tl;dr: a very enjoyable evening, and plenty of duck for all.
On the evening of 5 December 2013, fourteen brave souls set off into the night. Their noble quest was to dine at Loon Fung, for EdLUG's Xmas meal.
As with most epic journeys, there were some complications. No ringwraiths, thankfully. Rather, the complication was that some of the party are temporally challenged. Nonetheless, I won't name names—not out of privacy concerns, but because I'm I did try to block this traumatic event from my memory.
But let's not dwell on the negatives. Let's have an interlude of some pretty faces.
Althea Jackson, Jan Goulding, Justin Rye, Alistair Cherry, Neil Duffy, Greg Lewin, Andrew Smith and Andrew Ramage (taken by Paul Cooper)
Jan Goulding, Justin Rye, Alistair Cherry and Neil Duffy (taken by Paul Cooper)
Alistair Murray, Chris Jackson, Althea Jackson and Jan Goulding (taken by Paul Cooper)
Iain Nicol and Joe Barnett (taken by Paul Cooper)
As soon as I walked into Loon Fung, I could tell it was going to be a great evening. First, the place was heated, unlike the bitterly cold outside. Second, the restaurant had been beautifully redecorated since our visit the year before. Third, there was a mini chocolate penguin sitting at every place of the table.
A free chocolate penguin! What a lovely touch. Possibly from the chocolate penguin gods; possibly from Jan. I'm afraid we might never know. All I know is it was there when I arrived.
A free chocolate penguin. But wait. There's more. This penguin: it wasn't only free; it wasn't only chocolately; and it wasn't only just a cute penguin. Even better, because we were adults, we were allowed to eat this free chocolate penguin WHENEVER WE WANTED!!1! Ha ha! I didn't have to finish my main course before having this something sweet.
When the food arrived, it was delicious. After the soup and prawn crackers came crispy seaweed, chicken satay, and approximately three ducks. Mmm, duck. There was so much duck that even I and Paul managed to eat enough. I mean, without stopping the others from having some.
I was of course sad when the duck was taken away, for it meant the evening was ending. Sad I was, until I realised that the duck had not been the main course after all, but instead some sort of wonderful second starter. And so, yay, then the real main courses came. There was a variety of dishes; your author (Iain) especially liked the halibut in ginger sauce, and the szechuan beef.
Over these many courses there were myriad interesting conversations at the table. There were rants about 3D cinema, conversations about timecoded linear video editing, and origin stories told about why we each settled on particular distros. These discussions, for me at least, made the evening. Or maybe it was the Tsingtao.
As the evening drew to an end, there was some discussion of Mint. Not now Linux Mint, but instead the chocolate mints which came with the coffee. And then it was time to pay. As a testament to Jan's excellent keeping of tabs and arithmetic there was thankfully no drama, and no missing money.
Just before we departed, there was discussion of next year's meal. For variety, we said, we might have tapas instead of Chinese food next year. I would like to abuse my position here as author of this article to fully endorse this tapas idea.
Finally, we wandered off into bitter the cold, pleased that the quest had been a success.