Wednesday, February 18, 2015

reunion dinner rating

It's Chinese New Year and what comes first is the Reunion Dinner.

House prince (because my youngest bachelor brother is served hand and foot) Teng announces that he does not want to do a steamboat for reunion dinner this year because it’s plain and not very tasty.

So our folks wrack their brains for a sumptuous new menu of food, mostly painstakingly prepared by Jai and my mother.

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* Jai and mum in the back kitchen, soup stewing over a charcoal burner

Some were hits, some were misses.

Here’s my Reunion Dinner rating (I’m very liberal with my points) based on the volume of each dish consumed and taste, as reference for next year.

Stir-fried kalian with liberally-strewn abalone: 9/10. The entire dish was finished, everybody loved the vegetable (the abalone not so much) and as the only stand-alone vegetable dish for the night it was relatively healthy (in the midst of unhealthy snacking and lots of bak-kwa, we need our vegetables).

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Pig stomach soup with pork, cabbage, bai guo and water chestnut: 9/10. Such good peppery soup to wash down rich food and slosh around warmly in the stomach. The soup finished fast, leaving behind all the dregs which nobody wanted because we were too full.

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Store-bought yam ring (heated up) with fresh stir-fried peppers and cashews: 6/10. Not everybody likes yam and by the time the ring was served on the table it was cold.

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Stewed black mushrooms with chicken feet: 3/10. It was untouched. Not because it didn’t taste good. On a normal day I would lap it up. It was all left behind because it can be kept and eaten the next day. So we all focused on the must-eats, leaving the leftover-ables.

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Fried fish slices with spring onion: 8/10. Nice. And all finished because it couldn’t be kept.

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Fried prawns: 2/10. It was delicious. But see, nobody likes to get their hands dirty and when there’s a table of other good easy eats, who will get cracking on the shells? Also, some people have high cholesterol. So a lot of prawns were left behind.

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Roast pork: 3/10. It was finished but it was meh. Can do without it.

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Samsui lettuce-wrapped chicken with ginger sauce from Soup Restaurant: 9/10. Everybody went for this first. It’s a very tasty and nice-looking novelty.

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Mum's red-bean soup with a tang-yuan: 10/10. This is the dessert tradition which has stayed on! Despite bulging tummies, everyone welcomed their bowl of hot red-bean soup and some, impossibly, even had two after a quick walk up and down the street.

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The dinner table.

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* Teng (who gets the food he wants), KK's brother, father and mother

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