Fresh baked “Fong Bao” from the oven – 方包出爐

Random musings & meditations straight from the oven. Hopefully some food for thought as well…

The story of the re-useable Christmas crab

Some artists claimed to be inspired by the unlikeliest of things, at the most unusual of circumstances. In my case, here’s a tale about Christmas, a buffet and a plate of cold crab.

This Christmas my parents decided to eat out for a change and picked one of the restaurants located at the second floor of Aberdeen Centre. (To protect its identity, I shall call it ABC restaurant henceforth) Now ABC restaurant used be to decent until a recent ownership change turned it into an odd fusion restaurant…….of Hong Kong style & Chiu Chau style cuisine (港式 + 潮式). Just last week, Pie Pie Lo and I had dinner there with my In-Laws and were quite disappointed. Needless to say I was sceptical about what they have to offer on Christmas night.

It was a pre-booked dinner buffet with two sittings: 5:30pm & 8pm. My parents booked the early sitting and paid $28 per person whilst the later sitting cost three dollars less. As the evening unfolded, we were glad we paid the extra dollars.

This was one of the most “interesting” buffets I’ve ever had. You have the typical cold cuts, salad, lobster bisque, roast beef and turkey mixed in with taro fried rice, Singaporean vermicelli, sweet and sour pork, salted vegetables with pork stomach soup (咸菜豬肚湯) and cold sesame chicken. And as part of our dinner we were also given, amongst other things, two plates of Chiu Chau cold crab (潮洲凍蟹). For dessert, you have a choice of Tiramisu, crème brulee, taro stir fried in sugar (反沙芋) and fresh fruits. To be fair, some of the dishes were decent but for $28 dollars per person I was expecting something more.

At the end, we were all stuffed and realized we didn’t touch the two plates of cold crab. Now, any reasonable, non-wasteful family in this situation would ask to have the crabs packed away in a box to take home. We were no different but to our surprise, the waiter refused our request even though the crabs were given to us free of charge. We said we simply didn’t want to waste the food but the waiter came up with some sort of lame, health related excuse. So my grandpa and uncle dug into one of the crabs while the other one was taken away. Since we had a good view of the kitchen, we kept our eyes on it as it rested on the kitchen counter for the longest time. Puzzled and miffed, we tried to figure out the logic behind what the waiter had said.

Then it dawn on us.

One of the urban myths of Chinese restaurants was about to happen…….

Even though we have no definitive proof, we were quite certain our plate of untouched crab will be given to another table during the 8pm sitting and some poor kid will be chomping on a crab leg that we had breathed on all over.

Oh the humanity…….

Needless to say Pie Pie Lo and I have no plans to visit ABC restaurant again.

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