuck out of the restaurant, but I couldn't. The parental units - who were responsible for this situation - were there; and he was, after all, family. So I bit my tongue as my blood pressure rose again.
This is where my meal went wrong and my blood started boiling again. We had been informed that while there was only one set menu, we were able to opt for a cheaper version by removing a few of the dishes. As mom never goes for a lot of food, she had mentioned that she was happy to go with a smaller set. As I was still fuming, apparently I had missed the conversation between her and the captain, informing him that we were all going for the smaller set. I had assumed that she was only talking about herself, while the rest of us boys would take the full set. So I was a little shocked to see the next dish show up, when I was expecting something else between this and the last course...
Was I over-reacting? Perhaps. But I was already pissed and resented the situation, and the last thing I needed was for something else to rub me the wrong way.
what I had at Narisawa... Anyway... very delish. Mom and dad sent theirs back to the kitchen.
I sat through most of the dinner silent, anti-social and looking like I wanted to kill... but I did warm up a little towards the end. This was the worst birthday dinner I've gone through in many, many years - although it had nothing to do with the quality of the food. I really hope I never have to go through this again.