Beef Ribs and More

Christmas Lunch
- 12 December 2012 -

I have a theory, Christmas lunches are more fun in small groups. Maybe it's just who I am but the smaller the group the better. You get to actually communicate with each other and see each others personalities. As soon as the group gets more than 10, you have smaller groups emerging anyway. I guess you could say that it all works out in the end, but there is a difference between a planned smaller intimate lunch as opposed to a consequential smaller group in a non-intimate lunch. I'm sure these aren't new facts, but it is interesting that people continue to think "bigger is better". Some things work better in large groups..... not Christmas lunches.

So the day was pretty much a normal Christmas lunch day. We were originally set to have lunch at the Wombles Restaurant in Parktown, one of the more up-class restaurants in Johannesburg, but that didn't work out. Now I'm not sure if it was just Zima being fussy or indeed it was the restaurant that wanted us to wait a day before they can confirm our booking. I'm tending to believe it was the latter. Anyway, it turned out that Gerard knew some places and suggested we go to Turn 'n Tender in Parktown North. I wasn't familiar with the establishment, and to be honest at first hearing the name it gave me the feeling of some fried chicken fast food joint (Turn 'n Tender Fried Chicken), but turns out I was wrong.

There was 6 of us. Sifiso, Salisha, Zima, Gerard, Mandla and myself. Sifiso being the more senior one and my boss on this project, he was expected to be pick up the tab on this...

I actually was planning on bringing my DSLR camera but totally forgot about it, so it was all up to "plan B", my iPhone. I was explaining a bit about angle and point of view to the table, and how this can dramatically affect the mood of a photograph.

Some people wouldn't like the angle too much though....

Gerard ordered a bottle of red wine. I love red wine, but it can be a problem when consumed in excess... but then again so can most alcohol. Wine just has the ability to liven up a party quicker.

Initially we weren't sure if Salisha would be joining us, but as we were finishing off our starters, Salisha called and said she was on her way. Turns out she likes photos and so does my iPhone.

Things were going well until there was a mishap. Some confusion between glasses and bottles and a little bumping, soon Sifiso had wine all over him. Salisha was eager to assist, until I started taking photos, which turned her focus away from Sifiso and towards the camera.

She was also eager to catch up on the drinking as she had missed a couple of drinks.

I was popping out for a smoke every once in a while when eventually Salisha suggested we move the party outside. Suits me fine as we are able to smoke out there. We weren't outside long until our main course started to arrive.

The food looked good. Large pieces of meat with starch, complimented by some good red wine. I ordered the beef ribs, which according to the menu is one of their specialities.

Gerard was eager to feed me.

Mandla didn't look to impressed with his "sirloin on the bone", there was some weird greenish stuff on the meat. Turns out it was chillies and was meant for Gerard. Quick swapping of plates sorted that out.

The food was good, I can't say excellent, I'm normally a pork rib guy, and the beef ribs was prepared well, but I must say, next time I'll stick to the pork.

The one nice thing about ordering wine before a meal, it goes down well after the meal too. 

Conversation continued and Gerard got intense. No... lets just say expressive.

Let's be honest though, if you didn't know him, you would think it was screaming for his favourite horse at the racetrack..... run, run Beauty , run you damn horse run.

Some of us was getting a bit depressed waiting for the desert...

.... then things were better again.

Like I said in the beginning, Christmas lunches are better in small groups, although we do all fall part of larger departments we all working on the same project together, so it gave us a good excuse to have lunch as a project team. I do understand why it normally lands up being big groups. I mean, lets say you invite 6 out of a department, people would get upset. So you invite the rest too. I suppose you could have multiple small lunches, but then who do you put with who.... but most importantly, you can't have the boss at each small group lunch to pick up the tab, he won't get any work done.

The food was good, the company was good. Good jokes and subsequent laughter. Although the food was "good", the "lunch" was excellent. Thanks to all!

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