Showing posts with label Reunion Dinner. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reunion Dinner. Show all posts

Friday 4 February 2011

Reunion Dinner At Peach Garden, 33 OCBC Centre

Last year our combined family reunion dinner was organised by my brother and it was held at "Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant - 四川豆花饭庄" at UOB Plaza(post HERE). And this year it will be my cousin's turn to source for the dinner venue as well as selection of menu.

Finally after some research he decided to held the dinner at one of the newest "Peach Garden(桃苑)" outlet at level 33, OCBC centre.

From the photo above, you can glance that our menu for this year is "Chef's Recommendation Lunar New Year Special Set Menu" that consists of 1 Yu Sheng as appetiser, 5 Main Courses and 2 Desserts to cater for 12 Adults.

Upon arriving at the restaurant there is a pool of "Tangerine()" available near the entrance counter for customers to pick up as a symbolise of "Good Luck". Other than tangerines there are also bottles of  Peach Garden homemade special "XO Sauce" on sale for customers to purchase home.

Before dinner starts there are some delicious "Almond Cookies(杏仁饼)" from Peach Garden that is served as snack. And most of us who tried agrees that these cookies do taste light with a hint of delicate Almond flavor that is not too overpowering. Some even believes that Almond cookies symbolise "COINS" which will bring good fortune too.

As usual the 1st dish for any Chinese New Year Menu will be "Yu Sheng(鱼生)" which symbolise good luck, prosperity, promotion and etc. According to the waitress this dish is known as "福星高照" and she will help to add/pour in the ingredients one at time with auspicious greetings used for Chinese New Year before we starts our "Lo Hei(撈起)".

Other than the usual Shark's fins and Abalones, "Roasted Golden Suckling Pig(金陵片披乳猪)" is another popular dish to be included in traditional Chinese New Year Reunion menu which symbolise "Gold and Good Luck". For this dish the crispy skin layers are eaten with either flat bun or thin wrapper together with hoisin sauce.

While the reminding parts of the suckling pig is usual cut into small pieces and braised with "Mei Cai(梅菜)"  or deep-fried with seasoning shown above. Eveyone comments that this is indeed a very delicious dishe as the crispy outer layer is being infuse with a light and tasty salt and pepper seasoning which makes it goes choice to go with either beer or wine.

Next on the list is this "Double-boiled Shark's Fin with Shrimp Dumpling and Mustard Green Soup(亭汤中鲍翅水饺菜胆). To me this soup is nothing really special perhaps just a good soup broth that tops with a small piece of "Sharks Fin" and Shrimp dumpling.

This "Braised 1 Head Whole Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Lettuce(原只1头鲍鱼海参菜)" is one of my aunt's family favourite dish as they loves the texture of Abalones.To us the sea cucumber is nicely cooked with a soft and gluey texture but the abalone was rather a bit bland to taste. Still prefer the braised abalone from Ah-Yat or Owen.

The "Braised Soon Hock with Yam Paste(芋泥焖笋壳鱼)" was rather miserable in appearance and taste. Before this dish is serve I was rather excited to see how the chef will incorporate "Yam Paste" into the dish but when it comes the serving appearance immediately gives it a "F" grade. Perhaps the waitress are pretty busy and they did not even ask us whether to serve the fish in whole or in individual portion. And we can only see a few yam cubes in it rather than what is mentioned as "Yam Paste" so I think there is nothing special about this dish which is just braised fish with yam cubes in sauce.

Last dish is "Saute Live Prawns with Noodles and Homemade Sauce(干爆生虾捞面)" with lots of LEEKS(蒜) that symbolise "money" whereas the noodles in this dish symbolise "longevity in health".

Finally it's Dessert time, as usual there are two different types of dessert in the Chinese New Year menu. The 1st one shown on the photo is "Dried Glutinous Rice Ball(干捞汤圆)" where the black sesame fillings rice ball is coated with grind peanuts.

Second dessert is rather something new apart from those usual mango pomelo or red bean soup. This is known as "Ice Refreshing Pearl Tea(冰凉珍珠茶)" that serves with mini chewy pearls and cold refreshing jelly together with fragrant tea.

