Our RM 890 8-Head Abalone Poon Choy Dinner

Poon Choy

This is a Chinese New Year tradition that I do with my better half and the kids. Her parents usually come along as well so it’s 6 pax for our poon choy dinner. I make it a point to do a lot of research before ordering the year’s poon choy (which is a big bowl feast with lots of stuff inside) and decided on Unique Seafood, Kota Damansara for our 2016 table.

Prosperity Poon Choy

I had to order and pay for the poon choy in advance – it costs RM 411.65 for a 5 pax poon choy with with 8-Head Abalone. It says RM 374.20 nett on the poon choy reservation slip, but that’s for take-out only. You get a 16% surcharge for service and GST if you dine-in, which is what we opted for this year.

Table Reservation

I made reservations for a table of 6 for 6:15 pm.

Seafood Fish Tanks

My dear’s father is a huge fan of fish so that was one of the reasons I had chosen this place for our Chinese New Year dinner. They have a wide range of seafood on offer – everything from lobsters to fish. It’s also super fresh (since they’re still alive and in aquariums) and you simply walk over to choose the specimen that you want and the chef will cook it for you.

King Grouper

He went for the King Grouper (RM 173/kg) and one of the waitresses fished out the 1.3 kg creature and it eventually ended up on our dinner table.

Abalone Salmon Yee Sang

I also wanted to have yee sang with everyone so I asked for their most premium version, which was the Abalone and Salmon with Fuji Apple Yee Sang (RM 160.90 for half portion). It’s good for them to offer 1/2 portions since a full portion would be too much for our table of 4 adults and 2 kids.

Lou Sang

The abalone was very good and sliced well, but the salmon was a little sad looking. We later found out that Japanese restaurants around Klang Valley has started offering fresh salmon and other seafood for yee sang at extremely competitive prices. Nevertheless, it was the symbolic tradition of the lou sang toss that means more than the food itself.

2016 Poon Choy

The 8-Head Abalone Poon Choy (RM 411.65) came next and it was enclosed in a claypot, complete with lid, and a heating source at the bottom. I dare say that this was the best poon choy we’ve had over the years and the hot nature of the ingredients contributed to that. Of course, the awesome selection of goodies was cooked to perfection too.

8-Head Abalone

This year had 8-head abalone, fresh prawns, fresh scallops, black moss, sea cucumber, huge sheets of fish maw, oysters, dried scallops, roasted duck, steamed chicken drumsticks, mussels, mushrooms, abalone slices and plenty of vegetables at the bottom. There was a lot to eat! Unlike last year’s poon choy, our 2016 poon choy was cooked together and all the flavors combined really well.

Grouper

The fish came after the server saw we were done with the poon choy. The King Grouper was cooked two ways – the first as slices of grouper in superior stock. This proved to be a hit as well, the entire grouper cost RM 224.90 (not inclusive of RM 12 cooking charge) and the flesh was soft and tender. I like how the freshness was accentuated by the cooking style too. The slices of grouper rested on soft and silky tofu, a very nice way of presenting it.

King Grouper Soup

The second course for the King Grouper came as a soup. Unique Seafood fried the head and bones and cooked it with some vegetables to produce a flavorful soup. It’s usually taboo to not serve a whole fish for Chinese New Year but since we have kids, it’s a lot easier (and more practical) to have the restaurant slice up the fish so there’s no bones and cook the head separately.

Waxed Meat with Glutinous Rice

I also ordered the Waxed Meat with Glutinous Rice (RM 44.35) which is a Chinese New Year staple. We barely made a dent in this since we were all full by then. I tapao it and we enjoyed it the next day though and it was delicious!

Seasonal Mixed Fruits

The kids wanted to have dessert so I ordered a platter of Seasonal Mixed Fruits (RM 20). They first had this when they came over to Sibu a few month’s ago. It’s nothing spectacular but maybe that was coz we were almost bursting with food at this point. Haha.

