I zip my maroon dress- spoil from the boutique’s discount rack. With an afterthought, I line my sepek-eyes with a touch of pencil eye-liner; and my lips, a splash of lipstick. Our pal considers the place “atas”, so err on the side of caution, or risk looking like the jakuns we are. Make a reservation, he says. So I did.
The nice lady on the line is thorough. Clearly she does this a lot. We will only hold the table for 15 minutes, she informs me.
So we make every effort to arrive at exactly 7pm, our reservation time. A row of classy looking shop lots greet us. Parking is easy- rich people don’t drive?
Christmas music plays in the background of Lucky Bo. I take a moment to admire a Christmas tree and its ornaments.
We are led to a table near the back of the restaurant.
Cutlery is arranged on the table according to, er, sequence of utility?
Raised in a middle-class family that refused to pay 50 sens for pisang goreng, I felt like a deer in a kampung– completely out of place and every bit inadequate.
My insecurities kicks up a rung when a couple of tai-tais make their way to a neighbouring table, shopping bags in the hands of… their driver. I’m considerably perceptive, so a chauffeur of the rich upper-class is discernible.
But, alas, the nice waitress in denim is waiting for our order, so it’s time to sham confidence.
This, this, this, this… We randomly point at items on the menu. Thank God I reserved the Tomahawk steak via phone. “The 1.2-1.3 kg, Marble 3, Tomahawk Steak,” she said.
“Okay,” I replied, as if I consume numerically rated grub everyday. The truth is, only time my meal had a number in it was the McDonald’s 6 chicken nugget set.
They serve us sky juice- “warm, room-temperature, or iced, ma’am?”- for free! On an unrelated note, I once launched a spirited campaign of boycott-eateries-that-charge-for-plain-water.
But that was 21 years old air-conditioned-restaurants-are-a-ruse Chow Ping. Today, I am 27 years old Marble-3-Tomahawk-Steak Chow Ping.
The complimentary bread, drinks, and appetisers came. We chomp them down.
But all that pale in light of the evening’s main star- our medium 1.2-1.3 kg, Marble 3 Tomahawk steak.
The steak is served- sizzling, alluring, and sitting on the serving block like Zeus on his Olympian throne. It might be the trance, but I promise you the air around it fizzled, like the surrounding oxygen is ad hoc to the existence of that slab of royalty.
So we let our Gen-Y instincts take the reigns, and instantly whip out our phones to capture this moment that will survive for lifetimes to come. The waitress waits patiently as we feed our cameras. Later, Broady remarked that the wait staff probably have personal records: longest camera-induced waiting time.
After what she probably deem as ages, we let her slice the steak up into pieces. The smallest, fat laden piece, she takes with her to spin up a plate of scrumptious Char Kuey Teow (of which, I grade 9.99 out of 10!).
But let us not get distracted from the star of the moment. I sliced my steak- fork in my right hand, knife in the left, because, who cares?
I bite. I wait. I taste. I sigh.
Savoury juice fills my mouth, indulging every taste bud, teasing every sensory nerve.
Are those… angels singing?
The fat- it melts!
Did somebody just compact heaven and put it in my mouth?
I redefine taste-gasm.
Life- never the same again.
All that cholesterol and the 600 bucks bill? Totally. Worth. It.*
*21 years old air-conditioned-restaurants-are-a-ruse Chow Ping might beg to differ though.