My Uncle Wash and Aunt Pizza are here visiting from
Last night, my Uncle was invited by a group of his high school friends for dinner and Jojo, Jules and I tagged along. We drove almost an hour to
The best way to describe the dinner would be to call it interesting. I’ve grown up eating Chinese food in
Dinner started with several small plates of appetizers – a braised tofu dish that was made to resemble beef, roasted to a crsip squab which was glazed with a plum sauce, a pork ham hock that was covered in gelatin, chopped tofu and a parsley like vegetable, and sautéed celery stalks. We then had a soup that was served in a huge tureen – with a whole chicken inside – the chicken was chopped into pieces by our server and revealed shark’s fin inside. The soup was very tasty and was my hubby’s favorite dish of the night.
We then had a dish of stir-fried shrimps, scallops, red peppers and pearl onions surrounded by spinach. This was my favorite dish. The shrimps and scallops were super fresh - and almost sweet and the onions gave it a lot of flavor. Although it was stir-fried, the dish was not too oily – unlike most Chinese dishes. The presentation was beautiful too. This was followed by black mushrooms and baby bok choy in a whitish-colored sauce and topped with shredded scallops. It was very flavorful and I enjoyed this dish a lot as well.
Next came a huge platter of Dungeness crab in an egg sauce – it’s sort of like an egg-drop soup base over fried crab. Good but a little on the salty side. I told my hubby he was not missing that much since he is allergic to crabs. We then had sea cucumbers steamed and covered in a brownish sauce – that can only be described as Chinese gravy. Of all the dishes that night – this was my least favorite! Sea cucumbers look like giant slugs and taste just as slimy as they look. It was like eating giant lips – and I only managed a bite before discreetly transferring my share to Jojo’s plate. If you don't believe me, click on this link to see this slimy dish!
Our next dish was a curried lobster which was Jules’ favorite dish. It was really good but really spicy too. We were told the lobsters were fresh and flown in from
Our second to the last dish was a house specialty, a roasted and then deep fried whole duck with tasty glutinous rice in the center. Although we were all full by this time, our host told us we would be missing a lot by not trying this dish since it was the house specialty. He was right – the duck was crispy and flavorful while the rice was steaming hot and super savory. They also served this with steamed and fried buns –which were super good too.
Last dish of the night was two kinds of dumplings (shao long pao) – there were two varieties. There were meat-filled dumplings (round shaped) and vegetable-filled (crescent shaped) with the hot soup tucked inside the dumpling wrapper. It came with a black vinegar dipping sauce that added a really good kick to the dumplings. I was only able to try the vegetarian ones which were great (similar to Din Tai Fung’s - which I've featured in my blog before), I was too full to try the meat variety. For dessert, we had peanut balls in rice dough (my childhood favorite – we called them tsong wan ni back home) in a sweet rice soup. Yummy but honestly at this point (believe it or not) I was getting a bit tired of eating - I only managed to try one of my peanut balls. Lastly we sat around talking and enjoying hot tea and fresh orange slices.
It was an interesting dinner and certainly a unique culinary experience for us. What better way to spend a Friday night than to be with family, friends and a good meal.