Thursday, March 15, 2007

VCN Ethnic Dinners go to Egypt

The 7th Edition of the Ethnic dinners saw the VCN gang moving to Egypt (click pics to enlarge). I ended up choosing the restaurant where a former neighbor of mine had worked for a while over last summer, having only nice things to report about the owners and the cook.

Indeed, I went to check the place with Susanne and, even if small, the place looked nice and charmy, especially due the tent-like arrangement of the interiors and ceiling. Arranging the menu was easy and mostly vegetarian friendly, what was complicated was putting together the participants as, due an unnoticed bug if yahoo, my first two messages about the dinner were never delivered to the crowd. So it was that five days before the actual dinner I had still no one attending. Yet, someone finally dawned on me the problem and after I send yet another invitation, this time making sure it was delivered, withing half a hour I had already more than a dozen attendees.

The dinner could had been a francophone dominated one had all the booked ones actually showed up, while eventually only 3 out of 6 did, leaving to the italians (5) the title of largest group, followed by french (3), UK (2) and 1 each for Germany, Belgium, Philippines, Japan, Croatia and USA.

The place itself was not easy to find, somehow off the beaten track in the Piazza Bologna Area, and that took its toll on the arrivals which were scattered over one hour and a half, so much that I eventually the dinner began while some were still missing.

Once started, tho, the dinner went smoothly. Tasty the vegetable Felafel, between good and obscenely good the various vegetable creams that were served as appetizers together with some spicy arab beans that went by mostly unnoticed. The particular arab bread was nice, while the very big mistake was picking some arab wine from Morocco, overpriced and with a dubious taste.

Once the appetizers were, quickly, disposed of, the main courses made their appearance, with mixed results. While the Swharma chicken served with white rice with raisins and pine nuts was so good that I lost the count of the times I (together with others) served myself and the vegetarian cous cous met the general appreciation, the kebab was extremely disappointed, served in big, oily pieces and left not fond memories behind itself once it was gone (above, to the right, the "asian corner" dealing with the kebab cutting task).

The VCN crowd was showing evident signs of having been properly fed by the time the tables was cleared for the last part of the dinner: mint tea accompanied with special arab pastries that, I must say, looked delicious but I didn't even try, having and indulged too much and eventually succumbed to the shwerma chicken. It was about eleven when the group finally disbanded and while the final bill was higher than the last dinners (around 24 for the ones who had taken the wine, 20 for the others) , the dinner appeared to be a success.

Next time: Vietnam.

1 comment:

Michela said...

Che invidia (sana!) queste tue uscite culinarie multietniche!!