Thursday, November 27, 2008

And The Celebration Continues

I know it may seem a bit self aggrandizing to go on about how I celebrated the day I was born.... well, the good thing about being born on that day is that I made a new friend on facebook, coz someone who saw it was my birthday added me. Cool huh!

Actually this is one of the few years in my living memory where I haven't hosted a birthday bash for myself. Now, for the record, I don't know what the hype is about birthdays, anniversaries, etc. After all, the length of one year is so arbitrary. Why not celebrate daily, the time you were born, or married, why is it done annually? To me, these celebrations are not important, merely an excuse to party and eat. For example, I would have quite happily ignored my anniversary to attend a friend's invite to a magazine launch, especially if I am always wining and dining anyway. Different if you had to scrimp and save for a whole year for the one special occasion.

But I digress. I wasn't referring to anyone in particular, of course.

Birthday lunch, wife offers to meet me for lunch, with the kids, after their vacation bible school. I tell her, "I'll let you know at 11.30am, in case any of my friends offer to buy me lunch".... but alas, no such offer was forthcoming, and as I held the dam of tears that was about to burst, and flood my keyboard, I meekly sms the other half and say, "okay, I can join you for lunch".

We troop to Bangsar Shopping Centre, after seeing a poster earlier that there was a new restaurant there, called the Grand Imperial, or Xie Yue. Located where Coca used to be, I think, or in that general direction. Given the dearth of good chinese places to eat in the greater bangsar area, I was pleased that another establishment had opened.

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They tout their specialities to be dim sum and la mein, at lunch time. The deep fried brinjal was an accidental but serendipitous order, as it was lovely, and even the carnivore kid who needs to be force fed vegetables pureed and fed to him intravenously on a drip, loved it and chomped up the whole piece.

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The fish balls were nice and springy.

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I loved the fu chuk kuen, bean curd skin wrapped around a generous filling of pork and prawns.

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The siew mais were large and succulent, not stuffed with all fat, but nice textured meat, prawns and a generous helping of roe on top.

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The long life noodles, cheong sau mein, was one big plate, and I love the texture of the sang meen. Only RM32 for a large plate that even had leftovers.

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The abalone loh mai kai was good, and I was wondering how the heck we were going to finish all that food, but thankfully, the kids have been trained in the ways of a Hoover, and lapped it all up as if they had been just released from boarding school.

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Thus wrapped up the afternoon celebrations. Oh I must go back again and have dim sum there, which I thought was rather good and fairly priced.

The dinner celebration was at our usual haunt, Shang Palace, because of the
1) 35% group dining voucher,
2) voucher for free cake & 2 glasses of wine,
3) free bottle of wine.

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My favourite non shark fin but taste like sharkfin enoki mushroom scallop soup. Absolutely divine on a cold winter's night, or in a cold aircond room.

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Seeing as to how most of the guests, young and old, love crispy crackling, we chose the suckling pig over the Peking Duck. And good choice it was too, as the skin was simply marvellous. Not an overly fat little pig, the skin complemented the hoisin sauce and the chinese bread that came along with it.

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Soon Hock fish, or Bamboo Fish. Usually the bigger the soon hock the better. This one weighed in at about 1.5kg, and was adequate. The flesh was sweet and firm, and the sauce perfect. Actually, for a hotel chinese restaurant, Shang palace is not bad at all, if you ask me.

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The fart poot, or yam ring. Filled with copious amounts of goodness, tender moist chicken pieces, cashews and yam crisply fried on the outside, but smooth and soft on the inside.

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Verdant stalks of kai lan, plainly steamed, to combat the richness of the other foods. Yeah, well, it always pains me to pay for veg at a chinese restaurant, as the profit margins must be like 1000%. Nevertheless, these were good quality kai lan, not like those fibrous ones that double up as dental floss for your teeth as you chew.

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And more healthy food, steamed brocolli.

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The grand finale, the seafood noodles in claypot, always a favourite. Plump juicy prawns and scallops, pieces of sea cucumber braised till tender, ah, it reminds me of the Little Mermaid song, UNDER THE SEA....

The seaweed is always greener
In somebody else's lake
You dream about going up there
But that is a big mistake
Just look at the world around you
Right here on the ocean floor
Such wonderful things surround you
What more is you lookin' for?

Under the sea
Under the sea
Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me

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Oh, forgot, there was another pai gwat dish (spare ribs), crumbed and served with man taus. Very good too, but marginal utility was approaching zero as we got fuller and fuller and FULLER.

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It's nice to eat cake from other places every now and then. The berry cheesecake from the Shang. It was not bad. Very strawberry-ish flavour, with the occasional dark cherry stuck here and there. The texture was good too, not too cloying.

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My presents so far................

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Some presents are given with ulterior motive such as the the Gordon Ramsay book. It was given with the hope that I will try out the recipes and invite the givers for dinner..... sigh.


Tummythoz said...

Day 2.
*drumming fingers waiting for Day 3, 4, 5 ..* It is going to be a 7hari7malam celebration, right?

thenomadGourmand said...

hoho.. better than my dad's - his annual celeb is Pre-B'day, B'day and Post -B'day. He will sulk like a kid if we don't pamper him all 3 days!

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

wah...35% disc also quite the expensive..esp the soon hock..remember seeing the price per 100gm like 20-25rm..which after discount is still above market rate..

damn yummy la..thank god im still full from lunch..

Happy Burfday from Lyrical Lemongrass said...

