Wednesday, January 28, 2009

LUNAR NEW YEAR Reunion Dinner

I am writing this to show members of the family who were not with us at the reunion dinner. We miss you and we hope that you will make it one year in the future. Though distance separates us you were all in our thoughts when we ate the dinner!! Just enjoy the pictures.

Our family reunion dinner was held at a Foochow owned Country Court Restaurant in Kuching for eight of us and at the head of the table was our beloved matriarch. Not every member of the family was present as many were overseas at the time of the celebration. Though the restaurant was very crowded (we sat almost back to back) the service provided by the local Iban and Bidayuh waitresses and waiters and the Foochow owners was really good. There were two sessions of dinner guests : 5 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. We took the earlier session as most Foochows like to eat early.

The first dish was the five combination dish consisting of stir fried sharks'fins in egg omelette . There were ten steamed siew mai too. The third item was salad pickled jelly fish placed in a bowl in the middle. The deep fried roll was very nice. The fifth item was braised meat balls. Quite a good starter.

This was followed by a very refreshing fried noodles served in a very nice egg and seeafood sauce.

This is the sharks' fin soup which was not really up to the mark. My mother was not impressed as it was not of the right consistency. The taste was there but she won't recommend it to any one. Personally I am against the eating of shark's fin on any occasion. Fins are fins and they are cartilages so they do not have any particular flavour on their own. Some folks are known to pay up to RM1500 for a bowl!!

The steamed cod was lovely. Every Chinese must have a dish of fish to usher in "good luck" as "have fish" sounds like "have good luck". We must never forget to include fish in our reunion dinner menu. Cod has become very popular lately as the choice fish for our dinners. Because we are not Cantonese so we do not have "Yee Sang" a kind of combination dish with all the auspicious representatives of blessings for the Chinese new year.

This is the duck and chicken combination dish which was impressive and melt in the mouth delicious. Highly recommendable.

This is the sea cucumber braised with different kinds of mushroom to the right softness and the combination of flavours was really memorable. Excellent ! Compliments to the chef.

As all the diners in the restaurant moaned and groaned with so much food already in their stomachs we were served this huge plate of prawns cooked in caramelised butter!! The whiff sent us reeling and the taste was heavenly. We stuffed a few too many prawns into our already bursting stomach!! In fact we were saying that only the prawns were enough as our meal. But a reunion dinner had to make its run of so many dishes until every one said in unison "Too much!!" to be auspicious and blessed.

To end the dinner the restaurant served us this fruit cocktail filled with lots of ice. Nostalgic by then I began to think of the days when my third uncle had to buy huge ice blocks from the ice factory in Sibu for the final dessert dish. How we all washed our Chinese porcelain spoons in the glass of F and N orange or grape to get ready to dip into the communal bowl and savour the wonderful "foreign" peaches and longans!! What memories!! What joy!!

We finished our dinner by six thirty as the food was served punctually and in fact a little too quickly.

We did have a good welcome at the entrance. And as we left we felt that we could have given some tip to the banquet staff who were so charming and helpful. It was not at all easy to serve diners in such a crowded condition. But as we were given the check/bill and we were standing in a long and pushy queue we had to make a quick exit.

We went to the Spring to walk off a full Chinese Reunion Dinner stomach.

2 memories:

Free Bird said...

I just wish that my employers over here were a little bit more sensitive to other cultures...
I miss the company of the foochow family members very much and...I also
miss the sea slug/cucumber dish very much.

I hope i can make it back for chinese new year next year.

sarawakiana said...

It is difficult to miss the family reunion dinner. But the Chinese usualy expect the in laws to be with them.
And very few from far away would go "home" every year to their mother's place.
Have a partriarchal system the Chinese usually celebrate with their sons. Only once in a while the females members will be home with their parents and siblings. There must be a special reason like an 80th birthday celebration that goes with it.


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