Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Beng Hiang

After every series of depression, usually follows a series of camwhore pictures, and yes, this cycles continues with this post and my next, all photo laden posts and a seemingly happy Joan. Maybe this is what is also known as bipolar disorder ba...

Every year the seventh day of the first month, otherwise known as renri, my grandfather would give the extended family a treat, an yusheng dinner treat, and this year is no exception. This year, for a couple of years, we visited Beng Hiang, a Hokkien restaurant some where somewhere. I never know the exact location of it since I never had to go down there myself, always the daddie would fetch us all there. By the way, I've downsized these photos. If you really like any one of these photos and would want a piece of them in their original size, do drop me a mail, even though I can't think of anyone wanting any of these photos... lol~

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The signboard.
Apparently it's not complete, it just shows the big words Beng Hiang.

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Nothing will be complete without a me in it.
Me sitting at the waiting hall of the restaurant. I like waiting halls, it's a glam place for people to sit and stand and to shut people up from complaining about the long time waiting. But since my family always reserves tables, so we don't really spend much time in that hall. I like those pictures they hang around though... Very cheena~

On to the dinner proper...

Any Chinese meal is incomplete without this.
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Chinese tea.

But thanks to an uncle, we also had this on top of the tea.
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Red wine.
It might seem weird for some people to have wine with a Chinese meal, but I must say, red wine goes extremely well with one of my favourite dishes, Kong Bak Pau. More on that later...

The food.
I think food is extremely important.

First up is the customary Yusheng.
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It is the standard opening dish for any Chinese meal served in the first two weeks of Chinese New Year.

Then is the soup. Usually Chinese like to have Sharks' Fin Soup.
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But for the Hokkiens, the Fish Maw Soup is very popular. We had that instead of Sharks' Fin, mainly because my grandfather loves Fish Maw.
I think the Chinese have a knack of thinking up weirdest animal parts and call them delicacies. Sharks' fin is still normal, fish maw is actually fishes' sperm sacs, sounds gross? Try having swallows' saliva in the form of Birds' Nest, or the underside of a frog's jaw as Hashima, or the grit under a tortoise's shell as Guilingao. Sounds gross? But very tasty and very nourishing. I actually like them... hehehe~

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The texture of fish maw is actually a little bit like pig's skin. Fake fish maw is usually substituted by pig's skin, but without all the supposed noutritions.

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Fried Prawn Dumplings, Hokkien styled.
I don't really taste much prawns in them, mostly pork. I'd go for any kind of Cantonese cuisine prawn dumplings with fresh prawns in them. But what to do? The Fukien province is not an island like Hong Kong which can get like fresh prawns easily and cheap.

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I like their noodles, the prawn sauce taste is very strong, and the ingredients are generous. The only thing I don't like, is the taugey...

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Sea Cucumber Duck.
I didn't eat this. I never eat this. Actually all the dishes here are our usual dishes, everytime we visit Beng Hiang we'd order these, and I do mean everytime. I don't eat duck other than a bit of roast duck breast, I don't know why either. I don't eat sea cucumber, I don't know why, I don't even eat cucumber, except when they are in sandwiches.

My favourite...
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Kong Bak Pau!!!

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I ate three of them that night. We had three tables of relatives, my table finished ours, no thanks to me and my dad, and after we finished ours, my dad went to one table to eat another pau and the other table offered their remainder paus to me. Our family really know each other's tastes very well.

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Roast Chicken.
Beng Hiang does their chicken really right. I love it especially with lots of sng kam sprinkled on top.

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Chicken Breast.
I love chicken breast, or rather, I eat only chicken breast. I like tough meat and I hate bones, so maybe that's why I love chicken breast that much. Most of the old people hate chicken breast, I think they find that their teeth can't chew them so I end up clearing all the chicken breasts from my table, and then the very very good granddaddie passed two more pieces of chicken breast meat over to me because he knew I love chicken breast and I'm a big eater. I feel like a pig. But that's out of his concern for me. I love my granddaddie~

Eating with Beng Hiang, there's always complimentary dessert, but it's always either red bean paste or green bean soup. If we're lucky we might get Almond Longan. Joan eats no beans nor nuts, so she never takes desserts from Beng Hiang, so she doesn't know how does dessert taste like. And she forgot to take the closing picture of the dessert, so that's all folks~

I think I gained like 3kg in that dinner after like half a dozen pieces of chicken breast meat and quarter a dozen pieces of Kong Bak Pau, not to mention the other food I ate. But I don't care~

I went for a swim on Sunday. I swam 1.1km, hope the fats I gained are now gone... hope~

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