Sumptuous and abundant, the family reunion dinner served on Chinese New Year’s Eve is undeniably a major highlight of the festive season. It brings a joyful family together around a full table and symbolises the hopes for prosperity in the year ahead.

I ordered a few dishes from where else if not Payung Café for our dinner…

…this year so that my missus would not have to slave all day in the kitchen during those few days leading to the festival.

There was their most delightful belimbing prawns…

…and my girl’s favourite, their lamb masala

I also placed an order for another favourite of ours there, their Thai green curry…

…instead of their kacangma chicken because my missus insisted on cooking her own…

…to give to her sister-in-law and she also cooked this very nice beef curry…

…so she could give it to her brother too – he loves her curry so much that everytime she cooks whatever curry, she will always give him some to enjoy.

He gave us the daging masak hitam and my girl’s good friend cooked us some ayam masak merah, both of which I featured in yesterday’s blogpost so my girl asked the mum to cook this yellow/butter rice…

…that goes so well with such Malaysian/ASEAN/Asian culinary delights. In the past, we used ghee to cook the rice but these days, the brands that we get here are not so nice, not very fragrant so my missus would use butter instead.

Actually, I asked my missus not to take everything out – we would do that one at a time in the days that followed so we could enjoy them slowly but it all fell on deaf ears. Well, at least, she did what I told her for some of the dishes, which was to have smaller servings of each dish instead of serving the whole lot at one go.

She only served two of her ngor hiang (meat/spring rolls)…

…her specialty and yes, she does it really well and I did ask for a vegetable dish…

…specially for this dinner and everyone loved her collagen-packed hu phio (fish maw) soup…

…with quail eggs so much.

Of course, there has to be fish – nián nián yǒu yú (年年有餘) which means, “May you have abundance year after year!” The word ‘abundance’ is ‘yu (余)’ which is pronounced the same as fish in Chinese.

For our dinner that evening on Chinese New Year’s Eve, we had “soon hock“…

…or marble goby in English, ikan ketutu in Malay. reputed to be among the Top 5 most expensive fish in Malaysia! My sister gave us one sometime ago but we had not had an occasion to cook it until now and yes, it was very nice – we all loved it!

Of course I invited her to join us that evening and she brought along her casserole of sate pork belly but unfortunately, the photo that I took of it turned out blur – it is in the main snapshot above, to the right of the broccoli.

There you have it, 12 dishes altogether for the 4 of us and no prize for guessing what we shall be eating over the next few days. LOL!!!

Author: suituapui

Ancient relic but very young at heart. Enjoys food and cooking...and travelling and being with friends.

14 thoughts on “Abundance…”

  1. Wow,😯 12 dishes for 4 only persons. That is truly in abundance. Belimbing prawns, kacangma, ngor hiang, vegetable dish, hu phio soup and steam fish are among all my favourites. I only cook 6 dishes for my Reunion dinner for 5 persons. I have pak lor ark, steam fish and prawns, ngor hiang, hu phio soup and for vegetable dish, I stir fry leek with my pak lor pork belly. That alone we still have leftovers. Most importantly, the great company for the Reunion dinner and also everyone is enjoying the dishes.

    Once again, Gong Xi Fa Cai and Wan Shi Ru Yi to you and your loved ones.

    Thank you and the same to you and yours!
    Ooooo…phak lor ark!!! My girl and I love that so so so much but the mum does not eat duck so we had to leave it out.
    I went out in the morning of New Year’s Eve to the fruit & vegetable shop in the next lane but there was quite a crowd so I just came home. I was thinking of getting some leek – in the end, we just had to do without it.

  2. Wow, what a delightful feast! The pictures and this post made me smile. I pray that God continues to bless you and your loved ones. I remembered that Chinese New Year even was close at hand. The Korean market where we do most of our food shopping had red envelopes available. We did our food shopping on Sunday.

    Thank you so much for your prayers, Opal. At times like these and at my age, there is nothing I would want more than well-wishes and blessings from friends and family alike. You have a Korean market there? I love the markets abroad, very different and so very interesting. I enjoyed the French one I went to in New Zealand.

  3. Really a sumptuous feast. For 4 of you, that was a lot. I only have 9 dishes. Haha. My post on it coming up today!!!

    Ok, will hop over and have a look. Been checking, “tomatoes” all the time, no update. LOL!!! For one thing, we will not have to cook anything for a while – just heat up and eat, a lot of leftovers.

  4. Belimbing is star fruit, right?
    Never had star fruit prawns before!
    My grandma used to have a star fruit tree in her yard, we got so often, we juiced the surplus to finish them quickly.

    We Hakka folks usually have very Hakka food for CNY. Ha ha… Very traditional, old school one.
    Like the yong tahu I told you yesterday, we also only make in a very old school way, using white tahu, tahu puff and mushrooms only. No fancy brinjals, chillies, lady’s fingers, bitter melons, etc. Oh, we do use pig’s caul fat to wrap yong tahu though, something you don’t usually get outside.

    I think there’s a big Hakka community in KK, Sabah. There’s probably the closest place you can try suanpanzi? Ha, I myself do not like the taste of leicha, since it’s rather bitter if you’re not used to it.

    1. Lots of Hakka in Kuching before the invasion of the Foochows from Sibu, now Foochows everywhere unlike in the 70’s.
      Ours is not really Foochow though, more nyonya…a mixture of anything and everything, whatever we enjoy and love to eat.
      These are not the belimbing or starfruit that you are thinking about – they’re wild belimbing, belimbing masam, very sour and used for cooking. I love this dish,


  5. From the number of dishes, it looked like a sumptuous spread for a crowd! I really like it, a little bit of everything and an intimate dinner for four. Mixing home cooked and food bought from restaurants is a very practical method indeed. You won’t have to worry about food for the next few days and I really don’t mind having the same dishes again 🙂

    We have enough to last a week or longer but not till Chap Goh Meh, I think. Yes, we sure enjoyed everything we had that night – it sure was a lot more pleasant, relaxing, eating and chatting among ourselves at home, so casual and comfortably homely, unlike in a busy restaurant.
    The thing is now that we are no longer spring chickens, it can get a bit tiring unlike before. Gosh!!! Where did we get the energy to cook SO MUCH to feed everyone who dropped by our open house…and those who came for lunch or dinner?

  6. Wow! So many delicious dishes. Its a big reunion feast. More than enough for 10 people. Just like you, my son also told me to space out the dishes by just having 2-4 dishes at a time. So we have less leftover to eat. Looks like your missus can rest for a few days without cooking since there is so much food available. A full table symbolizes a year of abundance!

    Hopefully!!! LOL!!!
    I guess she will not need to cook for at least a week or more, just heat up bit by bit for our meals every day.
    We used to have my in-laws with us, around 10 or more altogether. Those were the days – now with all the restrictions, we are keeping it low key. We share the food, have it on our own at our own homes.

  7. Gong Hei Fat Choy / Gong Xi Fa Cai, wishing you and your family good health and prosperity

    Thank you, thank you, and hopefully, it will be a great year for you too!

  8. What a feast you have there. I want to try it all.

    It sure was a feast. Up till Chap Goh Meh, two weeks later, we were still trying to finish off the leftovers. Guess my missus got carried away.

All opinions expressed in my blog are solely my own, that is my prerogative - you may or may not agree, that is yours. To each his/her own. For food and other reviews, you may email me at sibutuapui@yahoo.com

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