Christmas Eve dinner this year had many hiccups, no thanks to the food providers -- Goodwood Park Hotel and Singapore Island Country Club (SICC).
From Goodwood, we had ordered a soya sauce turkey, a Yorkshire pork rack, turkey satay, candied chestnut, potato salads among other things. Allen and Celia were assigned to pick up the food.
Although they were there promptly at six, collection time promised by the hotel, they had to wait one and a half hours before all the food was ready.
The culprit was the turkey, or rather, the people cooking it.
According to Celia, what did not help was the staff who had to manage the impatient customers. Although they tried to appease them with offer of orange juice drinks, they made the big mistake of getting the order of the queue all mixed up. As a result, many who were there first were frustrated.
One middle-aged couple who were behind in the queue managed to get their turkey earlier because the staff succumbed to their unsavoury pressure.
But the long wait was not the only disappointment that evening. When the Yorkshire pork rack was sliced, the meat was found to be severely under-cooked. Our helpers had to give it the once over before it could be consumed.
The next big disappointment came from SICC which prepared our roast beef, pork knuckle, mince pies and Christmas pudding.
Like the Yorkshire pork rack from Goodwood, the two chunks of roast beef turned out to be raw. We could not have it re-roasted because there was no oven in the house, which, incidentally, is almost bare of facilities as it is due to be torn down for rebuilding.
Victor volunteered to send the beef back to SICC. The club, realising its shortfall, took it back without any question asked.
To its credit, someone from the club called up on Christmas Day to apologise and, as a gesture of goodwill, offered to compensate us with another chunk of roast.
That, I must say, was good damage control as it immediately appealed to our forgiving nature and softened us. I wish more people and organisations could do the same.