The Valentine’s party started inauspiciously – with a power outage at Smiling Hill at 5 pm. The lights didn’t go back on until 11 pm but, luckily, Goodies has a generator, so the party went on. When Via arrived (at the end of her second day at a new job at a local university), I was just returning from the pool, where I used the outside shower to bath, while the dinner guests started to stream in. No power means no water in my apartment, since the pump is electric.
Via was left to put on her makeup via candlelight (pun intended). She opted for a sophisticated hairstyle and was stunning in her new pink and black dress.
We were reserved for the set Valentine’s menu and had seats on the upstairs patio under a full moon. Service was a bit chaotic because of the large crowd, but dinner was excellent – Via had the Saffron Seafood Rissotto and I had the Beef Mignon (the best steak I’ve had in a long time). We shared two desserts – cheesecake and tiramisu.
I thought (and I think the staff also thought) that most of the crowd would be there for the set menu. In case we would have diners not interested in that, we also set up our barbeque area. As it turned out, there were probably more people doing the barbeque than the set menu. All the tables throughout the restaurant were full pretty much from 8 pm until nearly midnight – all around the pool and in the upstairs dining and patio areas. The majority of the diners were Chinese-Indonesian or Singaporean, with a few westerners sprinkled around. The Chinese really like the western food Goodies serves and they went after the barbeque like hungry lions.
Since we hired some photographers, my photo taking was somewhat less than the past two Valentine’s, but here is a sampling: