“What about Banquet Option 2?” Mud suggested after much thought and careful perusal of all the set meals, banquet and standard menu choices. “It has a nice selection of dishes over four courses,” he continued and so it was agreed.
“Option 2? Banquet for 4?,” the young waiter said, “May I suggest reducing the banquet to three portions because there is rather a lot of food in four portions.”
“I’m starving,” Mud told him which was probably an understatement as he hadn’t had much of an appetite since our dentist had fitted a shiny new filling yesterday and then sent him in to see the hygienist. Jet wash deep clean anybody?
“We’re starving too,” piped up two little voices.
The joys of parenthood. Unfortunately, the Mudlets had broken up for half term yesterday, so any thoughts of a romantic lunch for two were blown out of the water almost before the idea was born. As for leaving the younger Mudlets in the care of their sister whilst we enjoyed a cosy meal out, Mud and I decided that given the fact that Eldest Mudlet was still recovering from the break up of her relationship, asking her to babysit for her sisters on Valentines Day was probably a touch insensitive.
Which is why we found ourselves booked in as a party of four, in a rather nice restaurant on Valentines Day.
We decided to follow the advice of the waiter and went with Banquet Option 2 but for only 3 persons which was a wise move, as it turned out. As a price per head option, we would have wasted a significant amount of money had we opted for the 4th portion, as despite the alleged starving status of Mud and the Mudlets, the generous portion sizes very nearly defeated us as it was.
The Mudlets charmed the staff by wishing them a Happy New Year in Chinese which they had learned at a school workshop to celebrate the Chinese New Year a couple of weeks ago. In return the staff charmed the Mudlets by giving each of them an origami heart made from a napkin. Then the starter platter arrived with a beautifully crafted rose made from a swede of all things …. which Little Mudlet subsequently brought home.
This was the first time the girls had been to a Chinese restaurant and Little Mudlet, who has long had designs on Middle Mudlets’ chopsticks (from a Chinese New Year school workshop some three years ago), was thrilled to see chopsticks as well as cutlery at her place setting.
As she picked them up and examined them, Mud and I reassured her that she wouldn’t be expected to use them. Neither of us can actually use them and Middle Mudlet has never really got the hang of hers either. So it was with total disbelief and amazement that we watched our 7 year old chopsticks beginner, pop three respectable mouthfuls of chow mein into her mouth, using her chopsticks with relative ease.
She was rewarded for her efforts by the waiter, with a pair of chopsticks of her own to take home.
The ubiquitous fortune cookies completed the Chinese experience for the girls and we left the restaurant full, relaxed and happy. All in all a most pleasant way to spend Valentines Day.