Friday, November 30, 2007

Dinner(?) at La Campana

A friend's going back to Manila for a month, so she decided to organize a farewell Christmas get-together at the La Campana Spanish Cabaret along Liverpool Road. She probably didn't have the chance to look up the restaurant at Eatability because most of the reviews are pretty bad. She wasn't the only one fooled. My sister had a look at the set menu, and liked it so much she decided to come along, even if she had to part with $40. And this is my sibling who works out at Parramatta, and reckons a $20 meal is already expensive.

So we got to the restaurant around 7:20pm. Place is a bit dark for my liking, but I guess that's part of the ambience. While waiting, we were given some breads and dips and plates of antipasto with barbequed vegetables and olives. Service is pretty slow. After like half an hour more, came the entrees - calamari rings, patatas bravas, and meatballs. There was another major delay, while the guys put on a show - a lady in red doing the flamenco, a couple doing the salsa, and a semi-nude girl doing the samba. Later, the emcee came on and got random people from different tables to partner up and do some dirty dancing for our enjoyment. Afterwards, they got more people to join in a conga line/circle. All this time, there was no food on the table.

With every passing minute, the volume of the music was getting louder and louder. After multiple requests and an eternity later, the paella valenciana was served. Semi-cooked, soggy, and too salty. Fortunately, my Good Friend and her colleague had to leave early. They didn't have to endure the food and the music. It was getting too noisy, I joined my sister outside the restaurant. Boy, was I surprised. There are now bouncers with metal detectors stationed at the entrance, and I had to get a UV stamp on my wrist in order to get back. The restaurant had turned into a disco! After a while, the rest of the group also came out of the restaurant. Apparently, they got tired of waiting for the creme caramel, and just left. Wise decision, guys. As I always say, cut your loses and move on.

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