Time flies fast and today is the 4th day of Chinese Lunar New Year which I believe most of you had a great long weekend with abundant of food and bonding time during house visiting. And out of the 15 days of new year celebration we are still down with another 11 days more to indulge with the New Year atmosphere and food.
Here I would like to share with you how we celebrate our reunion dinners with family and relatives during the week of Chinese New Year Eve.
Today is the 4th day of Chinese Lunar New Year and it seems like just last Wednesday we were all busy preparing to welcome new year and yet now it's already 3 days (out of the 15 days) past the new year celebrations. I find this year seems to be quieter as compared to previous years also you don't really find crowds around doing house visiting and etc. Perhaps due to the long weekends or raining weathers, most of the people rather choose to stay dry in doors or go for a short holiday trip too.
Every year throughout the 15 daysof Chinese Lunar New Year(CNY) celebration we would have some house visiting and food gatherings among relatives and friends. As usual from reunion dinner onwards everyday there is at least 1 food gathering where we get to feast different kinds of CNY goodies or special new year dishes.
This post shows how our family feast during the 1st 7 days of Chinese New Year.
EARLY REUNION DINNER @ JING LONG SEAFOOD RESTAURANT
Again this year our reunion dinner with in-laws is at their favourite Jing Long Seafood Restaurant(last year dinner HERE) located at Bedok North Ave 2. But this year their service was rather bad due to poor planning of dine-in timing and lack of serving staffs.
Deep-fried Soon Hock with Garlic - Crispy outer layer with tender and juicy meat inside.
Deep-fried Prawns with Special Sauce - Love these prawns that soak in tom yum taste gravy together with dong fen(冬粉) in it. The dong fen taste so delicious while soaking up the gravy.
Prosperity Seafood Noodles - This braised Longevity Noodles with seafood is something new to me and I would want to replicate this yummy dish at home. For the sweet version of this longevity noodles you can refer HERE.
OUR REUNION DINNER AT HOME
This year I have prepared two simple dishes for our reunion dinner which is this Stir-fry Fu Gui Cai and Stuffed Mushrooms with Black Moss. (please refer to recipe HERE)
Second dish is this traditional Hakka Glutinous Rice Wine Chicken(黄酒鸡) where homemade rice wine is used to simmer the chicken pieces with ginger and perhaps some red dates for Chinese New Year auspicious colour. (please refer to recipe HERE)
CHINESE NEW DAY 1 - LUNCH
Braised Sea Cucumber with Mushrooms, Fish Maw, Abalone, Pork Tendons(猪脚筋), Dried Scallop(干贝), Black Moss and etc.
Love this Stir-fry Broccoli with Scallop. Very quick and simple homecook veggies.
One of the traditional Hakka dish - Braised Mushroom with dried oyster, roast pork and black moss.
CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 2 - DINNER
Since the coffee shop below mum's place is not opening during Day 2 of Chinese New Year, she has to source for another catering to provide the food for evening gatherings. Here are the food that she ordered from "Feng Wei Seafood(Block 5 Tanjong Pagar Plaza)".
Braised Tofu with Mushrooms - Accordingly to mum the stall owner told her that they made this tofu themselves instead of store bought. The tofu is very silky soft and fragrance which blends well with the stewed mushrooms and sauce.
CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 6 - UNCLE ALAN'S HOUSE
For a chance Aunty Grace did not order her Chinese New Year Buffet from the usual cater company this year. Instead she tried another food catering which is smaller in scale and provide quality style of homecook food buffet.
We all love this Braised Pork Belly(Kong Ba Bao - 扣肉包) which is well-season. Each piece of the pork belly is so soft and tender and it goes very well with the white steamed bun. Can't resists to eat more but have to control :)
This round we have Pork Ribs Curry instead of the usual Chicken Curry. Taste wise still acceptable but there is still room for improvement on their curry spices.
Yummy homemade Cheng Teng(清汤) which is not too sweet and yet taste great with generous amount of ingredients such as dried longan, gingko nuts, barley and etc.
CHINESE NEW YEAR DAY 7 - UNCLE LIANG's HOUSE
Uncle Liang is my mum's 2nd brother who is also known as "2nd Uncle" to me. Every years during Chinese New Year he would invited everyone to his house for lunch where Aunty Irene (aunty-in-laws) would whipped up spread of delicious homecook food for us.
Aunty Irene is very thoughtful and she would always prepared some of these finger food for kids(we always have around 10 young cousin).
This "Braised Sea Cucumber" together with lot of other ingredients such as clam, mushroom, black moss, roast pork and etc is one of Aunty Irene signature dish. Everyone I would look forward to eat this dish and I have tried to replicate once using her recipe too. If you are interested to read up more please refer to the link HERE.
Aunty Irene's fried chicken wings is also another of her signature dish. Her chicken wings is very flavorsome and remains crispy even if it is cold. Everyone loves this and we can have 4 to 5 in one go.
Very colourful homemade YuSheng (鱼生) prepared by my 2nd Aunty-in-laws and everyone praised for its' taste and freshness.
My cute and forever young mum, aunty and aunty-in-laws: (Left from back: Small Aunty, Mum, 2nd Aunty-in-laws and 6th Aunty-in-laws; Left from front: 3rd Aunty-in-laws; Small Aunty-in-laws and Big Aunty-in-laws)
My uncles and uncle-in-law: (Left from back: Big Uncle, 6th Uncle, Uncle-in-laws; Left from Front: 2nd Uncle and Small Uncle)
Although different people has different view of Chinese New Year, some might look forward while others might being "running" away from this festive season. But no matter which category you belong to, my advise it family bonding is always something heartwarming and it's good to gather everyone together and enjoy even a simple homecook meal. For more photos of our Chinese New Year celebration, you can check it out at Cuisine Paradise Facebook page "Usher Into the Year of Dragon" album HERE.
