There are some weeks where I seem stuck for blog material and there are other weeks where I don't have enough days for all the posts I have in my head. This has been one of the latter. Today I decided to write about something that is old news, but I feel like getting it out of my head and onto the screen...
I went to a restaurant with my folks and TSC last weekend (Friday evening, to be exact) at the Irene Village Mall in Pretoria called Ala Turka that serves Turkish, Lebanese and Greek food. The place is beautifully decorated and even has a little shop inside that sells belly dancing clothing and so on.
We had tried to find the restaurant's details to make a booking beforehand, but seeing they had recently relocated to the centre from somewhere else, they weren't listed in the phone book. We decided to pitch up and try our luck anyway, and they told us they had a space for us upstairs. What they didn't tell us is that there is a live belly dancer on Friday and Saturday evenings and a R20 charge per person surcharge to cover this entertainment.
While the belly dancer was BRILLIANT (at one point she dances with a plate full of candles balanced on her head), I think we should have been told about the extra cost. Furthermore, every time she came out to dance, the music would be turned up to an almost unbearable level so that we couldn't hear each other across the table, even if we were shouting (it was quite embarrassing when the music went off and I was still busy shouting).
The room was also so dark that we had to take turns taking a menu to the bar area to try to read it under the light and make a decision. We eventually had our order taken. I chose the Sheikh Al Mihshi - a Lebanese dish. It's an oven-baked aubergine stuffed with lamb meat, herbs and spices, cooked in a tomato-based sauce, served with yoghurt and pilaf. TSC opted for the fillet with the house "special sauce". My mom had a meze platter and my dad ordered the lamb kofte.
Over an hour later, our food arrived. By this time, hunger pangs and loud LOUD music had made everyone rather grumpy. Thankfully, the food was amazing! My aubergine dish was like a little slice of heaven on a plate and TSC's fillet melted in my mouth. I didn't taste my folks' food, but I believe it was also very good.
So I think I'd go back to Ala Turka. But at lunchtime. When there's daylight. And no pumping music.
Now onto my random question... Any ideas what I can get my parents for their 30th wedding anniversary? I don't have that much money to spend and they have pretty much everything anyway. I've done photo collages, scrapbook albums, personalised calendars, theatre tickets and family photos before and I am stumped! The big day is 24 Feb, but they'll be away in Zanzibar for the week, so I've got a bit of time. Suggestions would be welcome.