Strike three, but we got lucky

Because I am a freelancer who is --- for all intents and purposes --- surgically attached to her internet connection, Cowboy Caleb calls me on occasion for last-minute restaurant advice and I spend about five minutes helping him pick a place where he can fête a client or boss on his company's tab. The other typical condition is that it has to be a place that he knows how to get to in Singapore, which can be harder than it sounds.

Today he calls at about noon from Hong Kong and needs a place for dinner tonight. He can't expense the meal, but still needs it to be nice enough. Oh, and no Asian food.

We settle on Valentino's, because we've been there before and it's pretty damn good food. He asks me to get a reservation (yes, I am officially his entertainment secretary, didn't you know?) and SMS him when the table's booked. I call. Valentino's, it turns out, is fully booked for the night.

A little SMSing, another phone call. "How about Marmalade Pantry at Palais Renaissance?," I suggest, "because the air-conditioning at the Holland Village one isn't working [as I found out to my dismay on Monday night]."

"Where's Palais Renaissance?"

"Next to Orchard Towers, between Orchard Towers and the Thai embassy."

For reasons that cannot be reported here, Cowboy Caleb declines to go anywhere near Orchard Towers. We settle on Ember at Hotel 1929, another reliable choice that he knows how to get to.

I call and: "We regret to inform you that we will be closed for renovations from 30 April to ..." Cheebye. I hang up without bothering with the rest of the automated message.

"Strike two," I SMS Cowboy.

He calls back. By this point, I'm trawling through The Travelling Hungryboy for ideas. We confer. "Okay, Wild Rocket," he decides.

I call and I cannot believe my ears: "I'm sorry, but we're closed tonight for a private function."

Clearly, the moral of the story at this point is that it is not possible to get a dinner reservation at a decent place on the eve of a public holiday (it's May Day tomorrow), unless you planned your evening a week before and had time to work your way through an entire restaurant directory.

Cowboy cannot believe it; neither can I. James comes to the rescue on MSN: "Cork", he says, "63279169." Does Cowboy know where Capital Towers is? Why yes, he does. After which he SMSes: "I boarding the plane. You decide."

Meanwhile, I'm calling --- and miracle of miracles, they are open, they have tables available and they are pleased as punch to take Cowboy's reservation. I manage to sneak in a last confirmation SMS to Cowboy and the URL for Chubby Hubby's review of the place before he switches off his phone on the plane.

As far as I know, dinner went all right.

It seems Secretaries' Day has just passed us by, so Cowboy owes me a huge bonus next year. He should buy me dinner at a nice place.

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At 5/02/2008 1:03 am , Blogger strangemessages said...

There are a few other places you can go to that are nice and reasonably priced:

1. Stiff Chilli at Lavender/Jalan Besar
2. Bistro Gaga at Mount Sophia
3. Any of the Da Paolos at Chip Bee Gardens

At 5/02/2008 7:22 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Maybe Lilian Too's Feng Shui calendar say May is month for renovation.


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