Saturday, February 19, 2011

A Chocolaty Evening with Bessy


I had been looking forward to a date with my best friend since the start of the year but the “WHEN” was already a struggle to begin with.  But the long wait ended last night.  It was supposed to have been earlier than that but V-day came and I didn’t wanna be in the way of her romantic plans.

            Contrary to our original plans, we just settled for a simple dinner over long-missed convos.  I actually felt very sorry for being late at meeting her up somewhere.  She didn’t have a pleasant night but, as the very good sport that she is, there she was…casually sexy in shorts and a “twiggy” tee and letting her hair down, she gave that really sweet smile that set the mood for the rest of the night.

            The cab ride to the dinner spot was like a century-long of catching up on each other.  We talked like 2012 was just minutes away.  She fumed, I listened.  We laughed. We laughed more. Three seconds passed, she fumed again…then I laughed some more.  It was a typical “Me and Her” moment.  Nothing has changed from then.  We just aged a bit and she just bore a really adorable Mijo.

            It was a little bit past 8 o’clock when we arrived at the SM North Wing.  Before heading to the resto block, we took a peek at Tablea Chocolate Café to see if they’re still open…and they still were.  We then took little big steps around the rest of the mall just to sneak in some more time to chat further before giving in to our gastronomic calls.

            We decided, at last, to have our dinner at the La Mesa Grill.  It was my first time to dine there, so I was full of anticipation.  In spite of me not feeling so well, I was still in a jovial mood.  I’m always like that when I’m Cristine, I guess.  Then we entered the restaurant.  I actually liked the interior design of the place.  It was chic in its brown palette of colors giving you an instant Asian feel to it.  Actually, at first look, people would somehow assume it as high-end and might turn off those with tight budget but fret not, they have varied food choices and your P500 can already give you a decent meal for two.  The wooden mesh accents were really appealing.  On the downside though, they didn’t have much space to accommodate more diners and to play more with the designs.  Given the dim lighting, emanating from the hanging lamps, it made the place looked smaller.  The lighting was beautiful though, providing the diners the romance they might need.

            Then came the menu.  It’s appearance makes one suggest, at first look, that the restaurant may not be that “high-end’ after all. They practically offered all Filipino dishes.  The house’s specialty would be the CRISPCHON.  We were just in for a light meal because we were aiming for a heavy chocolate indulgence after dinner.  We decided to just have the “Seafood Rice”, Baked Scallops and our favorite “Gambas”.  For our drinks, Cristine offered to have the Pinacolada.  I never tasted one before but it sounded great so I conceded.

            We took pictures of each other inside, as we always do when we’re together.  The waiter, whom we mercilessly suspected at being attracted to Cristine, was kind enough to take a picture of us together.  Our Piñacolada came early.  It looked cute with a cherry on the rim and we both thought it looked a little bit too foamy.  It tasted fine with the pleasant mix of tropical fruits and coco cream.  Cristine, backed up by the waiter, told me that I don’t need to worry if it tasted Rum a little bit.  I did caught some bitterness and heat as I slowly sipped in.

            Shortly after that, after a few more laughs, I caught sight of our orders.  Laid down before us were the scallops in a platter, the Gambas which really smelled good and our Seafood Rice.  They could have put more seafood on the rice though, to really live up to its name.  The scallops, which I believe would always taste heavenly cooked in any other ways, were a little bit too buttery that I had to let some oil drip down before I’d carry it down to my plate.  Somehow, there were too much garlic over the scallops, but were forgivable, though, since I love them in most foods anyway.  I had saved the best for last, as always.  I took one spoonful from the Gambas platter and tasted the sauce. I thought it was delicious.  The natural taste of the shrimp wasn’t overpowered.  Shrimp is my all-time favorite seafood so it’s always important to me that the dish has to pay homage to the main ingredient and let it shine.  Although my tongue may have been to more scrumptious Gambas, I must say that I did not regret ordering it.

            Just before the restaurant was about to close, we paid our bill and hurriedly checked on where we can snuggle with some really good HOT CHOCO.  After failing to get our hands on that “Tablea” Hot Chocolate, we thought BO’s Coffee’s would do.  We had ours at the BTC and chatted a little more and had hearty laughs here and there.  Don’t get me wrong, BO’s Hot Chocolate Drink was sinfully good but Cristine and me already had our favorites.  She’s loyal to “Jollibee’s”, which I believe is a very fine choco drink as well and their really convenient stirrer/straw is a major upside; I was very faithful to the homemade ones out of real local “tableas”.  I love my Mom’s the best.  That was why I was dying to try “Tablea’s” out and see if they’re as good.

            It was around 11 o’clock and I already felt the heaviness that the hot chocolate has brought to my senses.  Cristine was having her own “longing” bites for her lil Mijo and tried calling home from time to time.  It was time to go.  Carrying our Mocha Rolls inside silly-looking plain white plastic bags, we walked hand-in-hand towards the road.  It always feel so good being with a person whom you’ve spent more than half of your life with.  Though, there had been times when we were not physically together all those years, we had been inseparable since 4th Grade.  We’ve shared a couple of friends along the way.  Some of them stayed, some went on with their lives, yet here we are, staying as candidly comfortable when together.  She had her bad days yet there’s nothing as inspiring when you see her just standing up to any difficulties, smiling when there’s just a few reasons to, effortlessly laughing with you, letting her distresses out and then suddenly be “OK” in the end and still loving those people who matter to her despite everything.

            It was a chocolaty night, indeed.  I needed last night to happen because I have my own selfish frustrations to be done with.  Thanks to my best friend for the years and years of the sweet and tangy life we’ve shared, for the laughter and tears, for the fairy tales we both dreamed together and just for being here…for living a life where I can be.  Looking forward to many more Chocolates and Gambas together.


  1. it was indeed a chocolaty night! =) thanks for the nice words about me.hehehe! you are also a wonderful person and I am blessed to have you in my life!!!

  2. Thank God for best friends! I married mine by the way :)

  3. @free_verse_23: Thanks for the comment, Bess! Sa uulitin ha!

    @jedi_randy: Thank God for them, indeed! And woohoo for you to have married one! Thanks for reading...:)

  4. oist dont get resolve with jollibee's hot choco, 711's hot choco is much better than that kaso much expensive 45 pesos ka size nia. Pero pinaka best na hot choco talaga na natikman ko sa talang buhay ko ay sa toast box grabe ang sarap. Lagi ko yan binabalik balikan sa my trinoma. Next to it would be yung sa bread talk, pero di na sila nag oofer niyan these days. Mala tablea naman yun sa Mary Grace.

  5. Looks like you guys had fun ... thats what matters when you are with friends.

  6. @kay: We absolutely did, Ate Kay! Thanks fo droppin by :)