My Friday nights in the Philippines when I was in my very early 20’s consisted of a bucket of beer (or three) to be shared with friends in a private room where there’s a television, a microphone and a huge book with song titles listed in alphabetic order. Yes, karaoke is life in the Philippines (well at least when I used to live there). When we went to the Philippines for a holiday with The Greek Mister, we did the exact same thing which he found weird in the beginning but he ended up belting out some Bon Jovi and even Britney Spears songs. He will deny it but it happened.
I was just too happy to get an invite from an ex-colleague to celebrate her birthday last week in a very famous Korean restaurant in New Malden which has the private rooms with the TV, microphone and big book of songs. Needless to say, I’ve never felt my Filipino heritage here in London as strong as I did in that karaoke night.
Everyone can sing, whether or not the song was renderred in the correct pitch is the question but the secret is: alcohol. It works both ways, alcohol gives courage to the singer and makes the listener not care if the song being sung was on pitch. Nothing matters anymore when you’re all drunk or tipsy. They say all Filipinos can sing, I say – everyone can, with the right amount of alcohol. :p
The scene of the crime was Han Bar Restaurant & Karaoke in New Malden (the Korea town of London) which I think is one of the premier destinations for karaoke in London. It serves Korean food (but I saw some Japanese as well in their menu) which I’d say was good but lacks the authentic Korean dining experience. Why are we paying extra for kimchi when normally, a portion of it is always served on a complimentary basis? Apart from that, all was good.
Private rooms are hired on a per hour and per person basis, GBP35 per hour for up to 8 people and GBP50 per hour for up to 10 people. For more details, you can visit their website here. We stayed for up to 2 hours before calling it a night, it was a great mid-week celebration indeed. Arrived home still singing Livin’ On A Prayer. Lol.
I leave you now with a quick video of our karaoke shenanigan. :p