September 22, 2010

Family dinner hell

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It's Mid-Autumn Festival and that can only mean family gathering.  Four generations at the same dinner table, some of whom are not on speaking terms with each other.  A grandma (whom I love but) who has been increasingly annoying over the last 30 years; a younger cousin who's basically a vacuum cleaner for food and has zero regard for others at the table.  I was gonna have a good time... NOT!

I haven't stepped foot in Yin Yih Restaurant (銀翼餐廳) for ages.  During my childhood it was grandpa's favorite restaurant, and its proximity to their house meant it was a place we frequented.  Time for some more memories, only this time the memories weren't so happy...

We didn't order a set menu for the evening, but as usual there was just way too much food.

Stir-fried freshwater eel (炒鱓糊) - the first dish to arrive, and disappeared in no time.

Shredded tofu tossed with ham and bamboo shoots (拌豆腐絲)

Stir-fried dried tofu with shredded beef (豆干炒牛肉絲) - slightly spicier variation.

Braised sea cucumber and pork tendon (紅燒海參蹄筋) - I didn't have the sea cucumber but the tendons were pretty tasty.  The best thing about the dish was actually the leeks, since they were slightly charred on the outside and caramelized on the inside.

Marinated chicken (風雞?) - this was pretty good... enough flavor without being too heavy on the salt.

Tea-smoked duck (樟茶鴨) - pretty decent so I had a few pieces.

Xiaolongbao (小籠包) - nothing to write home about... Didn't even look appetizing.

Steamed vegetable dumplings (蒸素餃) - flavors were nice but they got a little too dry sitting underneath the basket of XLB...

Marinated hearts of Chinese cabbage (涼拌白菜心) - comped by the restaurant.  Not bad.

Noodles with freshwater eel (鱓糊拌麵) - this is the dish grandpa and I would always have all those years ago... still pretty yummy.

Candied lotus root with sticky rice and osmanthus sauce (桂花蓮藕) - very, very yummy... one of my favorite Chinese desserts.

While the food was pretty decent, the company tonight...left a lot to be desired.  Family bickering/nagging is never fun, and I tried hard to keep up my tolerance level tonight.  It also didn't help that we had neighbors who brought their dogs to their tables - with one of them sitting on a chair and putting its paws on the table.  I like dogs, but I don't think they belong at restaurant tables...

Let's hope for a happier family gathering next year... for me.


Andrew said...

Totally agree about the dogs at the table; it’s one of my passionate hates of dinning in HK. A dog in a restaurant is always enough to make me leave. Oh and of course having a dog in a restaurant is illegal through hygiene laws in most developed countries. And yes I love dogs as well.


Honch said...

It is sad that Hong Kong people hate dogs so much. My own personal experience is that even Michelin restaurants in France allow dogs at the table as long as they behave (and they usually do). Give the little guys and gals a chance! Ken Leung


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