RM890 Bill

The bill came up to RM 890.50 for everything. I had already paid RM 414.50 when I reserved the poon choy earlier in the week (you have to pay up-front nowadays since it costs a lot to prepare the top shelf ingredients) so I just needed to pay RM 476 more after dinner. It’s slightly more than if you had booked a banquet but this way we got to choose what we wanted to eat and we had it centered around poon choy, which you can’t do with the banquet option.

Stuffed Scallops

I particularly enjoyed the fresh scallops stuffed into gourds and the fatt choy (black moss – a type of bacteria). I was quite surprised to see the little one eating a whole 8-head abalone by herself too. It was really yummy and we nearly managed to finish the poon choy despite just having 4 adults.

Unique Seafood

It was a great poon choy dinner and I’ll be looking to try a different restaurant’s poon choy around this time next year. Chinese New Year is coming up in less than a week’s time! Happy Chinese New Year everyone! :)

5 fun things we did for our Christmas Eve celebrations!

Christmas Family Photo 2015

Christmas is just around the corner! The kids have been asking me about our annual turkey since our Melaka trip so I decided to celebrate Christmas early this year. Here’s what we did for the festive season:

1. Christmas shopping

Glenfiddich Mince Pies

Yup, this is one of the highlights of my year. I went out with my better half to look at what we’ll be getting for our Christmas celebrations. I saw this really cool Glenfiddich mince pies. It’s made with their 12 year old expression of single malt Scotch whiskey.

Glenfiddich Whisky Cake

They even have a Glenfiddich Whisky Cake!

2. Christmas turkey

Christmas Halal Turkey

This is a mainstay of our Christmas celebrations each year. The kids like to eat it and I like to roast it. It’s fun and it’s one of the things we look forward to.

Halal Turkey

Excuse the Islamic script, the turkey I bought is not haram this year. It’s called Midamar Turkey and despite coming from Iowa in the United States, it’s certified halal.

Brining Turkey

The turkey costs RM 348 and weighs 5.8 kg.

Roast Chestnut Cranberry Apple Stuffing

I used a roast chestnut, cranberry and apple stuffing for the turkey.

Jellied Cranberry Sauce

I stuffed our Christmas turkey and popped it into the oven…

Roasted Turkey

…and we all ate it with slices of bread and jellied cranberry sauce.

Turkey Christmas

Delicious!

3. Pistachio panettone

Flamigni Gran Pistacchio

My dear chose our annual panettone. It was a choice between panettone filled with mascarpone cream, chocolate covered and filled, a pandoro, or a pistachio crumb covered panettone with pistachio cream filling. She chose the last one, it’s RM 132.50 for a 1 kg cake.

Pistachio Panettone

This is made by the good people at Flamigni, the individual panettone is actually made by hand in Italy before being filled with pistachio cream and topped with crushed pistachios. It’s described as “Panettone con Crema al Pistacchio ricoperto di Chocolato Bianco e Granella di Pistacchi” which translates to panettone with pistachio cream covered with white chocolate and chopped pistachios.

Panettone with Pistachio Cream

The kids loved it! The white chocolate topping holding the crushed nuts was sweet and the cream even more so. I was very happy with our panettone this year, it’s absolutely fabulous! I can eat it all year!

4. Christmas crackers

Kids Christmas Crackers

This is another one of our Christmas traditions. I’ll go with my dear and buy some crackers for the kids. If you’re not familiar with Christmas crackers, they’re meant to be pulled by two people after Christmas dinner and (traditionally) the person with the largest half gets to keep the party favor or gift inside. It makes a snap / bang when you pull it.

Playing Christmas Crackers

The kids really liked them when I first got it for Christmas so I thought I’ll get them every year. We always give the kids two crackers each and we’ll each have one.

Happy-Clapper

I got a Happy Clapper from my cracker. Haha.

5. Family Christmas photo

Christmas Dinner

This is something we’ll do each year, take a photo together after we’ve eaten our turkey dinner and opened our Christmas crackers.

Christmas Crackers

The novelty paper hats are actually from the crackers. My better half printed the selfie props. This idea came from the stuff that came in last year’s Christmas crackers and we thought it’ll be fun to incorporate it into our annual festive photo. This year’s family Christmas picture has a “White Christmas” theme (coz we’re all wearing white).

Christmas Family Photo 2015

We make it a point to celebrate Christmas with the kids every year. It has become “our” tradition with a turkey, Christmas crackers, panettone and a group photo. This is our 2015 family Christmas photo. Merry Christmas everyone! :)

Restaurant Ole Sayang, Melaka

Melaka Kids

I was in Melaka over the long weekend with my better half and the kids.

Melaka HB Ling

Her parents were also with us and so we decided to have a nice Nyonya dinner at Restaurant Ole Sayang in Melaka.

Restaurant Ole Sayang

This local restaurant actually serves wonderfully delicious food but has often been disparaged due to their bad service. This is primarily due to the fact that the place is constantly packed to the brim with people.

Reservations

The reservation was listed down as “Elaine”. smirk We got rather good service coz the owner’s wife came to attend to us. I believe the staff might be a tad overworked, which is why the comments come in as such but if one of the proprietors serve you, you’ll be alright. She actually told me not to order the large portion of their otak-otak in a warm, friendly and confidential tone. Haha.

Pandan Rice

That’s just a bit of a harmless confidence trick though since she’s actually a very good businesswoman. They even bring their delicious keropok over to each table to see if they want any to take away after your meal. That doesn’t detract from the excellent food though. It may not be for everyone since it’s noisy at times and crowded but if you’re looking for awesome Nyonya chow, you can’t go wrong.

Ayam Ponteh

Ayam Ponteh (RM 26)
This is the classic Peranakan dish of chicken cooked Nyonya style. They do it very well in Restaurant Ole Sayang, it was very hearty and delicious. I ate three (3) plates of rice from the gravy alone! It’s a famous local Malaccan recipe and we all loved it.

Asam Pedas Fish Head

Asam Pedas Fish Head (RM 75)
The fish is a species called kurau locally and the spicy broth goes very well with it. I was hesitant about ordering it in the classic style since it can be a bit hot but everyone seemed to like it so that was good.

Itik Tim

Itik Tim (RM 35)
This is half a duck simmered with savory pickled vegetables for a sour and appetizing soup course. It did its job well, which was to open up our appetites. The duck meat and bones isn’t edible (well, technically it is, but it’s not palatable) since all the moisture and goodness has been sucked out to be in the broth but it’s not meant to be eaten anyway.

Otak-otak

Otak-otak (RM 11.50)
This was the only thing which wasn’t up to par. The otak-otak seemed to be a bit off that day. The ratio of santan (coconut cream) to fish paste seem wrong, there was too much of the former so you could only taste coconut milk. Maybe that’s why the owner told me a small portion would do. *shrugs*

Sambal Udang Petai

Sambal Udang Petai (RM 28)
I love petai and I love shrimps. There’s nothing better than combining the two together! It makes for a spicy dish with a oeuvre of “smelly bean” (which is what petai is called in Chinese). It goes very nicely with the pandan scented rice.

Cincaluk Omelet

Cincaluk Omelet (RM 14)
The omelet went down very well with the kids. I liked it too but mostly left it for the kids coz they didn’t eat much from the other dishes. They can be a bit picky with food, kinda like me when I was young. You tend to grow out of these things (personally didn’t touch vegetables until my late 20’s) so it’s all good.

Chap Chai

Chap Chai (RM 22)
This is the Peranakan style preparation of vegetables and our last order from the Greatest Hits (TM) of Nyonya cuisine. There’s transparent rice vermicelli lining the bottom of the dish – I thought that was a very nice way to absorb the flavors of the gravy.

Huge Cendol

Huge Cendol (RM 30)
This is calculated according to the number of people. It’s RM 3 per serving (you can also get individual ones) so if you have 10 pax like us, you can opt for a huge mound for everyone. This was liberally doused with the awesome gula Melaka (palm sugar) and even though the kids made a collective spur-of-the-moment group decision not to have any (eh?) the adults all finished it. I myself had 5-6 servings.

Restaurant Ole Sayang Melaka

I had thought I had over ordered for everyone since we had 10 pax (but 4 of them were kids, so it’s 6 adults) but we managed to finish everything, even the gigantic portion of cendol. There was nary a scrap of meat left (except for the duck carcass in Itik Tim) and the plates looked licked clean. I’ll go again for the food alone. You’ll love this place if you don’t mind a bit of ambience (noise) and you’re looking for traditional Nyonya fare.

Our Mid-Autumn Festival 2015

Mid-Autumn Festival

I was out with the kids last week when we saw a shop selling lanterns for Mid-Autumn Festival. These are the newer cellophane type lanterns instead of the paper ones we had as kids.

Mid-Autumn Lanterns

I remember the bigger one got a similar type during Mid-Autumn two years ago – it was a dragon and she wanted the *same* one for this year. Haha.

Godzilla Lantern

We all chose one and in the end she went for a dinosaur (looks like a baby T-Rex with wings – Godzilla?)…

Goldfish Lantern

…while her younger sister went for a goldfish.

Rooster Lantern

I made my better half choose a rooster coz I thought it represented our Zodiac, but I was wrong, we share the same star sign in Western astrology, but different ones in the Chinese 生肖.

Elephant Lantern

I got myself a jumbo elephant for no particular reason.

Mid-Autumn Lantern

We played outside the house and the kids were so afraid of burning down the lanterns (coz a similar thing happened in 2013) that they ended up playing with the candles instead. :)

Playing with Candles

It was a lot of fun though and we also had a whole bunch of mooncakes. I’ll get on it, the annual mooncake roundup is coming up tomorrow!

Mother’s Day: Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake, Garrett’s gourmet popcorn, Tiffany’s heart pendant

Garrett Mix Popcorn

I wanted to get my better half something she’s never had before so I popped into Garrett’s to get some of their Chicago Mix (sweet Caramel Crisp with savory Cheese Corn) popcorn. I thought she’s never had it before but it turns out that I was wrong. -_-

Garrett Popcorn Malaysia

I got the new Mother’s Day Garrett Blossom Tin coz I knew my dear likes nice packaging (which she will repurpose). It’s a new tin that came out for the season, which I thought was pretty strange coz popcorn is not something I associate with Mother’s Day.

Garrett Mothers Day Popcorn Tin

Go figure.

Garrett Blossom Tin

Interesting fact: Garrett’s was sued over the usage of the term “Chicago Mix” so they call their 1/2 sweet caramel popcorn and 1/2 savory cheese popcorn Garrett Mix now. This took effect in the United States, but stores in Malaysia still uses Chicago Mix for this sweet/savory popcorn mix.

Tiffany Co KLCC

I also got her a pendant from Tiffany’s & Co.

Tiffany Pendants

I had called up in advance to reserve a double interlocking ring pendant. I had given her one almost 2 years ago and I wanted to present her with an updated version from the TIFFANY 1837 collection. I went to the Tiffany’s outlet in Suria KLCC and got the full VIP treatment, which was quite nice. smirk

Tiffanys VIP Treatment

I was seated and given a range of products to look at. However, the item I was interested in was a demo unit, which I didn’t want, so I looked at the other options before finally settling for the Elsa Peretti Open Heart Pendant.

Elsa Peretti Tiffany

This is a double heart design – one heart in sterling silver and the other heart in 18k rose gold. It’s RM 2,600 but money well spent coz she loved it! This actually happened during her birthday but I never got around to posting about that so I’m incorporating it into this post.

Tiffany Double Heart Pendant

Come to think of it, I haven’t had time to post about our monthsaries too, so I’ll do a round-up post soon – 8 things I did for the past 8 months or something like that. Haha.

Haagen-Dazs

Back to Mother’s Day, I also got her a Haagen-Dazs ice cream cake!

Haagen-Dazs Girls

They have a Mother’s Day promo which gave out a free minicup multipack (4 x cups in a box) with every order of a 1 kg ice cream cake so I ordered a Double Chocolate Royale.

Haagen-Dazs Reserved

It costs RM 149 for a 1 kg ice cream cake (pure ice cream only, none of that cake or sponge fingers nonsense) which makes Haagen-Dazs a little more expensive than Baskin-Robbins (you can get a HUGE 9″ cake with ice cream scoops on top for the same price) but I think the former is trying to brand itself as more exclusive.

Haagen-Dazs Custom Ice Cream

However, we always eat at Baskin-Robbins (in fact that was how we met) so I went for Haagen-Dazs for the Mother’s Day cake.

Haagen-Dazs Ice Cream Cake

I know she’s never had this before and had to book in advance to get the flavor we want (it’s usually Macadamia Nut otherwise) so it’s specially custom made.

Blurry Mothers Day Selfie

Here’s our blurry Mother’s Day selfie.

Double Chocolate Royale

The kids loved it and we had so much fun playing with the dry ice too!

Dry Ice Experiments

You can actually dump dry ice in a tub of water with some liquid soap and it’ll produce lotsa bubbles which pop with smoke (actually CO2) – the kids absolutely enjoyed that so it was a great Mother’s Day! <3

LEGO Friends LIVE @ Legoland Malaysia

LEGO Friends Concert

LEGO Friends LIVE is actually products and cartoons turned into real people for a musical. These are the little one’s favorite characters in LEGO! She watches the cartoons religiously and knows all about Andrea, Mia, Emma, Olivia and Stephanie. Her bigger sister is more into Chima nowadays.

LEGO Friends Dancing

Little E was looking forward to seeing the LEGO Friends characters in real life! smirk

LEGO Friends Stephanie

We were at Legoland over the weekend and we actually spotted the characters of Lego Friends twice – once when we were having breakfast in Legoland Hotel on the first day and the second time just as we were entering the park on the second day.

LEGO Friends Legoland Malaysia

Unfortunately, we were in the midst of eating the first time so we didn’t go out to take photos with the girls of Lego Friends and we wanted to get a family photo with a LEGO character the second time and by the time we were done the cast had finished their photo session and walked past us to get ready for their first show.

Real Life LEGO Friends

We could actually enter the Legoland Theme Park at 9:30 am since we were staying at the hotel (a full 30 minutes before everyone) and I’ll write about both the Legoland Water Park and the Legoland Theme Park separately.

LEGO Friends Cast

I just wanted to talk about us experiencing the first ever LEGO Friends musical performance in Asia!

Giant Balloons

There’s giant balloons which they threw to us and we bounced around back to them – a nice interactive touch!

LEGO Friends LIVE

It was quite a surreal experience – having watched the cartoons from the little one’s iPad, it took a bit of processing to see real life people looking and dressed up like LEGO Friends characters and *acting* like them too! They each have different personalities which are amped up in the musical performance.

I filmed a video of the sound check, skit, interaction between the real life LEGO Friends and a bit of the start of the concert. I loved how they really got into character – the kids enjoyed it, and so did we! I got the little one a nice purple t-shirt of LEGO Friends too (the bigger one wanted a LEGO Chima one).

LEGO Friends Real Life

We had an awesome time, it’s a good thing we made the time to drop by LEGO City Stage to see this musical. More about our family Legoland trip soon! :)

Nooodles @ Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport

Nooodles Huge Bowls

We woke up bright and early for the flight to Johor to go visit Legoland – it’s a good thing we’re flying from the (much nearer) Subang Airport. None of us has eaten breakfast and since we have been eating a lot of fast food lately, my better half opted for this place.

Nooodles Subang

It was totally deserted, except for us.

Hong Kong Style Wantan Mee Soup (RM 10.90)
A Hong Kong favorite, soupy wantan noodle

Hong Kong Style Wantan Mee Soup

This is what my dear ordered – the soup is actually quite good, but nothing like the authentic wantan mee I had in Hong Kong. The crispy wantan is a nice touch though and there’s a lot of vegetables inside. Healthy!

Chicken Porridge (RM 8.90)
Porridge served with boiled chicken

Nooodles Chicken Porridge

The kids shared this huge bowl of porridge coz they didn’t want noodles. I think the Nooodles signature dish (literally) are these *massive* bowls which makes the portion look like Thai boat noodles. It’s actually a regular portion, the extra large serving bowl just makes it look small.

Chicken Herb Noodle Soup (RM 13.90)
A traditional recipe of herbal broth with steamed chicken, a favorite for the seasoned traveler

Chicken Herb Noodle Soup

This is my order – it came with a drumstick and the herbal soup is really different from a Chinese style execution. I’m not sure what is up with the odd menu description (seasoned travelers?) but it was pretty decent for airport food. I quite liked how the goji berries were mixed in with more Malay style herbs.

Nooodles Family

Nooodles is a halal outlet and the cooking style reminds me of the food I used to eat when I was living in SS6 – Malay interpretations of Chinese dishes. That’s not to say it’s bad, but it’s certainly different. I wouldn’t go again since the food wasn’t that great but it was good to fuel up before our epic Legoland trip!

I thought the timing was awesome too – we even brought our Emmet minifigure to Legoland Hotel so we could take photos for tumblingminis.com. smirk

Greetings from Legoland Malaysia!

Greetings from Legoland Malaysia

We’re here on a 3D/2N adventure with the kids before school starts! We were at the Legoland Water Park for the whole day yesterday and we’re going to the Legoland Theme Park today. It’s a good thing we’re staying at the Legoland Hotel coz guests can enter the park earlier at 9:30 am before it opens to the general public.

The rooms are gorgeous, will write more about it when I come back. It’s time to go get some breakfast – we had room service last night coz the kids were tired and it wasn’t good at all. Unfortunately, most of the items were cold and one dish was inedible (stringy, dry chicken) but otherwise the experience here is great. The service and attentiveness of the staff is awesome!

*cue Everything is AWESOME!!!!* smirk

3 delicious pork jerky sandwiches a.k.a. How to use up your CNY bak kwa

Pork Jerky Sandwiches

I bought a lot of bak kwa (pork jerky) for Chinese New Year and we’re still eating them now! Part of the reason is that we’ve gotten gifts of pork jerky as well so the stock keeps on piling up. Fortunately, I like bak kwa and I’ve made three (3) sandwiches made with pork jerky that would satisfy any tastes – one is hot, the other is room temperature and the last one is cold.

1. Open Faced Pork Jerky Sandwich with Gui Fei Meat and Pork Floss in an Omelet

Open Faced Pork Jerky Omelet Sandwich

This is a hot sandwich that I like to make in the evenings. Gui Fei meat is another popular product during CNY – it’s Chinese bacon, smoked with spices. I’ve been baking a lot of bread lately and Red Bean Toast is one of my favorites. I got the idea from a Taiwanese bakery, it makes the bread slightly sweet. I’ll use two eggs with a splash of milk to make the base and add in the pork jerky, Gui Fei meat and sprinkle some pork floss on it before buttering the thick slice of bread and grilling it. It’s delicious!

2. Pork Jerky Sandwich with Pasta and Arrowhead Chips

Pasta Arrowhead Chips Sandwich

The best thing about this sandwich is that it goes very well with arrowhead chips (ngaku chips). I use whatever leftover pasta my better half has and pile it on top of a slice of minced pork jerky. This works best with minced pork jerky instead of the tougher sliced pork jerky for some reason. Just put another slice of regular bread on top and serve with lots of arrowhead chips for a quick late night snack.

3. Bagel with Pork Jerky and Salad

Pork Jerky Salad Bagel

This is my favorite cold pork jerky sandwich! I use a bagel shaped bread (it’s actually more like a brioche) and slice it in half before adding a slice of sliced pork jerky. I like carrots so julienning 1/3 of a stick with a mandolin works for me. I also added some thick sliced cucumbers and mayonnaise on top. There’s lettuce on the bottom of the pork jerky and some sweet corn on the side. It’s a perfect cold sandwich, eat this chilled for the best effect!

My Little Helper

It’s quite fun to think of new combinations! I have one hot, one cold and one room temperature sandwich which I can modify around. Best of all, I have my own little helper! Haha.

Our annual poon choy dinner with whole baby abalone @ Hakka Siu Poon Choy

Poon Choy

I always look forward to our poon choy dinner as the proper start of the pre Chinese New Year celebrations. We got our poon choy from the famous Restaurant Lee Hong Kee (used to be known as Restaurant LYJ) last year and I decided to try a new place this year. I had passed by this small and unassuming shop and called them to ask about their Hakka Pun Choi.

Poon Choy is actually a Hakka tradition that has been adopted and popularized over the years here. It basically involves a pot filled with all manner of premium ingredients by layer – stacked from the bottom to the top so each layer seeps down to the next, providing a new ingredient as you eat “down” and having the gravy/juice absorbing stuff underneath so it gets all the wonderful flavors from the smorgasbord of meat and seafood.

Hakka Siu Poon Choy

Hakka Siu Poon Choy is helmed by Cheong Sifu (Master, can also mean Chef) and I called the proprietor to ask about their prices. Poon Choy is now streamlined into two (2) sizes – 5 pax and 10 pax. I wanted the Premium Abalone Poon Choy, their best offering, for 5 pax and it cost RM 280 for the basic set. You can also add whole baby abalone for RM 20 each and I had six pieces coz there are six of us eating and I wanted everyone to have one.

I wanted to try this small restaurant instead of the huge commercial multi-restaurant F&B enterprises e.g. Dragon-i, Unique Seafood etc even though they’re cheaper (probably coz they buy in bulk) coz a smaller operation would have a more homely feel. I had it to go since me and my better half had her parents over so it’s easier to eat at home, especially with the two kids.

Poon Choy 2015

I also got two craft beers from Oregon for my dear’s dad and myself from Betty’s Midwest Kitchen. I’ve always liked Rogue’s brews and I thought their Mocha Porter and Dry Hopped St Rogue Red Ale would be perfect for the meal. The first is a stout like beverage, dark and high in alcohol content, with a nice coffee aftertaste. The St Rogue Red Ale is a sweet affair that’s light and refreshing and tasty from the dry hop process.

Rogue Red Ale Mocha Porter

The poon choy from Hakka Siu Poon Choy did not disappoint – it was even better than last year! I called over the phone and told them to prepare a good one for me with premium ingredients and they did just that. The optional 6 pieces of whole abalone for RM 20 each was well worth it too! The good stuff is in the middle – there’s whole baby abalone, sliced abalone (the lighter colored stuff), sliced conch (the darker colored pieces), Pacific clams, sea asparagus (razor clams), top shell, dried mussels, dried scallops, fresh scallops, dried oyster and black moss (fatt choy).

Hakka Poon Choy

I’m quite impressed by that selection, although most of it probably came out of cans like New Moon, they’re not cheap either. The whole baby abalone and one type of scallop is fresh though. The dried scallops are large and flavorful too.

There’s also ½ chicken and ½ duck flanking the poon choy pot with huge prawns, spare ribs and fu chuk (whole beancurd sheets/tofu skin) interspaced between. I particularly liked how they had ½ fish maw with ½ dried and rehydrated pig skin at the second layer. There’s also a wonderful array of sliced pork belly and sea cucumber hidden below. The Shiitake mushrooms, straw mushrooms, broccoli and turnips at the bottom soaks up the wonderful juices from everything slowly soaking down very well.

I’m sure I have missed some ingredients coz there’s supposed to be 28 in total!

Whole Baby Abalone

My favorite has gotta be the prawns cooked in sweet and sour sauce though – the juices from that flavored everything beneath really well and I’m glad I paid extra RM 20 / whole baby abalone for a more festive treat! Everyone loved it and even the kids had extra rice! My dear even had to cook an extra pot of rice for a second helping for everyone.

It was a great poon choy dinner that has become an annual treat, much like our Christmas turkey dinners! I can really feel the Chinese New Year “mood” now. :)

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