Saturday, June 23, 2007

Birthday Celebrations

Part 1 - 13 June at Szechuan Kitchen

As I was feeling under the weather with a throat infection and lack of sleep over the past 3 weeks, Y and I had dinner at the hotel so that I can go to bed and rest without having to travel far. Szechuan Kitchen never fails to please the taste buds I think. We had simple dimsum type dishes with a boiled soup, topped off with a herbal jelly dessert to help flush out the toxins (much needed for me especially). It felt light and was good after the last few nights of heavy, greasy food.

Part 2 - 15 June at The French Stall

S and I went to the French Stall at my request. I had been fantasising about the escargot and the chocolate cake, even though I am not a big chocolate fan. The prices had gone up and the escargots seemed smaller, but it was still enjoyable. The chocolate cake was sweeter I felt, I preferred the less sweet, more bitter version of the past. I had the pork fillet for my main course. That was one of my first cravings satisfied on this trip.

Part 3 - 16 June: Graze at Rochester Park

Joint celebration with mum and the family at Graze at Rochester Park. The ambience was nice, with pretty and tranquil surroundings amidst the black & white colonial bungalows, I am glad the authorities preserved this area even if it meant turning the residences into commercial use. The food was pricey but the service was good and attentive. My seafood risotto was all right, nowhere as good as the mushroom risotto I get at Fifi Fouveaux's though. Mum complained that her fish was tasteless and "fishy". She didn't enjoy it at all. The scallop starter was very yummy and everyone else enjoyed their mains. I think the pork knuckle was especially delicious. Dessert was aesthetically pleasing but I didn't think it blew me away. A good experience, but I don't think I would come back again at these prices.

Part 4 - 17 June: Perle Noire
Joint celebration with J at Perle Noire which was literally in our backyards. We were looking forward to a $30 set dinner. Unfortunately, we forgot that 17 June was Father's Day, seeing as both our dads are already gone and we don't have a reason to celebrate. Hence, no set dinner. I settled for a rack of lamb and J ordered a pasta. The lamb was pretty good and was presented in a pleasing manner. The main course alone set me back $30. I might come back for the set lunch or dinner, for better value for my money.

Part 5 - 23 June: Taste Paradise

F's treat for my birthday. A tastefully-decorated, modern-Chinese restaurant in Chinatown. We decided on the $38 set menu as it looked good. It was a 5-course affair: a beautifully presented starter of scallop, prawn in wasabi mayonnaise (which is quickly becoming a fave of mine) and a cuttlefish meat thingy with melted cheese or something like that in the middle and cooked in sweet sauce; a really good winter melon soup (I enjoyed eating the melon "bowl"); I had the cod, F had the goose web; a noodle with lots of Japanese mushrooms, scallop, prawn and fish; and finally the really, really delicious and dramatic dessert of pulot hitam with a dollop of coconut ice-cream. One of the best meals I've had this trip...

With that, this ends the birthday feastings. I know I'm blessed when I recount all the meals I've had with friends and family every year when the special day comes round because I have a week or 2 of celebrations with people who are special to me.

PS. Mustn't forget mum's home-cooked meal (I believe it was the only one during my trip home) of stewed pork with buns at my request. Yummy. And she made a soup too.

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