Is that soup supposed to be cold?

Last night Daryl surprised me with a dinner for two at a new 5 star hotel in Port Moresby. I’ve eaten at the restaurant for lunch before and it was pretty nice. It is the nicest looking restaurant in Port Moresby other than another one I know of however we never expect 5 star service or cooking even though they are 5 star.

Five star over here is not the same as 5 star in Australia. An example of what I mean is that this hotel was built last year and only opened in November. We had some friends posting out in December who stayed there for a few nights before leaving the country. Everyone was looking forward to hearing about what it was like. The verdict? ‘It’s not quite the 5 star we were hoping for.’ They had a whole list of reasons with one of them being that when they checked into the room there was a rolled up towel at the door to the bathroom. Worried someone would trip on it, my friend removed it but when they had their first shower, all their soapy water was running off out the door and down the hall because of a design flaw in the bathroom. When they told concierge, their answer was to roll a towel up and put it on the floor. I suppose it is a cheaper option than fixing the bathroom, 5 star or not, right?

What’s with the soup? I hear you say? Well last night we were in our lovely restaurant and we ordered our glasses of wine first. Then we browsed the menu for our entrees and mains. We both wanted the Squid but decided we would swap half way through our entree so we could try 2 different ones so our other option was Tiger Prawns. As we ordered, the waitress told us, ‘Mmmm… no prawns… it’s finished, sorry.’ So we asked her if there was any Baby Octopus left to which she replied, ‘Yes.’ We double checked to be sure as culturally they do not like to say ‘no’ so you always have to double check. A few minutes later she came back and said, ‘Mmmm… sorry no Baby Octopus or Squid, it’s finished, sorry.’ So we were back to square one. Nothing else really appealed to us but we were hungry so we needed an entree and we had already devoured a dip and bread plate. I told Daryl to just order 2 random ones and we will see what we get as we weren’t really sure what ‘Tomato Gazpacho’ was (although having studied Spanish I vaguely remember hearing about it) and we knew we liked Duck but were none the wiser on how it would be cooked by their description on the menu but we launched in anyhow.

Our entrees arrived not long later- this is a feat in itself over here as it is not uncommon to wait for extended periods for your food… no one is in a hurry here and I suppose the logic is that your hunger isn’t going anywhere so it’s not like they’ll miss it- and I was served the Tomato Gazpacho and Daryl, the Duck thingy. I took my first mouthful of what looked like a nice Tomato & Vegetable Soup. The edges of the bowl were warm so the soup would be too right? Well no… it was stone cold and I wasn’t really sure if it was supposed to be. It’s a bit of a shock to the system as your brain sends alarm signals down to your throat saying, ‘Gag! Gag! Gag! This is not right!!!’ and then quickly follows up with, ‘Be a lady! You’re in a nice restaurant! No one wants to hear or see you choke for goodness sake!’ I now know, thanks to Googling ‘Is Tomato Gazpacho supposed to be cold?’ that it is traditionally served cold BUT last night I wasn’t sure!

Daryl and I began to laugh at the situation as we both sat there wondering if my soup and his Duck thingy were meant to be cold! The funniest thing was the shear fact we doubted the 5 star restaurant had got it right purely because we lack trust in the restaurants to ever get it right over here. Turns out we were wrong… at least with the soup in this case.

Oh and I was also surprised by a little present I was given… some locally crafted earrings in the shape of a bilum (a PNG woven bag) with green detail on them. I love them! So much for sticking to our traditional wedding anniversary presents! haha! It’s cotton this year and I got Daryl a hammock 🙂

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