Overall this is a great Reunion Dinner where everyone gets together and stay as a family that shares happiness and funtime. And as usual every year after reunion dinner, Uncle James will give each of us an advance ang bao known as "Ya Sui Qian(压岁钱). In the olden days, during Chinese New Year eve the elders will prepared some advance money to be given to the younger generation as this said New Year's money is use to suppress the evil spirit and the junior will have money to spend in peace in coming New Year.

Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner - Part I

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.

Block 412 Bedok North Ave 2
Singapore 460412
Reservation: (65)6442 9398

Daily Business Hours:
Lunch: 11.30am - 2.30pm(last order 2.15pm);
Dinner: 5.30pm - 10.30pm(last order 10.30pm)

Sunday 21 February 2010

Famous Crab King @ Marina South Pier

Time past really fast during festive season, last Sunday we just had our Reunion Dinner @ Si Chuan Dou Hua and today we are having another New Year lunch organised by Aunty Lily's family @ this "Famous Crab King Seafood Restaurant" which is located at "Marina South Pier - 滨海南码头".

"Famous Crab King - 强盛海鲜楼" has two branches in Singapore which is located in Toa Payoh Industrial Park and Marina South Pier. According to those who frequent these branches, they do have a solid reputation for providing fresh, quality food at reasonable prices. Marina South Pier branch is located on second storey of the pier and it's has an excellent view on the harbour despite you are dinning in the air-conditioning room or balcony view which you can enjoy the sea breeze/scenic while having your meal.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, we find that the dinning atmosphere was great with the harbour view clearly seen from the inside of the restaurant as well. Beside the that, they also have a few tanks of live seafood showcase at a corner near the kitchen area.

As usual, since it is still within the first 15 days of Chinese New Year, the custom of serving "Yusheng - 鱼生" as the starter of the meal still continued. The Yusheng here is quiet different from the usual one that we have, especially on their ingredients. From the name " Salmon Raw Fish Yu Sheng With Snow Pear - 水晶雪梨发财鱼生", you will be wondering how is the "Snow Pear - 雪梨" being incorporate into the Yusheng. To our surprised, they actually replace the white radish with shredded snow pear, and also some colourful "tadpole" eggs like sago which you don't really find in other Yusheng outside. So we give this dish about 8/10 for it's taste, colour and self-made crispy bites too...

While waiting for other dishes to be served, Rey and I went out to the balcony area where we can have a better view of the harbour. "Marina South Pier - 滨海南码头" is located in Marina South(used to be the place where people will gather around for steamboat, kite flying and etc during weekends) which is used as a terminal for tourists and day trippers who are boarding small boats and ferries heading for the Southern Islands. This pier was built to replace Clifford Pier since April 2006 to provide regular ferries to Kusu Island and Saint John's Island operate daily.

Em... This dish look sort of like "Pai Gu Wang - 排骨王" at first glance, but accordingly to my cousin, this is one of their famous signature dish known as " Pan Fried Pork Chop In Sweet & Sour Sauce - 翡翠香酥肉". The pork chop is very tender, juicy and fill with the aroma of the sauce. Most important, it does not taste/smell of those porky taste. This sure goes well with a bowl of steam rice.........

I love this " Braised Assorted Mushroom with Beancurd in Abalone Sauce - 鲍汁鲜菌豆腐". The outer layer of the doufu is crispy while the inner layer is soft and moist, accompany with the assorted mushroom and abalone sauce on top really enhance the flavour of the doufu. Other than these, this dish also served with some blanch "Spinach - 菠菜" on the side and the mushroom sauce goes really well with spinach.

Guess what, this is one of our all time favourite, "Deep Fried Prawns with Cereal - 麦片虾". Cousin was indeed very thoughtful that he actually give instruction to the chef to remove the shell of the prawns before stirring it through the cereal mixture. The cereal for this dish is nicely fried with that great aroma and the colour is still remains as light golden instead of over cooked/burnt. Overall, everyone of us give praise to this dish.

Em... this is the 4th Roast Chicken that I had for Chinese New Year dish. I still wondering why they must used roasted chicken instead of steam...........guess maybe is due to it's golden colour after deep-fried. I find this is rather a special dish that drizzle some combination of "Garlic, Spring Onion and White Onion" mixture on top of the roast chicken. But half of us still think that this combination should be placed on steam chicken instead of roast chicken so as to let the chicken absorb the fragrant and taste of the mixture.

