I love food. Adam loves food. Both our mothers love food. Therefore, our present to both our mothers was to take them out to eat on this so-called special day. Even though one big meal consisting of both of our families would’ve been the most economically feasible option, Adam is still sht-scared of introducing both parents to each other and so separate meals had to do. Yum cha with Adam’s parents (plus his aunty and grandma) and then dinner with my parents.
The yum cha venue of choice was Tai Pan restaurant, just down the road from where I live. However, they were pretty much booked when I rang to make a booking so we decided to go to Golden Dragaon Palace instead which was also close by. Now, GDP serves pretty good yum cha dishes but they also charge a bit more than Tai Pan does. The only thing that bugs me about this place is that they tend to go too overboard with the whole dragon theme as is evident with all the wooden dragon statues and carvings all around the place. Of course, that has nothing to do with the food and the service but all those scary dragons gawking down at me while I eat just give me the shivers. Yes, this is Golden Dragon Palace. We get it.
We booked a table for 6 about two weeks ago and the lady called me a few days beforehand to confirm our 12:05 session (they have 3 yum cha seatings). We all rocked up at around 12 and had to queue up behind all these people or about 20 minutes. Not happy. I understand that the 10am session might’ve still been eating or that the waiters/waiteresses were still cleaning tables and setting cutlery which is okay, but if they were not going to be done on time, why not tell us to come at a slightly later time? Knowing that we had to be out by 1:45 didn’t help either. Anyway, enough about that. Onwards to the food!
We got the usual suspects…
… including my favourite! How I will rate a yum cha restaurant will largely depend on how nice their har gows are. Luckily, GDP passes the test with flying colours. They were big. They were filled with plump juicy prawns. And the dumpling skin was not too sticky. Two thumbs up!
We also had a few unconventional yum cha dishes including salt and pepper tofu. Okay, so this dish isn’t exactly “unusual” but this was the first time I’ve seen this being served at yum cha. Anyway, this was yum – probably one of the best salt and pepper tofu dishes I’ve had so far.
Okay, I lied. I DID manage to squeeze in room for one strawberries and cream-filled crepe. Such a gui lao dish but it was a great end to a very nice (and expensive!) lunch!
Adam’s parents + grandma. For some reason, I love this photo. Now, if only I can master portrait shots…
Total cost was just over $200 which, for 6 people, Adam thought was rather expensive as he is used to paying around $150 at Tai Pan or in one of those city yum cha restaurants and even though the service could use a little help, it wasn’t too horrendous and hey, the food was nice.
The original plan was to take my parents and my siblings to Lantern Garden, a humble Cantonese restaurant which has been a local favourite with our family for years. Adam and I had set aside just over $200 for the dinner so that we can order some seafood dishes. The night before the dinner, mum suddenly decides to invite my cousin Jess and her parents along (the parents are visiting from Indonesia) as she thought that they’d get pissy if they find out that they weren’t invited. Now, I love their company but I panicked because Adam and I only thought to bring enough to cover the 6 of us, not 9 people! However, mum told me that if we run out of money, she would cover the rest of the bill. Of course, that defeated the whole purpose of “mother’s day” but she told us that it was important to have the others along and so I let her win.
Okay, so dinner was supposed to start at 7pm. Adam and I rocked up at 6:55pm (after all, I am not the #2 most punctual person in my facebook network for nothing!). At just after 7, my sister Janice texts me to say that the family will be running late but did not state a reason. So we wait. By 7:20, I’m starting to get a little pissy before Janice rings me to notify us that they’re just walking across the road. FINALLY. Apparently the reason why they were late was because they had to wait for my cousin Jess to get back from the city. Or something. Trust. But at least we were all here. So here’s the cast list:
The Chinese equivalent to bread and butter – those herby soups with unidentified objects floating in them. I think this one had bits of chicken feet in it or something. I just drank the soup and gave the carcasses meat to Adam, hehhhh!
We had ginger and spring onion mud crab with noodles! Okay, so we weren’t planning on having this dish when we found out that three extra people were coming. But dad insisted on it and told us that he’d pay for it as he was so desperate to have crab. So we ordered about 4.5 pounds of mud crab (I think they charged us $20.80 a pound). It was damn good mud crab – very sweet, very juicy, and very flavoursome. Yum!
And sweet and sour fish.The fish pieces were surprisingly larger than normal and one would have created a meal on its own at Verge. Heh, because we already had this one fish dish, mum wouldn’t let me order steamed fish but grrrr, next time…
Snow pea leaves + garlic. Apparently, they throw this bit of the snow peas away in Asian countries but they actually work well as an side dish (a HUGE side dish in this case!) in Chinese restaurants. Much lighter and tastier than Chinese broccoli or Bok Choy.
The total damage was… surprisingly very minimal (well, much less than what we expected anyway!). Even with three extra people and a huge serving of mud crab, we only paid $207 for dinner! Not bad huh! So mum didn’t have to pitch in money, we were all full and Adam and I walked away feeling good about ourselves. See, everyone’s happy!