Tuesday, September 05, 2006

manila garden

In town for the holiday weekend was W from Washington DC, so we met up Friday night after doing Costco shopping at Manila Garden in Hayward. Manila Garden on Friday nights has lechon and seafood all-you-can-eat buffet (for $13.99) with the singing group, The Housesitters, a small scale version of Society of Seven type entertainment on hand going through various Tagalog and English song medleys in their Hawaiian shirts.

The lechon of course was plucked nearly clean to the bone, but the hubby managed to get a taste of the skin that was hiding underneath one of its feet. What Filipinos will do for lechon skin! The food was pretty good, standard turo turo buffet type affaire. The laing was spicy, the karekare was decent and the sinigang soup was tasty. My favorite for the night was the ginataang with plenty of sweet yams, tiny sago pearls, jack fruit and if you reached far enough mochiko balls. yummy!

Afterwards, they closed out our dinner tab and opened up the karaoke tab and cranked up the karaoke mic. As much as I like my Magic Mic, there was no way I was getting up there as the microphone filled with their "regulars". W who was known to be able to sing Billy Holiday at the Mint when she was living here (talk about one step below professional singers), got up and sang a song. Actually she sang a couple of songs, and joined the karaoke contest with, "Get Here". The winner of the karaoke night was a guy who sang "Just Once" and had the nice knee dips and empassioned index finger that pushed out each time he said, "once". A resident comedian who managed to rewrite the workds to John Lennon's Imagine to a comical ditty, whispered that the reason that guy won was because he was in a big group. The winner has to come back and sing in a few more weeks and "that's business."

The hardest drink on the menu were single servings of Glen Ellen Merlot in the tiny bottles. But they had a long list of "Ladies Drinks" with Soju. My Kamakaze shot was really a glass of clear liquid that wasn't really a shot. But it was sweet and fruity with just enough alcohol to get buzzed but not really drunk, a typical "ladies" drink.

In between the karaoke sets, a DJ played music for people to dance. W and I danced to the disco tunes while the hubby, who got carried away and ate so much he almost couldn't breathe hung out with W's mom and friend S. It was fun! I don't really go "club" dancing that often unless we're in Vegas with the cousins or at a wedding. I of course was about a foot taller than most of the room.

During the 2nd set a couple of guys decided to dance with us. They wore baseball caps. His friend seemed interested in W and wore his hat in that askew way that seemed a bit too "young" of a look for him. Through the music blaring the guy I was dancing with attempted to make conversation. He asked me my name. Then how old I was. He was a good 12 years older than me, but still looked in his 30s. In the meantime, wearing my wedding ring, the only jewelry on my hand, I attempted to dance in such a way that kept my hands at his eye level, in the hopes he'd notice that I was married. Didn't work. He asked me for my number. I could have answered well, my husband who's sitting right over there might be a bit upset. But I couldn't shoot him down so harshly as he was nice enough to dance with us, so I politely said no I don't give my number out. He asked me where I was from and I said Oakland. At that point, he asked me if I understood Tagalog, because he had been asking me all the questions in it. And I said that I knew a little bit. After which he apologized for using Tagalog instead of English. So I think he thought that I just didn't understand any of the questions he asked and we all ended up sitting down to our respective tables. No harm no foul. I have to give him credit for approaching me. In the past most Filipino guys just never tried, because I was just too tall for them.

On the car ride home, I told the hubby about the goings on on the dance floor. He said that he thought about that but he was too tired to get up, plus he figured I could handle myself out there.

All in all it was good seeing W and S, good food, good friends, fun dancing.

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