Yay to Family Dinners...!
Two nights ago was quite a memorable one because we celebrated Dad's 60th (!!!) and also my Sis-in-Law's birthday. Yahooo... And turning 60 was quite a milestone for Dad so he wanted to wait till both my Sister and I were back from Australia. It's actually been a while since our whole family was together to celebrate a birthday. It was also extra special cause my Sister-in-Law's family was there to celebrate as well!
When planning the dinner, Dad left it up to us to decide where but the only request he made was to have the Braised 8 Jewel/Treasure Duck.
Now, this is quite rare to find at restaurants anymore because it's considered more of an "older generation" dish. Hence, not as "popular". In fact, I don't think as many people know or have eaten it before for that reason. This was also the first time we're ordering this at a restaurant so it's interesting to see how it'd fair. BUT, this was one of Dad's favourite dishes to eat and he even used to make it at home too when we were younger. MUST learn how to make this from Dad one day!!!
Finally, we decided to host the dinner at Promenade Hotel because even though the duck was not on the menu, the Chef did say that he knew how to make it even though it's been a while. Also, the setting was pretty nice and quiet, which makes it easy for us to bring the baby.
Here's a recap of our dinner:
Red Hard-Boiled Eggs
It is a common Chinese tradition to have these on auspicious occasions (such as birthdays or weddings). Typically, the birthday boy/girl would have to eat two lol.
4 Seasons Hot & Cold Combination Platter
One of my favourite Chinese banquet dinner dishes...!! Each restaurant has their own take on it. One of the better ones I've tasted. Every element was delicious.
The Cold: Jellyfish (top left) and baby octopus (bottom right)
The Hot: Omelette with mock Shark's Fin (bottom left) and fried bread balls (top right)
But my favourite were the fried bread balls!!! It was pork and mushroom balls, filled with CHEESE, than coated with bread pieces and fried till crisp (imagine the taste of croutons). SO YUMMY!!!
Fish Maw and Lip Soup with Crab Meat
Braised 8 Jewel/Treasure Duck!!!
The duck is braised so soft that the meat falls off the bone. Sauce was flavourful, but not too salty and delicious with everything too.
Everyone's got slight renditions of what 8 ingredients to fill the stuffing with. My favourite were the lotus seeds that were so soft and tender, almost like steamed peanuts. YUM! Glad to have this again after all these years =)
Dad with his "birthday present"
Steamed Fish Slices with Dried Soy Bean
Fried Prawns with Salted Duck Yolks
Braised Beancurd Sheets with Chinese Mushrooms and Broccoli
Another dish typically ordered eaten during birthday celebrations in the Chinese culture to signify longevity and prosperity.
Sea Coconut with Sliced Lemons
Birthday Cake (with extra, extra nuts as requested) ;p
Dad's not a big fan of cakes cause like me, find most of them too sweet. But, Carrot Cake is one of the few cakes he loves (as well as warm Butter Cake). Like father like son =D
Baked with Carrot Cake recipe found on my blog: here
Paired with Boiled Cream Cheese Frosting recipe from Agnes (of Off the Spork)'s blog: here
The cream cheese was cool because it called for making your own sweetened condensed milk before mixing it with the cheese. Nice!!!
Both cake and frosting were a hit with everyone =)
Looooooove my parents to bitsss... Do you reckon I look more like Mum or Dad? =)
With my Big Sis (but I call her "Jie Jie", which is the Chinese translation)
Nothing beats being home with the family =)