Last evening, I found myself, once again, dinning alone at Rosewood’s Seoul street branch. As I absentmindedly slurped through my seafood stew (third one this week), I caught Christopher de Gruben from M.A.D hastily grab a table with his business partner Joachim Bertot. Now, anyone who has been to Rosewood even once will know that this is not an unusual sighting, both of them are permanent fixtures at the joint. But something was unusual last evening.
Chris and Cliffe first clapped a single clap, tapped their own right shoulder with their left hand and then slapped each other on the arm, discretely slapped each other on the bum and then finally shook hands
Cliffe Arrand, the owner and chef at Rosewood, came out of the kitchen as if on cue of their arrival. To an untrained eye, it seemed like they were just casually greeting each other. However, to me it was evident that they were playing out a ritual (when I was younger, I had secret handshake for each one of my five friends, I can spot one from miles away). Chris and Cliffe first clapped a single clap, tapped their own right shoulder with their left hand and then slapped each other on the arm, discretely slapped each other on the bum and then finally shook hands.
Though this piqued my curiosity, I just put this down to grown men acting like boys. But when their dinner arrived, I immediately knew I had uncovered more than a secret handshake. Chris got served what looked like a Morrocan lamb stew in an earthen pot and Josh got a beautiful looking plate of barely seared scallops with silky sauce decorated with never ending thin ring of orange rind. My jaw dropped! I am a regular at Rosewood, I have eaten everything on their menu, several times over. I could recite their menu in my sleep, and that was definitely NOT ON THE MENU!
You have to book the dishes two days in advance by calling Cliffe on a secure mobile number
I threw courtesy out of the window and descended on Chris and Josh. I practically threatened them of great physical harm and forced them to tell me how they got those dishes. They finally broke down and told me that Cliffe has been offering a few of his closest friends and best customers a secret menu of all kinds of heavenly dishes from around the world. This secret menu is sent as a encrypted email over a secure server to the chosen few. You have to book the dishes two days in advance by calling Cliffe on a secure mobile number, operational only to take order for the secret menu. Cliffe will come out to greet you when you come for your meal and you have to confirm that you are a part of the culinary cult by doing the secret handshake. Chris completed the story just in time for the dessert, a delicately spiced cardamom and basil Kulfi (an Indian version of ice cream). I quite literally melted.
Once Cliffe realized that I knew his dirty secret, he offered me lifetime of free dishes from his secret menu in order to by my silence. But I believe this to be unfair to my adopted countrymen – this is a democratic nation and everyone should be entitled to good, delicious, mouth-watering food that we are so cruelly denied.
So consider me your saviour of your palates. I am giving you the detailed secret menu at Rosewood. Go ask for the secret goodies you rightfully deserve! Remember to slap Cliffe’s bum as a right of passage.SOURCE: M.A.D. April's Fool