Here comes the "Stars" of today's menu. We have two Crab dishes that is cooked in different method. First to come is their signature crab dish known as " Pumpkin Custard Crab - 金瓜奶黄蟹". I have read a few good review from magazine about this dish and today finally I got a chance to look and taste it. The pumpkin custard taste great with the deep-fried "Man Tou - 馒头", the sauce does not over powder by the pumpkin taste and they really combined well with the crab.

Next they served the "Fried Crab With Custard & Salted Yolk - 金沙奶油蟹" which is arranged in a very unique way that most of us have not seen before. They actually stacked up the pieces one by one on top of the crab shell to form a tall tower. This can be consider as one of the best Salted Egg Crab that I had tried before, the combination of the sauce is great, not too salty, not too sweet. Everything is just well combined and the crab pieces is nicely fried and overall we loved these two crab dishes. We do recommend you to give these a try if you do love crab too....

Lastly, cousin also ordered one of my brother's favourite dish which is this "Stewed Ee-Fu Noodle with Yellow Chives - 菲皇焖伊面". Accordingly to the dish, it supposed to be stewed with Yellow Chives, but when the dish is served we find there is a lot of assorted mushroom in it instead of yellow chives. I guess maybe they are out of stock for chives so they replaced it with mushroom instead....... The texture of the noodle is ok, but the taste of the sauce is not really good, still can have some room for improvement on this dish.

Finally, it's dessert time...... I have being waiting for dessert as usual. But I was kind of disappointed when they didn't served the "Chilled Mango Cream with Pomelo - 杨枝甘露" and replaced it with this "Red Bean Cream with Lotus Seeds - 莲子红豆沙". This red bean cream was kind of diluted rather than the creamy texture, and guess the serving waiter is either kind of new or he is simply not doing his job well as some of the bowl is only half filled and with too many lotus seeds while some bowls are empty with just the red bean soup instead. Posted by Picasa

Overall this place is still great for it's dish at a reasonable price if you wish to find some seaside view for dinning. Or if you are hanging around at "Marina Barrage - 滨海堤坝" area, perhaps you would also like to drop by for lunch/dinner which is less than 5 minutes drive from the Barrage. To get to Marina South Pier, you can either drive or travel by MRT to Marina Bay Station, and take bus service number 402 outside the station.

Sunday 14 February 2010

Reunion Dinner @ Si Chuan Dou Hua UOB Plaza

This year is my brother's turn to arrange the venue and crack his head on which menu to select for our 10 persons Chinese New Reunion Dinner gathering. So without hesitation, he selected one of his favourite hangout @ " Tian Fu Teahouse - 天府茶艺馆" which is one of the tea house concept by "Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant - 四川豆花饭庄" which is located at the UOB Plaza 1, level #60-01.

For reunion dinner, this restaurant offer similar timing like most others do which you can select either the earlier timing which will ends around 8pm or later slot which start serving at around 8.30pm. Upon seated, we are being served with a cup of traditional "Long Jing Tea - 龙井茶" that is prepared with exact measurement of tea leaves and served in an amazing way by the Tea Master. Other than their special tea, you must also try their very own appetiser, "Si Chuan Pickles - 四川榨酱菜 " which is crunch and tasty.

Our today's menu will be the "Prosperity Set - 大展鸿图" that serves with 7 dishes and 2 desserts. After about 10 minutes of waiting, the 1st dish of the night, "Ikan Parang Yu Sheng with Golden Fish Crisps" arrived. According to the waitress, this is known also as "风生水起" where she will help to add/pour in the ingredients one at time with auspicious greetings used for Chinese New Year. When she has finished the process, it is our turn to use the chopsticks to stir the ingredients together and lift it up as high as possible to represent good luck, prosperity, promotion and etc.

For your information, there is a plate of "Deep-fried Salmon Skin" which is prepared by the restaurant for this Yusheng dish.

Another 10 minutes or so our "Braised Shark's Fin Soup with Crabmeat - 双喜展亦翅" came. Most of us was quite disappointed with this dish because we find it too starchy which we think it look and tasty like those sticky dessert rather than shark's fin soup. Moreover, I don't even seen any crabmeat which mentioned is most of the bowls, but rather we found a lot of chicken cubes in it.

