Saturday, 18 October 2014

Special Occasion: My grandma's birthday dinner! (Chinese feast dinner)

Happy 80th birthday mama! That's what I call my maternal grandmother! It doesn't have the same accent as how an Italian would call their mother or how you see toddlers call out to their mothers...the first 'a' goes up in accent and the second goes down. It's a slang in our teochew dialect. This year marks her big 80th and because of superstition we didn't have this big chinese feast dinner on her actual birthday date but on the day before! This dinner was held back in July but I hadn't gotten around to writing this post!

My mother booked a private room at a chinese restaurant downtown which we had eaten at before for lunch for dim sum (see our giant dim sum lunch here)! The dinner was a few hundred dollars as my mom paid extra for a whole suckling pig as the set she chose only came with half!

Continue below for the feast and family photos!
My grandma's 80th birthday dinner! A chinese feast!
I wore a gradient blue smokey look! Using Kate eyeshadow!

Kate gradical eyes palette! I freaking love these palettes and wish I had more of them!
For asian girls with small double eyelids like mine, try to keep the color on your lids and bringing it slightly above the crease is a good move.
I could've smoked out the dark blue in my crease better but otherwise I love the light white from the palette that I used under my browbone!
L to R: Myself behind, my mother, my grandmother, my uncle (mom's sister husband)
My grandmother and mom! With her mountain of oranges which all family members at the dinner gave my grandmother while giving her well wishes!
Family photo! L to R: My mom and dad behind, my boyfriend, myself, my grandma, my brother and my uncle! (the rest of his family are not in Singapore currently)
The first dish of the night! Whole roasted crispy suckling pig! The skin was so crispy and the meat so juicy! Wrap the meat and skin inside the mini wraps (not pictured), a piece of spring onion and a drizzle of sweet plum or hoisin sauce!
A plate of longevity buns! These are steamed buns usually shaped like peaches filled with smooth lotus paste! The big one was for decorative purposes! (the wraps for the suckling pig are in the background)
Another family photo with the table full of food!
One of my favorite dishes from the night! Lobster and fruit salad! Filled with chunks of fresh lobster meat, melon, apple, peach, cucumber and sweet japanese mayo! This was plated so beautifully and was so refreshing and tasty!

Shark's fin soup! A rich tasty seafood broth filled with scallop, sea cucumber and lots of shark's fin, topped with fresh coriander and blanched bean sprouts. (I'm aware of the very cruel and wasteful process of shark fin fishing but for me it's a rarity and is part of tradition when I consume it and I otherwise would never order or prepare it myself!)
Drunken live prawns served in a herbal tonic soup! The prawns were fresh and juicy and the herbal broth light but woody. It might be a bit strong for those who don't enjoy this type of soup however I really do especially with the hint of chinese cooking wine flavor!
Pan seared scallops! Beautiful giant scallops seared to perfection on both sides with a perfect brown crust! A mixed lettuce salad with a light mayo and sesame oil dressing!
Braised sea cucumber, baby abalone and iceberg lettuce! I love these types of chinese dishes. I've always loved these two seafood items and braising is the best ways to cook these items. The sauce is a tasty brown sauce and for some reason iceburg lettuce taste and has a lovely texture even after being cooked.
Braised spinach and mushrooms! The second last dish for the night after so many courses! The last dish was actually a fried E-fu flat yellow noodle with bits of chicken and seafood. This is usually a staple in multiple course chinese dinner. The dish was separated into individual bowls for everyone and I forgot to take a photo!

A platter of sliced fresh fruit!
A pistachio sponge and cream cake from a boutique pastry shop which we purchased the night before for the dinner!
My family posing with the cake and a special fire cracker type candle!
Mom and grandma posing with her birthday bouquets of roses and mixed Orchids!
My brother and I posing with grandma! It's really hard to believe she's 80 this year. She's never had surgery on her face except for some laser to lighten pigments. My point is most people think she's my mom's sister or in her 60s or 70s! I hope to still look and be as independent as she is when I'm her age!
For all those Chinese or Asian families who feast in a similar way during family celebrations you'd understand how full I felt after all the food. Yet at the same time I wish I could've rewind and eat everything all over again! I have a love/hate of multiple course chinese dinners. You know you will probably eat way too much but you feel obliged and yet you also really want to eat so these feast dinners/meals are reserved for special celebrations!

When was the last big family dinner you had?
Do you eat in or dine out?
Let me know!

Thank you so much!


  1. happy birthday to your grandma!! your grandma looks really young for her age btw :o the pig head is shit scary omg lmao i just realized you changed your blog's theme, i like the old one better but then again my opinion doesn't matter lol as long as you like it. blue is something that i would never wear outside the house, i really love all of your eye makeups ;u;

    1. Yes she does, doesn't she? Hahah, it's normal to me! Fish head, chicken heads, pig heads...maybe it's just normal here in south east asia? I've been experimenting with my theme! But I've decided less than 24 that I prefer it white and simple!

  2. Happy birthday to your Grandma! I call mine Ah-ma ^^your grandma looks very pretty and also really young for her age, you should ask her secret!!
    the suckling pig looks amazing, suckling pig is my all time favorite food..I wish I could eat them without getting fat xD

  3. Belated happy 80th to your grandma! She doesn't look her age.

    I stopped by after reading on Julie's blog that you've never had pumpkin pie. This is the perfect time of year to give it a chance--all those pumpkins being harvested! You'll either love it or wonder why people crave it...but at lest you'll know. :)

  4. Wow, 80!? She looks like she's between 65-70. Happy Birthday to your grandma!

    The Chinese feasts we usually have are pretty spread out, and we have a lot of time between dishes, so I don't notice that I've over-eaten til after dinner.

    Those scallops look delicious.

  5. Happy birthday to your Granny, she looks so young than her age, haha!! Is he your brother in the last photo??

  6. I call my grandma mama as well! Is teochow dialect sounds kinda like Taiwanese ?

  7. Happy birthday to your grandma! I definitely LOVE Chinese feasts, haha. It's great to get together with family and chow down. And your makeup look was perfect for the occasion and your outfit!

  8. Happy birthday to your grandma! Dang, your grandma
    looks young! If you told me she turned 65 I'd still have
    believed you! The food looks so YUM, especially the
    longlivity buns, lobster fruit salad and of course the
    cake c: Xx

  9. Happy birthday to your mama! She looks great!! All the food pics make me so hungry now haha. Love the makeup! Looks beautiful 😁👍

  10. What a wonderful happy birthday your grandmother, the gathering looks so happy and fun ^^

    So cute too, I love family gatherings.

    The food looks amazing too, made my stomach growl >.<

    Also, your eye make up looks very charming!


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  11. Happy birthday to your grandma! OMG, your grandma looks so young!So cute too, I love family gatherings.
    The food looks amazing too, made my stomach growl...haha.. Everything looks so YUMMM,especially the longlivity buns, lobster fruit salad and the fruit cake. I really loved your blue dress and blue eye makeup. You look sooo cute not as cute as your granny. Great post honey, kisses <3

  12. I feel like I just tortured myself by looking at this post when I'm nearly starving (I NEED TO EAT DINNER BUT I'M WAITING FOR MY MOM TO COME HOME) but happy belated birthday to your grandma!! 80 is an impressive age! Also, apparently sea cucumbers are another delicacy that is going extinct, but I never quite understood the hype over them since they're just tasteless (but people eat them for the texture....why??). But oh gosh...I WANT THOSE SCALLOPS! ;-;




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