Sunday, 10 February 2008

happy chinese new year!

Chinese New Year is always an elaborate affair in my household; from the family dinner on the 31st, another family dinner on the 1st, to the weekend where the extended family can meet up and sit yet again around the dinner table. As for the past many years, we were at Regal on Sussex St. for our annual Chinese New Year dinner with the extended family; so many dishes that I was positively full a third of the way into the meal. The real shame was that there was no lion dancing this year (although us kids did come up with something else to do :D See my next post!). Can't say I'm the biggest fan of lion dancing (esp. when it takes them a good hour to get around a restaurant when it's packed) but it does quite feel like Chinese New Year when you don't see that lion!

Anyway (back to the food), as usual we went for one of the CNY banquet packages with a few added dishes. The menu probably hasn't changed since the first time we went there but definitely no complaints from me, it is so yummy! My favourite would be the deep-fried taro-coated scallops and the lotus paste flower desserts (I swear you can't get these elsewhere! and even if you did, it wouldn't taste as good).

The pink sheet of paper outlines the 3 packages they have and all the dishes you get. Every dish has a lucky name. First course: Jellyfish & Suckling Pig.
Second Course: Deep-fried taro-coated scallops. Third Course: Lettuce with Oysters.
Fourth Course: Shark's Fin Soup
Fifth Course: LobsterSixth Course: FishSeventh Course: AbaloneNth Courses: Sweet & Sour Pork, Salt & Pepper Fried FishMum & I (after a beer)More food: Beef cubes with Wasabi dipping sauceEven more food: Peppered Beef Ribs with Mushrooms (I like this one!) Still more food: Crispy Skin Chicken
Part tradition: Fried Rice. There were also noodles (which I don't have a photo of)
Dessert time: Pretty lotus paste pastry flowers and these things which tasted like the topping of Pineapple buns.
Traditonal Chinese Cookies with Sesame.
My cousin Chris and the fruit platters.

Admittedly, I'm a little pudgy since eating all that. But frankly, I wasn't the only one who walked out of Regal with a bit a waddle :D Anyway, it'll be another year before I eat to such excess again (will try to be good over the next couple of weeks).

And hey, can anyone tell me what the story is with red pockets? My understanding is that you aren't meant to open them straight away but you put them under your pillow and sleep on them overnight for the good luck to sink in. I just got told today that you're not meant to even open them for at least 2 weeks (till CNY is well and trully over). Someone let me know else I'll be using mine to buy my travel pass this week :D

Happy Chinese New Year Everyone!

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