Birthday extravaganza

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Birthdays are one of those events when my Filipino and Aussie natures clash. An average party, by Filo standards, has an invitation list of no les than 80 people, which is about the size of a wedding reception by Aussie standards. The only way we'd be able to afford a party for 80 people would be to have it at our little apartment and do the cooking ourselves.

For my birthday? Cooking and cleaning? Forget it! I decided to forgo the pain of cooking, cleaning and watching people trample all over the carpet and reserved a table at Oscar's for a family lunch. And by that I mean 20 of my extended relatives - that's our standard minimum for any family gathering.

We practically had the entire place to ourselves and the manager served out table personally. Twelve of us ordered baby back ribs and when they came out, everyone's eyes bulged at the size of those suckers. I think we must have eaten an entire family of pigs just in those two hours. I wish I'd remembered to take a picture. Actually, I did remember but by that time, my hands were drenched in sauce and there was no way I could get to the camera.

The following weekend, I organised dinner with friends, KKB (kanya-kanyang bayad, also known as Dutch treat). A dozen people turned up to Talentino Restaurant - I'd been wanting to try the food out for ages but especially since I tasted their creamy mushrooms. At first, I was afraid the restaurant would be much too intimate and, well, quiet for our particular group but as the evening wore on, alcohol flowed, people arrived (my friends were totally used to Filo time and weren't fazed at all) and general merriment all served to raise the conversation hum to a comfortable level.

The food was great! The Pão Ipanema, much like bruschetta but with fetta, was just delicious and the sangria was so sweet, it flowed rather quickly (and with this crowd, that's saying quite a bit). Rob had a Portuguese steak, which came with a fried egg on top, which he reckoned it tasted like a Filo steak. I thought it was much like a tapsilog without the sinangag. I had the Espetada, which as the name suggests comprised of meat on a sword-like skewer was suspended with a metal brace that was clamped onto our table. My dish was supposed to be good for two but I managed to eat all but two and a half pieces. It's my birthday and I'll gorge if I want to...

Mum made me a mocha cake, by request, so we had that for dessert. The cake was so tall, I had trouble serving it onto the dessert plates. Mum's pralines were excellent and people kept asking me how to make them. Ummm, well, you do...something.....spread it on non-stick paper and then break it apart. As far as I know, "Mum makes it" is the way it's made.

There are quite a few June babies in my extended family so the weekend was filled with FOOD. I've been having my fill of Filo food while I can. I scored some sapin-sapin, which ate for breakfast the next day, along with some of my leftover cake.

For breakfast? I hear you ask in horror. Because I had to get rid of all the leftover desserts in the fridge. Because there was a tub of Homer Hudson Beyond Fudge Brownies ice cream in the freezer with my name on it.

After all, it's my birthday and no party is complete without cake and ice cream.

Oscar's Bar & Restaurant
84 Union St, Pyrmont
02 9660 5933

Talentino Restaurant
9 Union St, Pyrmont
02 9518 8000

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