While waiting for the chef to sliced off the crispy outer skin of the "Bei Jing Roasted Duck - 北京脆皮烤鸭" and the preparation of the pancake parcel, our "Stir-Fried Prawns with French Beans in Garlic & Chilli - 欢乐满华堂" was served. The prawn balls are very fresh and crunch and it goes well with the chilli sauce which we find it similar to chilli crab sauce.

But I was rather attracted to the chef and waitress who is busying slicing the roasted duck and rolling the pancake parcel. My brother loves their Bei Jing Roasted Duck and he ordered this for an extra bonus dish for us to try. We were all amazed by the chef skill in slicing the duck which is still piping hot with smoke filling in the air. The pancake still is kept warm in a bamboo steamer which two tone of colour which is jade green and white. The waitress quickly spread a layer of sweet bean sauce(hoisin sauce) then top with generous amount of crispy duck then wrapped it into a pocket parcel.

The remaining parts of the duck will be made into a second dish called "San Choi Bao - 生菜包" where they cut the duck meat into small cubes and stir-fry it with spices, spring onion, white onion and etc. This dish is served together with a plate of "Iceberg Lettuce - 生菜" leaves that are used to wrap the duck meat mixture and eat it as a finger food.

Next dish on the list is "Pan-fried Pomfret in Soya Sauce - 年年添有余". This can be consider as a normal classic homecook fish dish that can be found is most family. I remember, my late dad used to cook this dish for us at least once a week. I love the outer crispy texture of the fish that goes well with taste of soya sauce base.

"Braised Pork Knuckles with Dried Oyster & Sea Moss - 发财就好市" is the 5 dish on the menu list. According to the myth of most Chinese, they believed that dried oyster sounded like "好事 - good deeds" whereas moss sounded like "发财 - get rich" in Mandarin so when these two ingredients put together with pork kunckles it became another auspicious name such as "横财就手". I love this dish, because I love Pork Knuckles that is braised in such method where the meat and fat are so soft and smooth like jelly texture.

Eat out during holiday season like Christmas or Chinese New Year can be a great problem because due to large crowds they might be a longer waiting time interval before each dish is being served. It's already 10.30pm and we still have another 2 more dishes and 2 dessert to go. And because of the late dinner and waiting time, by the time they served this special and attractive "Crispy Roast Chicken - 金风报佳音" we were almost too full and tired to try. Most of us love the toasted almond flakes topping which bring extra fragrance to this dish.

Now we reach the last dish which is "Glutinous Rice with Waxed Meat wrapped in Lotus Leaf - 五谷贺丰年". At first, mum suggested that perhaps we shall ask the waitress to help us pack-up this dish and served the desserts instead because everyone of us are too full to eat any rice dish. But after seeing the actual portion, uncle James feel that it is alright for us to take a small portion after divided into 10 serving. Although we are all very full, but we must admit that this dish is indeed very nice, fragrance and most of all not greasy.

Finally! Here comes our desserts of the night. I have being waiting for these two dessert before even the main course is up. First to come is their "Homemade Beancurd with Red Bean - 红豆豆花". The sweet and aroma of the cooked red beans goes very well with their homemade silky beancurd. Even though I am very full after eating the above dishes, but I don't mind having a second share of the extra bowl of beancurd :p

My excitement of tonight focus on this special "Steamed Layer New Year Cake with Egg Custard - 千层煎年糕 " which I am able to it from the restaurant "Imperial High Tea - 宫廷下午茶 " dim sum which is being feature on TV entertainment programme, "NEW CITY BEAT - 城人新杂志". These new year cakes are being served on a cute little bamboo hanger in the bamboo steamer. Each cake comes in about 8 layers in a mixture of Nian Gao, Egg Custard and the white portion seems like bread/cake/or something like rice flour texture...... Overall it's a very delighted sweet dessert for both Chinese New Year and Valentine's Day. Posted by Picasa

Overall everyone of us are very satisfied with today's menu and each of us have our own preference on each dishes...... And I am looking forward to try their limited period promotion on the "Imperial High Tea" which is till 28 February 2010. If you are interested in the unique Imperial Dim Sum that serves with good grade of tea by the tea master, perhaps you can consider this offer at either UOB Plaza 1 or Park Royal Hotel(Beach Road).