Traditionally most Chinese families would gather together for a feast a few days or just before the start of Chinese Lunar New Year. And eventually this meal is known as “Tuan Yuan Fan(团 圆 饭) or Reunion Dinner which is eaten with all immediate family members as a symbol of strength and unity in the family. And during the reunion dinner there is always plenty of food on the table and also by having an excess of food would also symbolizes good fortune for the New Year too. For the past few years my mum has being joining us together with my in-laws to have Reunion Dinner since she is alone after my dad passed away. And this round is our 2nd year having pre Chinese New Year dinner at "Jing Long Seafood Restaurant" which is located at Bedok North Ave 2.
We reached the place around 5.40pm and almost 3/4 of the restaurant is full of customers either waiting for the food to be served or at least already eaten the 1st dish which is "Yu Sheng". By 6pm the restaurant is fully packed with customers and the serving staffs also seems to be a bit slow and forgetful as they didn't even serve us any drink after 30 minutes upon our arrival.
Finally after another 10 minutes, our "Salmon Yu Sheng(三文鱼鱼生)" arrived and the waitress starts to mumbling all those auspicious words while adding in the ingredients.
Second dish is "Braised Shark Fins with Bean Sprout(银芽扣珍珠翅)". Out of all the dishes in the menu, we find this is actually abit below average taste as the stock is so thick and gluey that reminds me of the "Tau Suan(spilt green bean soup)".
When comes to fish, do you prefer steam or deep-fried? I think most of the people would prefer "Steam" rather than "Deep-fried" if the fish is fresh. But surprisingly our "Deep-fried Soon Hock Fish in Special Sauce(特味顺壳鱼)" on that day was quite impressive with their special sauce and also some "Papadum(an Indian cracker)" instead of usual prawn crackers around it.
Does this "Braised Mushroom with Dried Oyster(花菇耗士生菜)" look Familiar to you? Yes! If you have follow my Chinese New Year dishes, you would have read up the post on how we prepared a similar dish at home. (read more HERE)
Instead of the usual Crispy Cereal Prawns that my sister-in-law loves, this year we are having "Spicy Butter Prawn(奶辣脆皮虾)". And according to New Year myth, eating prawns will bring happiness and well-being because in Mandarin and Cantonese "Xia" and "Ha" mean laughter.
You can find this popular "Lotus Leaf Rice with Chinese Sausage(腊味荷叶饭)" dish in most of the Chinese New Year set menu from various restaurants. It is believes that these rice grain symbolise "silver and gold" that is being wrapped in a money bag.
Lastly for dessert we have something different this year which is the "Assorted Mochi(四季麻薯)" instead of their signature Mango Cream with Pomelo.
This is Part I of our Reunion Dinner on Sunday, 30 January 2010 at Jing Long Seafood Restaurant. Personally I think dine-out during Chinese New Year in any restaurants is actually very rush and the food might not be as good in quality compare to normal days. Although Jing Long serves quite good quality of food but from my past experience on eating reunion dinner in restaurants, I find that with the price that we are paying is actually goes to the staffs OT pay during festive season instead of the quality of the food.
Hope next year everyone can agreed to have something simple at home rather than eat out which is too costly and not worth paying for the price and quality of food we had.
"Jin Long Seafood Restaurant - 金隆海鲜菜馆" is always crowded and reservation is definitely necessary or else you will have to wait for a very long time before you can get a place or till the food to be served. From the waitress, we heard that the stall is going to shift over to the opposite block whereby they will have their own air-conditioning restaurant in a couple of weeks time. When it comes to Tofu Dish, making a choice to order this "Jin Long's Signature Chai Poh Tofu - 菜脯豆腐" will never disappoint you. The Chai Poh(salted turnip) - 菜脯 topping was so crispy and light that I thought it was minced garlic at a glance of it. The tofu itself is very smooth and silky which you can hardly imagine something after deep-fried can still be so yummy that will melt in your mouth when you eat it.
Egg Omelette or "Furong Dan - 芙蓉蛋" is one of the most commonly egg dish that is found in Zhi Char stall - 煮炒摊. A plate of good and tasty Furong Dan depends on the skill of the chef as how he control the fire while frying the egg omelette. The omelette served in Jin Long is just nice with it's slightly crispy outer layer that gives you a very special aroma when eaten.
This look similar to one of my favourite dish "Coffee Pork Ribs - 咖啡排骨". But according to the waitress this is known as "Baked Sweet & Sour Pork Ribs - 港式烤排骨". The pork ribs are marinated with their special sauce then baked it until soft and tender. To us the taste of the pork ribs is good but the meat seems to be a little tough for older folks to chew it.
Lastly comes the "Deep-fried Scallop Combination - 千叶带子" which is also one of their signature dish where you can enjoy a few taste and texture in one dish. The ingredients that found in this dish are: scallops(you can see from the photo, the scallop used are of thick flesh), prawns, banana and bak kwa. Each layer of the scallop is sandwich with fresh prawn and banana that topped with a piece of bak kwa and deep-fried with their special batter. We have waited for at least 30 minutes for this dish to be served until we almost cancel this order, but luckily the end products was still worth the waiting time. Do give this a try, it's definitely worth the price of less than S$20.00.
Updated New Address: January 2010 金隆海鲜菜馆 Blk 412, Bedok North Ave 2 #01-114, Singapore S460412 Telephone: 6442 9398