You never know who might be sitting behind you in a restaurant. You never know whether the group of people joining you as you sing Happy Birthday could be Grammy and Oscar winners. But in this case, Kawkab knew. Boy did she know!
It’s hard to find room for Aprons & Hammers in this review as the highlight of the night wasn’t the food, so let’s get that first out of the way. For an Aprons & Hammers experience, you have a few choices in Dubai. Skip DIFC and skip the Beach branch, where you can’t have alcohol. Always opt for the boat one near Barasti. A pill of Dramamine might help before you go, because the boat, while not sailing anywhere, is constantly bouncing, much like Kawkab’s hefty bosoms as she climbs up the stairs to the upper deck. Being a wise tante, I never take a look at the menu. Always order the same thing: a couple of salads to share (shrimp avocado, and fresh crab), crispy calamari, a large bucket of jumbo shrimps with 3 choices of sauces on the side, and some french fries. Skip the useless clams. Good value for money. A little less than 300 dirhams for a big seafood meal including alcohol and all (an overpriced Ksara bottle which in Lebanon costs 10 bucks and goes here for 90 dollars, but that’s everywhere here).
Now that we’re done with the fish, let’s go to the meat of the evening. Tonight was the birthday of one of my peasant friends, who shall remain nameless for the purpose of this blog. She is however conspicuously featured in the photo below. This friend is not a fan of birthday rituals, so naturally we organised for her a typical birthday ritual. As the Aprons & Hammers waiters brought the cake and sang her Happy Birthday, a friendly table sitting behind us joined in. Kawkab’s ears noticed that there was some good harmony going on and a very welcome addition of pleasant voices to the unsettling chanting of my peasant friends. We assumed that they must be a local church choir or a group of expats who get together in seafood restaurants and reminisce on “what could have been” had they not opted for careers in selling shampoo and bank telling. In exchange for their friendly gesture, my nameless friend offered them cake. Generous (and slightly arrogant) Kawkooba decided that they too must be featured on tonight’s blog entry. After all, they deserve to have their 15 minutes of fame. As we pompously explained to them that “we have a blog”, we asked them if they have “a name for their little group” and Hiba asked them “are you guys like a thing?”. As they started modestly introducing themselves, we naturally started googling them. w ya 2arid nsha2eeh w bla3eeneh! (translation for my non Arabic speaking readers: May there come an earthquake so I get swallowed by the ground) One of them was the award winning music producer of Moulin Rouge and Pink Floyd The Wall. As he chatted with us, he explained how he is planning to visit Beirut in preparation for an album for a Lebanese singer, whom his group didn’t seem too familiar with. He told them “she is apparently #1 in Middle East”. It turned out it’s for Fayrouz. Among the other friendly diners were a Gregorian monk, the producer of X-Factor, the producer of The Voice and a European rock star.
So many life lessons from tonight:
1) When your friend doesn’t want cake, always bring cake and make a loud happy birthday scene. Only good things can ever come out of it.
2) Never assume anything about anyone. I still can’t believe we were luring Grammy winners with the opportunity of being featured on a “.wordpress” blog.
3) t3allamo mnil ajenib ya tante. Last month we saw a Lebanese singer, who shall also remain nameless (but goes for the humble title of “The Sun of the Lebanese Song”), walking out of Mall of the Emirates. She was surrounded by literally 8 bodyguards. The titles of our egomaniacal group of Arab singers are ridiculous, as they each declare themselves respective kings and queens of the stage and the solar system. Sti7o w t3allamo from a group of super humble international artists with amazing achievements, who went around singing Happy Birthday to two tables of complete strangers on a random, serendipitous Sunday night. Here are the links for two of these awesome diners who sang Happy Birthday to our nameless, anti-birthday friend: