Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Tonight's Dinner: September 14, 2014

Tonight’s dinner was a special one.  My family and the Fongs piled up in the car to go to Koi Palace to celebrate my Grandma’s 90th birthday.  It was a pretty big affair with about 80 people in attendance.  One of the guests said that she had read about this restaurant being one of the top ten Chinese restaurants in the nation.  The crowds make me believe it, but the service was a little lacking.  In the beginning of the night they were on top of everything, but then I think that they just got in over their heads.  We were there early since it was on a Sunday, but as the rest of the restaurant started to fill up, the kitchen was having a hard time putting out the food in a timely manner.  By the end of the night, people started leaving because they thought dinner was over and then the servers came out with bowls of longevity noodles.  The dessert took even longer.  They also shoved us in a tiny back room that I’m sure was a fire hazard.  The dinner, however was a success.  My Grandma looked very happy and we can’t wait to celebrate her 100th birthday.

The Fongs and I had actually had a similar suckling pig banquet dinner from the Dublin location Koi Palace.  In that post I stated how the flavors were oddly not Chinese.  We had a creamy tarragon lobster pasta dish that we all thought was a little strange.  For my Grandma’s birthday dinner, we didn’t have the tarragon lobster, but we did have crab that had a Cajun-like seasoning.  It was SO salty too.  Did that stop me? No.  I love crab and there were two big ones on our table that no one was eating except my Dad and Aunt.  Earlier in the week when I was at Ranch 99 crabs were $11.99/lb, which is really expensive.  I was trying my best not to let the crab got to waste, but had to stop after my lips starting getting pruney from the salt. 

They first brought out the suckling pig to show my Grandma.

Chinese charcuterie plate. 12 o'clock is seaweed salad, 2 o'clock is stir fried squid tentacles, 5 o'clock is roast duck, 7 o' clock is tofu skin stuffed with mushrooms, 11 o'clcok is char siu, and center is suckling pig.

Toasting with a pretty large glass of Hennessy.

My Dad is the oldest of seven children.  He's toasting with my Grandma.

Sauteed beef, bell pepper, and onions with a bird's nest decoration.  I'm not sure what the bird's nest is made out of, but looks like fried noodles.  This is kind of like a cornucopia of meat.  The beef was super tender and very tasty.

Crab claw puffs.  This is a hunk of crab claw wrapped with shrimp paste an then deep fried.  That's my Grandma's hand yoinking one for my young cousin. I'm pretty fast at taking pictures for the blog, but she's much faster.  You wouldn't think that she's 90!

Faux shark fin soup. They now call it "fish fin" soup, but since shark fin is illegal (for good reason) I knew that this wasn't real and was able to eat it.

Abalone and mushrooms over mustard greens.

Smoked snow bass.  We think it's so red because of the seasoning that they used for smoking.

Peking duck

Mounds of "Cajun" crab.

Chinese sponge cake is my favorite cake in the world. You probably know by now that I don't care for sweets much.  I had three large pieces of cake.  This says "live a long life".

Longevity peach buns

Mango pudding.  This came out so slowly that Nick was shoving one in his mouth while we were walking out of the door.

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