Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!!

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.  


Spotted: Chip wandering the streets of Causeway Bay alone and then popping into Cafe Habitu.  We ducked into Cafe Habitu immediately after and when Chip saw us, he asked us to join him for a mug of hot chocolate with a thick layer of whipping cream.  

Later that afternoon, he was spotted at Kendrick's apartment at the Peak looking out into the beautiful view of the Hong Kong skyline.  Was that a tear we saw rolling down his face? Can it be it was a tear of joy?  Or was it because he was mistakenly taken for a pest and attacked ferociously by Kendrick's slipper?  Escaping unscathed, Chip was soon seen posing for photographs with Kendrick and Karla. All's well that ends well, I suppose.  Lucky you got off easy this time, Kendrick.  May not be so lucky next time, Chip may be small...but that tail of his sure can pistol whip!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

I dream of Spain...

I was using my brother's powerbook when his iphoto popped up showing our pictures from our vacation in Spain last summer.  How wonderful it is to be in a country that takes its time everyday to enjoy the small pleasures in life - a satisfying drink, delicious food and good company.  They also pride themselves in having a rich history of art which has been woven into their social fabric through everyday objects.  From modern kitchen instruments to subway seats to street signs to street sculptures and store displays, the culture of design is evident everywhere and in everyone.  


SPOTTED: Chip aboard Cathay Pacific flight en route to HK.  He was first seen at the Cathay Pacific lounge in Vancouver then on the plane enjoying a roomy seat with more than enough leg room for a chipmunk.  Rumor has it that he's on his way to see his long lost gf, a south side chipmunk with a flair for exotic nuts and gourmet acorns.  Can it be that Chip has finally ended his wild ways and is settling down for good? Or is it going to be just another passionate reunification that ends in tears and torn tails? Stay tuned to find out what happens because everyone knows, wherever Chip goes, drama ensues..

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Brunch

I woke up this morning to the delicious smells wafting from the kitchen downstairs. It was Mark, as he had promised last night, turning the leftover risotto from last night's dinner into deep fried risotto balls. He also decided to turn the leftover salad into a frittata with sun dried tomato, bacon and several eggs. We heated up the leftover squash soup and I dunked my risotto balls into the soup and ate them that way. What a wonderful way to wake up on a lazy Sunday morning. To all of you out there, this is how you do brunch.