We spent our New Year's Eve with 2 families at the Shanghai Club above Jimmy's Kitchen in Central. We had one floor of the club reserved for us which included a dining room and a large living room with several tables and sofas. It was a New Year's Eve I will never forget for several reasons:
1. One of the families who celebrated with us, the Chatchavals, brought their guitar hero set which had 2 guitars and a drumset. We all jammed with the kids playing the guitars and drumset, their faces so intense with concentration as they stared at the TV screen hoping to not make a mistake. The adults, on the other hand, with mics in hand, played air guitar, danced around like James Brown and Michael Jackson as they yelled their lungs out karaoke style.
2. The food started off with several appetizers including shrimp, sweet deep fried eels and a cold pork like terrine dish. Earlier today in the cab on the way to Causeway Bay as we were discussing the food from last night's dinner, my dad said,
"I really liked the lamb."
"What lamb dish? I don't think we got that at our table," I replied.
"It was cold and kind of had gelatin..." he responded.
"You mean like terrine? OMG, I ATE THAT!!! I THOUGHT IT WAS PORK!!"
I don't eat lamb. All the times I've eaten lamb were accidental. It's not for any dietary reasons, religious reasons or ethical reasons. It's just psychological, I don't feel comfortable eating lamb and I don't find it in any way appetizing.
3. So there I was, eating away. We had had Sharks Fin soup, peanut jelly sesame noodles, beancurd skin rolls with mushrooms and then the waitress placed a platter of chicken on our table. Jane, who sat on my left, graciously served me a piece on my plate.
"Thanks Jane, what's that?" I asked her.
"It's chicken." She responded.
I put the small piece of chicken into my mouth and ended up spitting it out because it was rather bony. I thought I had gotten a boneless piece but instead found it to have lots of small bones, I hate those pieces.
Later on, one of the aunties walked by me. The waitress had just replaced my plate with a clean plate.
"Tsk tsk tsk," she said as she walked by me. "A clean plate isn't a good sign!" She said jokingly, it means you're not eating!"
"No, no, the waitress just gave me a new plate!"
Quickly, I reached for the dish in front of me, it was the chicken. I decided to just have the black mushrooms instead of the chicken pieces because it was bony, but at the last minute grabbed a small piece which looked boneless. I took a bite of the chicken and again, it was full of small bones! I looked to the boy sitting next to me and he was struggling to fish out a bone from the chicken in his mouth. Trying hard not to laugh, I said to him, "the chicken has a lot of bones, huh?!" He looked at me after he had pulled the bones out from his mouth and placed them on his plate, "you do know it's frog right?"
I'm pretty sure my squeal, shriek, scream, whatever you want to call it, was heard throughout our function room despite all the chatter and the noise. I have NEVER had frog in my life with absolutely no plans of ever doing so. It's true, frog does taste like chicken, but NO, I NEVER WANT TO EAT FROG AGAIN! I was so grossed out I couldn't even eat the actual chicken dish that was served after. Damn you Jane! :)
4. Last unforgettable moment for me was the sweet pea dish. It was so deliciously tender and sweet. Sauted with tiny morsels of salted ham, it was as if we were eating sweet corn that had been made green with food coloring. No, they were peas that just happened to be exceptionally sweet and almost half the size of your average pea. I'm going to try it at home sometime, with either baby sweet peas or sweet corn. Saute onions and some ham bits, maybe add a little bit of butter. Then toss in the baby sweet peas (I'm just calling them baby peas because they were tiny, I don't really know if there's such a thing) or sweet corn (it's important that the corn or sweet peas are in fact sweet), trust me, it's delicious.