February 9, 2009

Final dinner for Lunar New Year

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Today is the 15th day of the Lunar New Year, and Chinese people traditionally celebrate the Lantern Festival. It's a time for family gatherings, but since my family doesn't live in Hong Kong, I was invited by my colleague to celebrate with some of his family and close friends.

My colleague tends to go to Farm House (農圃) for family gatherings. This place had pissed me off last year with poor service and subpar food, so it was a good opportunity to see whether things would be better this time around.

A magnum of the 2002 Château de Malleret was decanted and served during dinner. This wine actually drank quite well given that it's a Cru Bourgeois Supérieur.

We started with crab roe shark's fin soup (鮮拆蟹粉燴鮑翅), which was pretty decent. I don't normally eat much shark's fin but decided to partake on this occasion. Crab roe is aways yummy, though...

Next came the braised abalone and sea cucumber (十五頭網鮑扣關東遼參). I'm surprised at the number of people at the table - all those "bananas" - who don't eat sea cucumber. Well, it wasn't bad. The abalone was pretty tasty, but the restaurant didn't clean it thoroughly and I ended up with some sand and yucky bits in my mouth. Not very pleasant...

Stir-fried beef with ginger and scallions (薑蔥爆牛肉) is a simple dish, yet one that always hits the spot since it's basically comfort food for me.

Eastern star garoupa with radish and tofu skin (蘿蔔腐竹燴東星斑) was interesting as it isn't the normal Cantonese steamed fish. The fish was pan-fried first, so the skin has a lot more taste.

I didn't get to taste the steamed egg (蒸水蛋), but the soy chicken (豉油雞) was excellent. The chicken came in a claypot and was dunked in a pool of sweet soy sauce. Pretty yummy.

The choy sum (菜心) was good, and the claypot rice with preserved meats (油鴨臘味煲仔飯) was a nice way to finish.

Following Chinese tradition, we had stuffed glutinous rice balls (湯圓) for dessert on this night - with a ginger soup base (薑汁) in the Canto version. I'm glad I am still able to maintain part of my heritage, although being part Shanghainese means I'm more used to having these in fermented rice (酒釀) soup.

The overall quality of the food was pretty decent, so I guess I can look at coming back here for some casual meals...

1 comment:

susan said...

Glad to hear it's better - is it back up to their old standards? I haven't been there since they moved - that's when I read your report saying the quality had declined.
But no stuffed chicken wings?

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