Wednesday, May 30, 2007

VCN Ethnic Dinners go to Nigeria

(Click on the pictures to see enlarged versions) The last edition of the VCN dinners marked two sort of milestones: the 10th dinner and the 1st anniversary of the dinners as a whole. And in fact, just for the chronicles:

26/05/2006: Mexican dinner (Organized by Curt Wagner)
19/10/2006: Turkish Dinner (Organized by Curt Wagner)
07/11/2006: Eritrean Dinner
28/11/2006: Thai Dinner
23/01/2007: Peruvian Dinner
20/02/2007: Greek Dinner
08/03/2007: Egyptian Dinner
22/03/2007: Vietnamese Dinner
03/04/2007: Peruvian Dinner 2
15/05/2007: Spanish Dinner
29/05/2007: Nigerian Dinner

Some things have changed over the year, pictures were taken regularly, for instance, and I tried to make the dinners more periodic, yet I hope that the spirit, the idea of meeting new people in a relaxed environment and experimenting new accents together with new dishes, still remains.

This time, to be true, what ended up to be a Nigerian dinner was originally supposed to be a Cameroonian one, but, as I found out, the restaurant, which I had discovered the September of the last year, had since been transferred and transformed.

Honestly, the dinner was not the most successful one. The dishes were oddly tasting and while I personally appreciated the Suya (spicy chicken pieces on skewers), the groundnut soup and the banga rice (rice with cream of palm nuts), some other, especially an odd looking green rice of unknown name was simply inedible with its bitter and fishy taste.

The company, on the other hand, was more mixed up and colorful then usual. A good number of "core" people was present and several new faces showed up, apparently a group of friends who decided to show up together. Table's arrangements also caused some more problems as there was no space to form a single table and, consequently, we were forced to form two. Further on, at some point I realized I had not thought of forming the vegetarian corner (quite a problem, considering Susanne is one and with our original places we would had to split) and therefore I had to re-arrange places suddenly. Finally, despite several people calling for a later beginning of the dinner, the actual choice turned out to be counter-productive as several people had to leave before the actual end of the dinner.

Eventually, 20 people did show up, with Americans for once reaching the majority together with Italians (5), followed by Brazil, Australia and France (2) and Germany, Belgium, Norway and UK with 1 each. A non perfect dinner, all in all, which forces some re-considerations about the whole formula.

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