After missing the monthly Makankakis dinner for the past five months due to school commitments, I was happy to be able to make it for December's. It was after all the year's last Makankakis dinner.
So it was that evening that saw a record of 106 Makankakis descend upon Cafe de Amigo. It was nice meeting Makankakis that I haven't seen for months. And also children of a Makankaki that I've heard of but not met. I'm glad Yi Ling and Kok Yong were able to join in this dinner. Hopefully, it was fun enough for them to return for more.
Food was served to the tables that were filled first. A great move I say! The table I was seated at got filled up pretty fast so a big thank you to all for coming early. Bread was served to pacify hungry stomachs. But I felt it was very average bread whose presence could hardly be felt.
Dinner started proper with the Duck Trio. Beginning with the item in the foreground, this deep-fried breaded thingy resembled fried cheese. Being rather bland, I didn't take to it. Besides, the duck was elusive, undercover perhaps. The middle item could be pan-fried duck liver. Or at least it was pan-fried something that was quite tasty. The item at the background comprised of slices of duck (finally something in the Trio that I can finally identify!). They were a little cold and lifeless.
Phew, it took a bit of effort to finally clear the starter. It sure didn't start off with a bang.
Then the Lobster Bisque made it's warmth felt. Thick, creamy and with small bits of crustacean (lobster I hope!), it was comforting all the way down to the stomach. However, it had a rather strong alcoholic punch to it. The cream did smother some of the harsh edge of the alcohol but I still would have preferred it toned down a bit. Wow. I'm actually complaining of too much alcohol.
As stomach-filler, the Pasta Carbonara did provide the carbo but to be honest, it was bad. The pasta was too soft and the cream made it cloyingly difficult to even continuously slurp up two mouthfuls. Jelak is an appropriate word.
For the choice of mains between the Leng Fish Fillet and Rack of Veal, no surprise that I chose the latter. A thick, beautifully pink slab of meat (free bone included) made my eyes twinkle. Taste wise, it lacked in this department. Alas. What a waste to tender pink flesh. The mashed potato that kept vigil by its side was great! A distinct buttery aroma was very pleasant and it had bits of potato that gave it texture. Yummy.
The last course was dessert, Mini Apple Pie. I added the Kueh Lapis. Thought it would be nice to bake something for the Makankakis, it's the holidays anyway. I remember Cafe de Amigo serving up really good apple pies that were freshly baked (must wait 15-20 minutes) during my last visit eons ago. The mini version was decent and paired with the ice cream, even better. Talking about ice cream, I didn't know Kueh Lapis tasted good with ice cream too! Having baked about five days in advance, the Kueh Lapis was kept in the fridge till this dinner. I think that could have made it more dense that usual. Oops. Hopefully, the Makankakis didn't find it too bad. Desserts were washed down with late bottled vintage port which I had brought to share.
Being a BYO dinner (as with all Makankakis Dinners) there were lots of wines at the table to taste and I took a quick snap of the line-up of bottles that Alfred had arranged.
Towards the end of the dinner, Ivan came round to pour me a bit of this. My first time tasting Sauternes. Complex stuff but really easy to enjoy. Thanks man!
On the food front, I couldn't help but feel disappointed. I had many yummy memories of dining at Cafe de Amigo long ago back in Specialist Shopping Centre. Oh well, maybe the kitchen was overwhelmed that night causing the food to suffer. It's no joke hosting 106 people for dinner and I thank Tommy and his staff for ensuring that it was smooth-sailing. Not forgetting the organisers (Uncle Tony!) who had to liaise and handle the headache aka logistics.
Thankfully I'm a food blogger and not strictly a critic or reviewer. The food that night to a critic or reviewer would have been disaster. For a blogger like me, it was a good dinner which I enjoyed because of even better company despite not so good food. Nice ambience, live jazz, wines, Makankakis...I had a good time. It's the experience man!
Cafe de Amigo
Funan DigitaLife Mall
Tel: 6835 0238
Chew On This: In the restaurant, there's a small stage with live jazz performed by different musicians each day! Definitely value-added compared to pipped music found almost everywhere else.