It felt like the best meal I had ever had. Can chicken parmigiana, the national dish of Australia, ever have tasted so good?
Oysters Kilpatrick to start - hot oysters with Worcester sauce, Tabasco and small lardons of bacon - followed by a chicken parmi big enough to feed an army.
And chips, the national dish of everywhere, all accompanied by a crisp chardonnay from one of Canberra's wineries.
But the food was not the point. It just felt so good to get a hint of what life was like all those years ago, back in February before the plague I won't even name came and closed us down.
On Saturday, Michael's Restaurant in Walsh's Hotel in Queanbeyan was open and not crowded - not crowded at all: me on one table in one corner and a family of five in another corner, with a waitress flitting between us.
The music was just right - only a faint wafting of what the chef was listening to in the kitchen. "Come Together" sang the Beatles. How apt.
The condiments have increased by one. It's a bunch of salt and pepper pots in the middle of the table plus a bottle of hand sanitizer.
But it's a restaurant - open for business and that is a cause for rejoicing.
In our unsafe world, we have cocooned ourselves, closing the doors, working from home, being wary of each other.
We barely notice in this new abnormal normality that habits and attitudes have changed.
When the huge chicken parmi arrived, I realised that I have got used to smaller meals - lots of them through the day to break up the routine of daily life at home. Snacking is back.
I am saving money. No going across the road to waste $10 on a cake and coffee. I like my new frugality.
We are spending much more on meals delivered to our doors (up 258 per cent compared with a normal week), home improvement (up 57 per cent) and "office and furniture" (up 155 per cent), according to consumer researchers AlphaBeta and a group called "illion".
Ominously, online gambling has more than doubled.
Other habits change imperceptibly: I have got used to sitting instead of being out and about which means walking.
I've got so used to spending all day at home that going out seems like an adventure. Sometimes, I feel like a little animal peaking out warily in case there are predators.
Which there are: spheres of virus, 125 nanometres wide. If you could see anything as small as 0.000125 millimetres, it would seem eerily spectacular but deadly in its beauty.
But the virus is in retreat through our efforts - not beaten, oh no, but not rampant.
So a celebratory chicken parmi is in order.
We should salute the restaurants offering it. They are asserting that normality will return. They are defying the virus.
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