The Chinese have this tradition of cooking up a storm and sitting down for a feast on New Year’s Eve and no cooking would be done in the subsequent days – there will be enough leftovers to ensure that nobody goes hungry.
We did not have a grand dinner on New Year’s Eve to ring out the old and usher in the new year as we were going for the sunset service in church that Saturday evening and I told my missus not to bother about cooking the next day, New Year’s Day.
I went out early in the morning to tapao some mee sua…
…for our breakfast, following the Chinese symbolic practice for longevity, posterity and prosperity.
Unfortunately, my favourite in town was not open so I went here (RM8.00 a bowl)…
…instead. I had it there once and I thought it was all right. However, that morning, I found it rather disappointing initially but after I had added two or three spoonful of our own traditional Foochow red wine to it, it was perfect! Very very nice!
I also bought some chai kuih, ma ngee and Portuguese egg tarts from a stall selling fritters and stuff at that food court and after the mee sua and all those, we were too full come lunchtime so we decided to skip it and go some place nice for dinner.
That evening, I decided to try our luck and headed to that restaurant where parking is virtually impossible and even if you park far away and walk all the way there, without any prior booking, there will not be a table available – their business is always so good, full house most of the time.
When we got there, there were so many cars leaving – my guess was they were people right after watching a movie at the cineplex opposite. There were many cars, of course, eagerly grabbing the spaces thus vacated one by one and thankfully, I did manage to slip into one before all of them were taken up by somebody!
The restaurant was full, of course, what’s new? But we were told that the people at a table in the corner had finished eating and would be leaving soon so if we could wait a while, we could sit there when they had left. Gee!!! It sure looked like it would be a good year for us – everything seemed to turn out right for us that night!
We were served these braised peanuts (RM5.00)…
…as starters. Theirs were special because of the addition of those spices such as star anise, cloves and what not. I loved that uniquely shaped ceramic bowl that they used to hold the peanuts.
I had their prawns with wasabi and mayo…
…once before and that night, we agreed to have another go at it especially when we would not be able to find this dish anywhere else.
I was devastated when I was told that their fried filleted white pomfret (pek chio/ikan bawal putih) with its very nice sweet & sour sauce…
…was not available. Initially, they said they had black pomfret (or chio/ikan bawal hitam) and then they came back to tell us that they had run out of that too but we could have fish fillet cooked that same way instead. Of course, we did not want that – fish fillet means…dory! Otherwise, we could have steamed ikan tapah instead. Well, no, thank you!
They said that business was extra good over the long weekend and they had run out of a lot of things such as their stock of fish, for instance and because of the holidays, they did not have the chance to replenish their stocks. Sighhh!!! We had gone through all that trouble to go there for this dish and in the end, we could not get to enjoy it. How disappointing!!!
My girl loves their chequerboard duck…
…but we were told that they would not serve it any smaller than the standard size – enough for a table of 10! I did not care! Never mind how big that was – I wanted it, that’s the bottom line!
…was very good but we could barely finish half of it so we asked them to tapao what was left for us to take home. My missus would not touch duck with a 10-foot pole so since we could not have the fish, it looked like there wasn’t much for her to enjoy other than the prawns.
For our vegetable dish, I ordered the bitter gourd fried with beef…
…so she could help herself to the beef. I just ate the veg since I had to abstain from all kinds of red meat. Yes, we enjoyed this dish a lot – it was very nicely done, I must say. We sure would not mind ordering that again the next time we drop by here.
I had no intention that night of ordering their celebrated sio bee (meat dumplings)…
…because when we were out for lunch the other day, my sister-in-law was telling us that they were not nice anymore. I don’t know where she heard that but I ordered half a dozen and we all enjoyed them so much. Well, with these as well that night, I reckoned there should be enough for my missus to have a reasonably good dinner. I loved how the skin was not over-steamed till so soft and soggy like the ones we often see around here.
In my growing up years, I often heard my father praising Ah Sap Chay‘s roasted duck (she was the proprietress of this restaurant, since deceased) to the skies but of course, we cannot order that! I thought of going for their roasted chicken instead but it seemed that they only served the whole bird (RM60.00 each)! I think the next time we come here, we must come in a big group of at least 10 people so we can enjoy all the dishes.
It appeared to me that it was not really a good night to drop by because other than the fish, they had also run out of all the mango desserts. In the end, I just asked for the snow pear tong sui /糖水 (RM8.00)…
…which, thankfully, turned out to be very nice. It was a little too sweet for me so I had to dilute it with the drinking water I was having.
We enjoyed that delightful dinner, though it did not turn out quite the way we had hoped it would be. The total for the food came up to RM107.20 which I thought was all right since we had prawns and there was that huge serving of their chequerboard duck too!
7七夜cafe (2.307862, 111.848497)…
…is located off Jalan Sena in the blocks of shops opposite Jalan Deshon on the right, the same side as Wikitea while the New Capitol Restaurant 新首都酒家 (2.288619, 111.830057)…
…is located at No. 46, Lebuh Tanah Mas, off Jalan Kampung Nyabor, in the block of shops opposite the Sarawak House/King’s Trioplex/Premier Hotel at the very far end on the right.
9 thoughts on “Let’s start the new year right…”
All the dishes looks pretty good especially the chequerboard duck and bitter gourd fried with beef. I guess the disappointment of the mee sua is maybe due to the broth being too diluted and luckily you have your own traditional Foochow red wine to add in and make it perfect.
Or maybe their current batch of red wine was not that good. Very hard to control the quality, at times even sour. Getting more expensive now, RM15 a bottle, unadulterated, no water added and even so, no guarantee that it will be good.
I would love all those dishes and I also enjoy those braised peanuts. I have never had bittergourd fried with beef.
I can’t remember if I had that before. Sounded good to me so I decided to give it a try. No regrets.
Wonder how the chequerboard duck tasted like. I bet I would enjoy that.
Didn’t taste any mee suah for new year. But I got a pack of mee suah as gift from my dad. Actually from his customers but my dad doesn’t like mee suah so pass a pack to me and another pack to my sis. The customer is a Foochow, not sure where he bought the mee suah. Nicely packed so good as a gift. Will taste it during this CNY.
Nicely packed in a box? The Kitchen (instant kampua mee) produces that too…in a nice box but I did not like it. Other locally mass-produced ones would be packed in plastic bags. Best would be the traditionally-made ones, if you know which one is the best, and then you twirl into sangguls and dry in the sun yourself. There are those in boxes from West Malaysia, exported overseas even – they say no good.
Not in a box but in a nice plastic bag. Zip loc type. Will post about it in my blog.
Oh? I haven’t seen any like that here, but then again, I do not go around that much these days…not in my condition! 😦
I have finished the Foochow red wine so I might need to make a new batch. I think I will love the chequerboard duck because I love duck. Everything looks delicious. I think I will stock up some beef for CNY in case I might decide to cook some beef dishes.
You make your own red wine? So good!!! I have to go out and buy and it is not easy to find really good ones these days. I don’t think we’ll have beef or lamb this year since I am off red meat.
The leftovers are the best part of many celebrations.
For a couple of days…but not for too long! By Day 3, I would be craving of plain porridge for a change from all the rich foods.