I was stumped for a time as to where to hold my “sort of despedida” (I say “sort of”, because I keep telling people that I’ll be coming back) together with my friends. We’ve grown tired of the usual fastfood fare we have in the city and out, and the soft opening of Hap Chan, a dimsum and noodle house, couldn’t have come at a better time. Anticipating a glut on its first weekend opening, I made a reservation last Tuesday which I confirmed last Thursday so I don’t have to worry about waiting and not getting a table. However, the place was packed when I arrived and people kept pouring in some minutes thereafter, and the table I reserved was no where in sight. In some way, it was a good thing that my friends came in later than usual (as expected!) and we had to wait for more than half an hour for the crew to bus and prepare our tables.
Before getting seated, the three of us early birds already placed our orders to cut the waiting time for our food to be served once we are seated. Gerard speed-read the menu and ordered about a quarter of the main course listed on the menu, while Reginald, being the accountant that he is, took his time and scrutinized the food and their respective prices. Since the others arrived late, we feasted on chicken feet, ku chay, among other dimsums for starters, and had lemon chicken, beef with brocolli, and yang chow rice, again among others for our main course. The others trickled in as we stuffed ourselves. We were eight in all out of the 11 who made their confirmation.
The celebration somehow hit two birds with one stone, as we welcomed back MJ, who just arrived from Korea yesterday morning (technically, it’s already Sunday as I write this) and was still nursing a jet lag and fatigue from her trip. She gave me a pasalubong of winter clothes showcase consisting of a matching bonnet and scarf, a nice knitted blue turtle neck sweater, and a pair of fluffy socks. She gave each one a ballpen decorated with Korean stuff as a consolation pasalubong.
We went across the street to wrap up the night at Starbucks. I was pleasantly surprised that we were able to get through the night without an ounce of alcohol flowing through our veins, and were home before midnight.