We celebrated K's birthday at Donna Carmela, aka The Best Ever Place You Could Go To Eat Out. And I massively understate that. The food was great, the wines (made in the owner's vineyard somewhere off Sicily) were brilliant, light and still rightly priced. The service was excellent and the music - well the music was just out of this world.
Truly, out of this world. And when you consider that it was just one guy with an acoustic, no microphone, no amplifier - you'll get an idea of the underlying talent. Like the lovely Vimal said - it was like he had an implanted microphone. I have never heard anyone sing Blue Suede Shoes with as much of a baritone. OK maybe Elvis himself, but you know what I mean.
So the music at Donna Carmela works this way - it's a nice li'l cosy place with about 10-15 tables. So the musician goes to every table and asks them for their favourite songs, and sings them right there, in his booming baritone. And as the largest table (15 people!), we got a lot of screen time. The first session was spent with some old favourites - Wonderful Tonight, Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini (wow that took a while to type!), and the customary Happy Birthday. The guy then took a break, promising us that he'd be back for more. And back he was in an hour, by which time we had (of course) decided which songs we'd ask for. After a couple of numbers we asked for Jambalaya and the dude said he'd play it for us, but differently. As a (still) aspiring guitarist, the only song in whose is Jambalaya, I was looking rather intently at the guitar chords, realizing that something wasn't making too much sense there. And that's when he started singing - in a booming voice - Pyaar Diwana Hota Hai..
Yes he did. And we went completely nuts. So you see - here's a guy who can not only sing, but perform enough to get Tarun and Gurdeep onto a (self-created) dance floor. Along with the restaurant owner (an Italian guy. Very Plain Looking. Not At All Dashing).
And this was on a sober Tuesday night - Imagine what Saturdays will be like!
PS: On a more practical note - the place is super-affordable too. Sub-50 per head including two bottles of wine (and a third that was on the house)
PS2: Those living in Singapore will appreciate this - the service is just classy. Friendly, lively people who almost seem to appreciate your presence. And preempt your requests.
PS3: If you're asking - is this place for real, yes. It really is :)