1. Of course you weren't referring to anyone in particular.

2. I believe I heard a different version of that nobody-loves-me lunch story yesterday.

3. Re: your final sentence - This is why I wrote you a poem for your birthday....isn't it worth more than any book? :-P (comment directed at Zenboy, that traitor)

Life for Beginners said...

Awww... What a lovely birthday lunch ... I can't imagine anything better than spending that time with one's beloved. But totally agree with you on how it shouldn't just be any one arbitrary day... but all year round. :)

*now runs off to read ur burfday poem*

J2Kfm said...

happy bday woh ... FART POOT?!!!
aiyo. such a fav of mine, degraded to nothing but some sounds from the backyard ...

Steve said...

Oh no... the poor little piggies are looking at me! I just couldn't... the overwhelming guilt.

Sorry - I can't eat food that looks at me whilst consuming it! The rest of the Shang Palace meal looked a treat. Can't wait to try it.

...and how exactly does one get a free bottle of wine from a restaurant?!

jason said...

Lawks over the fart poot! ^^
I guess kids love anything (almost anything) deep fried. Just like me when I'm still little :P

CUMI & CIKI said...

family, friends, fans... clamoring for your attention.. don't you feel lurrrved! happy birthday (again!)

Precious Pea said...

Wow, am smart! I know who you were referring to! Hahaha!

fatboybakes said...

pea, really? but no i wasnt referring to anyone wor...;)

ciki sweetieeeeeeee, of course, very lurved. even got limerick written for me. i should have killed a turkey for thanksgiving yesterday. heh heh...

jason, awww, so cute.... well, you do like you're 15....or maybe 18. don on a school uniform and you'll easily blend in.

pavlova steve, hahah, yes, westerners do tend to have a problem with their food giving them that look...snigger.
you need to buy upfront a hotel prestige card, which gives you lots of vouchers, and F&B discounts. worth it if you are a regular patron.

haha, dear motormouth, sorry to reduce your favourite dish to a sound... hey, i'll be in your part of town next week.

LFB, aint that just so true hor. loved ones....sigh, [faraway look]
thamby's poem so good hor, makes me sound like caligula or nero, utterly and despicably hedonistic...

AWOL, clap clap, quite the poet!!! i can only dream and aspire to such rapist wit.

nipples, true la, it is afterall a 5 star hotel. however, after the discount, we worked out the fish to be the same price, if not cheaper, than say, greenview. where else to get cheap soon hock ah?

thenomadgourmand, awww, your dad sounds so lovable.

tummythoz, no la, i notch as popurar as some other ppl on this comment page.... with the same ppl oso got 3 celebrations, and gawd knows how many cakes, and pavlovas...

Nic (KHKL) said...

"Darling it's better
Down where it's wetter
Take it from me"

i've not seen the little mermaid (really one) but doesn't this line sound a bit 18SX? hehehe...

ohhh, and that shot of the vase throught the barrier. so cool lar. for a moment i thought it was an edited picture. kewl!

and yeah (jumping onto the LL's wagon):

Every minute of every day
Come rain or flowers in May
Good times are here to stay
Especially on your happiest birthday!


fatboybakes said...

hairy, for spotting those two specific items, which were deliberate, guffaw, i almost feel like bestowing upon you FRIEND OF THE YEAR 2008 instantly....
yes, the vase is thru the hole in the chair, and of course its better down where its wetter...


ZenBoy a.k.a FOTY 07 said...

Wow, looks like there might be a FOTY 2008 afterall. I guess it takes a book and a good eyesight to make the cut.. hehehe..

"Joe" who is constantly craving said...

u knw the fatty tiger place?..yeah can get soon hock for around rm12-13 per 100gm..

Lyrical Lemongrass said...

"hairy, for spotting those two specific items, which were deliberate,..."

And this coming from a person who skipped the entire narrative on my blog straight to the pictures.....*roll eyes*

Life for Beginners said...

"hairy, for spotting those two specific items, which were deliberate,..."

Deliberate but hopefully not as despotic as you are made out to be? Though given the nearly 18SX nature of it... the Caligula reference may not be too far off the mark, eh?

Maybe food orgies, instead? Safer, in today's sexual climate, I wager. ;)

Henry Yeo said...


They forgot to celebrate your birthday.
Then again I don't think you want me to ask you to go to Lafite or the Hilton, right?

Life for Beginners said...

Henry, Henry, Henry. Never assume. You should always try asking. Be it Lafite or be it Hilton. Who knows? You might get lucky. :)

Argus Lou said...

Happy belated birthday, FBB!
Are you later than I am posting the DB challenge? ^_^
By the way, love that roasted suckling piglet.

J2Kfm said...

ha? you'll be coming over this week ah?
food hunt or conduct classes? hehe ...

Simon Seow said...

LOL. A birthday present with a hidden purpose.

Dharm said...

Happy, Happy Birthday! This is getting scary... Our birthday's so close together???

fatboybakes said...

dharm, i toll you oridi ma, both saggis, engineers, and like to bake. scary mary!

simon seow, still posing with all the hot chicks ah?

J2KFM, obviously for culinary pursuits la. WHAT class?!!! i dun teach.

argus, i havent done my DB challenge yet..aaaaaaaaaaargh....

LFB, [smiling sweetly at the lafite comment]........

henry, who forgot to celebrate? i think all the important ppl didn't forget...

LFB, despotic? me? how so. definitely food orgies

AWOL, dont jeles la..

nipples, i know fatty crab la, but where is fatty tiger?

zenboy.... well, cant hog the title forever ya know...

Penang Tua Pui said...

the food make me drool non stop... cannot tahan liao... my stoamch is making a lot of noise... playing drum now.....