Friday 4 February 2011

Reunion Dinner At Peach Garden, 33 OCBC Centre

Last year our combined family reunion dinner was organised by my brother and it was held at "Si Chuan Dou Hua Restaurant - 四川豆花饭庄" at UOB Plaza(post HERE). And this year it will be my cousin's turn to source for the dinner venue as well as selection of menu.

Finally after some research he decided to held the dinner at one of the newest "Peach Garden(桃苑)" outlet at level 33, OCBC centre.

From the photo above, you can glance that our menu for this year is "Chef's Recommendation Lunar New Year Special Set Menu" that consists of 1 Yu Sheng as appetiser, 5 Main Courses and 2 Desserts to cater for 12 Adults.

Upon arriving at the restaurant there is a pool of "Tangerine()" available near the entrance counter for customers to pick up as a symbolise of "Good Luck". Other than tangerines there are also bottles of  Peach Garden homemade special "XO Sauce" on sale for customers to purchase home.

Before dinner starts there are some delicious "Almond Cookies(杏仁饼)" from Peach Garden that is served as snack. And most of us who tried agrees that these cookies do taste light with a hint of delicate Almond flavor that is not too overpowering. Some even believes that Almond cookies symbolise "COINS" which will bring good fortune too.

As usual the 1st dish for any Chinese New Year Menu will be "Yu Sheng(鱼生)" which symbolise good luck, prosperity, promotion and etc. According to the waitress this dish is known as "福星高照" and she will help to add/pour in the ingredients one at time with auspicious greetings used for Chinese New Year before we starts our "Lo Hei(撈起)".

Other than the usual Shark's fins and Abalones, "Roasted Golden Suckling Pig(金陵片披乳猪)" is another popular dish to be included in traditional Chinese New Year Reunion menu which symbolise "Gold and Good Luck". For this dish the crispy skin layers are eaten with either flat bun or thin wrapper together with hoisin sauce.

While the reminding parts of the suckling pig is usual cut into small pieces and braised with "Mei Cai(梅菜)"  or deep-fried with seasoning shown above. Eveyone comments that this is indeed a very delicious dishe as the crispy outer layer is being infuse with a light and tasty salt and pepper seasoning which makes it goes choice to go with either beer or wine.

Next on the list is this "Double-boiled Shark's Fin with Shrimp Dumpling and Mustard Green Soup(亭汤中鲍翅水饺菜胆). To me this soup is nothing really special perhaps just a good soup broth that tops with a small piece of "Sharks Fin" and Shrimp dumpling.

This "Braised 1 Head Whole Abalone with Sea Cucumber and Lettuce(原只1头鲍鱼海参菜)" is one of my aunt's family favourite dish as they loves the texture of Abalones.To us the sea cucumber is nicely cooked with a soft and gluey texture but the abalone was rather a bit bland to taste. Still prefer the braised abalone from Ah-Yat or Owen.

The "Braised Soon Hock with Yam Paste(芋泥焖笋壳鱼)" was rather miserable in appearance and taste. Before this dish is serve I was rather excited to see how the chef will incorporate "Yam Paste" into the dish but when it comes the serving appearance immediately gives it a "F" grade. Perhaps the waitress are pretty busy and they did not even ask us whether to serve the fish in whole or in individual portion. And we can only see a few yam cubes in it rather than what is mentioned as "Yam Paste" so I think there is nothing special about this dish which is just braised fish with yam cubes in sauce.

Last dish is "Saute Live Prawns with Noodles and Homemade Sauce(干爆生虾捞面)" with lots of LEEKS(蒜) that symbolise "money" whereas the noodles in this dish symbolise "longevity in health".

Finally it's Dessert time, as usual there are two different types of dessert in the Chinese New Year menu. The 1st one shown on the photo is "Dried Glutinous Rice Ball(干捞汤圆)" where the black sesame fillings rice ball is coated with grind peanuts.

Second dessert is rather something new apart from those usual mango pomelo or red bean soup. This is known as "Ice Refreshing Pearl Tea(冰凉珍珠茶)" that serves with mini chewy pearls and cold refreshing jelly together with fragrant tea.

Overall this is a great Reunion Dinner where everyone gets together and stay as a family that shares happiness and funtime. And as usual every year after reunion dinner, Uncle James will give each of us an advance ang bao known as "Ya Sui Qian(压岁钱). In the olden days, during Chinese New Year eve the elders will prepared some advance money to be given to the younger generation as this said New Year's money is use to suppress the evil spirit and the junior will have money to spend in peace in coming New Year.

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