223 Russell St
Melbourne VIC 3000
+61 3 9663 4089
To all the rodents out there: Have a great year! After all, your special year only comes every 12 years but don’t worry, my turn will be coming up – hail to all the mad cows out there (and an even special hello to all the 85ers, we rock
!).Tonight, Adam’s mum invited me to her family dinner on the eve of the Lunar New Year
. Now because all my relatives etc are up in Indonesia, our family do not really celebrate Chinese New Year which used to annoy me when I was a kid only because mum used that as an excuse not to give us red envelopes but as the years went by, I eventually got over it.
Still, it was nice of the Hoangs to invite me to dinner – there was no way I was going to stay at home or worse still, go with my parents to some snoozy Indonesian-Chinese gathering that one of mum’s friends was having all the way in Dandenong. Dinner was at Nam Loong 2 (more formally known as Nam Loong Seafood Restaurant) which is one of the restaurants owned by the dude who owns Nam Loong 1 – you might remember it being on the news three years ago for their dodgy food practices but since then, they’ve cleaned up their act.
Following the Lion as it made its way down Russell Street, we watched in mild awe as we observed some establishments in the city pay $500 just for the lion to come to their store and give them good luck for the year. Even the big banks such as NAB, CBA, ANZ etc are starting to jump on the bandwagon too. Frankly, I think it’s $500 gone to waste but *shrugs* whatever… At the restaurant, we had the special CNY banquet that most other tables were having which was enough to feed (surprise surprise)
eight people. I can’t remember how many dishes we had – I didn’t take photos of every single thing – but it was highly likely that there were… say it with me… EIGHT
.(Edit: I just did a count of the dishes from the photos I had and I counted eight. I also remembered an oyster dish we had that I did not take a photo of so there was more than eight dishes after all.)
Shark Fin Soup. I’m not sure if Nam Loong uses fake or real shark fin but who cares, it was yum!
Ginger and spring onion lobster with noodles
. Lobster’s lovely and all but my favourite crustacean for this dish is mud crab. Shame that mud crabs aren’t in season though.
Ad Lib + Adam’s parents
Aunty Vivienne, Luke and Jenny
So, everyone’s happily eating their prawns and discarding the prawn heads because they’re not really nice to eat. Then comes Adam who tries to show off by taking a prawn head and eating it. That was before I told him what was actually inside a prawn head.
I think I’ve got him to swear off prawns for the rest of his life.
Heeeeh! That’ll show him not to be a hero!
A hella weird dish
. It was a huge plate with 8 individual portions, each consisting of scallops+pork+vegetables+other-unidentified-objects resting on a pancake base and encased with egg white. The little nipples round things you see are some sort of plum.
Yeah, like I said… weird.
Jen helps herself to another weird dish – this time it’s steamed chicken pieces in congee broth.
I don’t want to comment on Luke’s weird facial expression…
Fake abalone (mushroom) with all sorts of other vegies
Fried rice. Normally I don’t really like fried rice (it stems from years and years of eating nasi goreng which I absolutely can’t stand) but this one was yum. It had litle pieces of salted duck egg yolks. Yum!
Cantonese steamed fish. Presumably barramundi because every time I go to Nam Loong, we always end up having barramundi. Yet, this fish didn’t really taste muddy like barramundi usually does and it was a good third bigger than the barramundis we had so chances are that it’s something else…
They brought out the red bean soups the same time they brought out the fish. Idiots. Can’t you see that the desserts will go COLD once we’re done with the fish?!
We left behind a trail of mass destruction…
Yeah, eight guests. Who would’ve thought?!
HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR FOLKS!