My Lunar New Year: A Year of Many Firsts

This year’s Chinese New Year (CNY) is full of firsts, for someone who is one half of an unmarried-couple-in-a mixed-nationality-long-term relationship. “Keep life simple” has always been my life mantra, but failed to practice what I preach in this complex multi-layered relationship.

Reunion “tuanyuan” 团圆,  means “getting together”. Tradition has it that members of the family, near and far, get together for a meal together. Bf and I spent every CNY in KL; he has been attending our reunion meals .. and thankfully, his side of family has been understanding all these years. His dad, a man I have grown to respect lots, always urge us to go ahead with our plan. So I thought, perhaps we should celebrate the festival with his family this year. But I chickened out in the Year of the Rooster (no pun intended). I booked a ticket back to KL at the very last-minute, leaving him alone in Bangkok. So this year has us celebrating Chinese New Year (CNY) separately, with our respective family. That’s the life of a mixed-nationality couple.

For a very looong time, my family has not had the reunion meal on the eve of the Chinese New Year. It is usually few days earlier, to accommodate my married siblings’s schedule. For whatever reason, we had our reunion meal on the eve of the CNY this year … and this possibly marks my first CNY Reunion lunch on the actual day.

 

Reunion lunch

Majestic Emerald restaurant
CNY set menu
Complimentary bottle of red wine with every CNY set meal

Majestic Emerald was the chosen venue, and I just went along with it. I thought that the choice was brilliant: close to all of us, and proper-enough for a reunion meal. There are 4 CNY set menus, and we opted for Set Menu A @ RM 738++, as it is the only menu sans shark fin soup. The bill came up to RM 1,000+ with this and that, and my share was RM 160 for a meal for one.

Emerald Majestic 2016 CNY menu

I assumed that restaurants would have “conveniently” jacked up their price, in line with everything-also-increase situation in Malaysia. Doing my research, I found Majestic Emerald’s 2016 CNY set menu, and found that their last year’s set menu started at RM 888++. So, good on them for offering a lower entry point menu this year.

On the food itself, I thought that it was decent and good enough for a CNY reunion meal.

Rainbow salmon fish yee sang
Staff preparing the yee sang

1st course: Rainbow salmon fish yee sang – a mandatory for that toss up, up and up for everything good for the year ahead. Come to think about it now, it was weird that I don’t recall hearing staff didn’t utter auspicious wishes after preparation. It’s like everything prepared, naa … ready for tossing, go ahead and toss.

Braised assorted seafood soup

2nd course: Braised assorted seafood soup – not too bad, this type of soup + vinegar makes everything tastes wonderful. Why can’t people make do with seafood instead of shark fin? It tasted almost the same to me.

Steamed red snapper fish

3rd course: Emerald steamed red snapper fish – overcooked mushy texture and perhaps not fresh. I wasn’t too bothered with it, since I only had a small piece. But of course, the staff had an earful from the madame of the house.

Roasted spring chicken

4th course: Golden roasted spring chicken – quite nice, albeit a tad salty. And I learnt that my sister-in-law (seated next to me) prefers the wing part, and my younger brother the thigh part … love learning new things about my family. I have always been amazed how my sibling’s spouses know more about my siblings, than me. Of course it makes sense, but still …

Sea prawn Chef’s special

5th course: Wok fried sea prawn Chef’s special – pretty decent dish.

Braised dried scallop with Chinese cabbage

6th course: Braised dried scallop with Chinese cabbage – finally, some veges for my two vegetarian nieces. Now this is a long story, of how the additional vegetables dishes ordered were only served towards the end of the meal. And there are two vegetarians in the family. Now, this deducts points from this restaurant drastically.

Steamed rice with waxed meats

7th course: Steamed rice with waxed meats – not too bad lah, but salty waxed meats indeed.

Deep fried crispy nian gao

8th course: Dessert – Deep fried crispy nian gao – it was okay.

Longan sea coconut

8th course: Dessert – Chilled longan sea coconut – it was alright and heart it that the sweetness is under control. But anyway, how good or bad can this be, right?

Add order: steamed kai lan
Add order: steamed siu bak choy

The two additional vegetable dishes for my nieces arrived after the 7th course, almost one hour after the first course was served. Holy moly cow. If I were the restaurant captain, a post mortem would be conducted on this boo boo. I noticed that my nieces didn’t create any fuss; assumed they had something before the lunch. Asking ZE, my elder niece about it, she told me no. She said that she was (of course) hungry, but she said just have to wait until the dishes arrive. Holy moly cow brinjal, in a good way .. these girls are really amazing. Now you understand why I love them so much?

Wine glass for hot chinese tea ..

All in all, besides above, there were a few nagging points: staff need to be more friendly and approachable. No doubt that they are working in a high pressure environment, serving many diners during this peak season .. but do it with a good spirit, and you might get early ang pows, you know? Not only that, this has gotta be one of the few restaurants that do not provide plate change for a 8-course meal, until dessert time.

 

 

Reunion dinner

For many, many years, reunion night means bringing my mom somewhere, ensuring that she is not eating by herself in front of the TV. Sometimes with my elder brother, but many times just me and her. The perk of being the only unmarried daughter; the responsibility automatically falls on my shoulder. Chinese says “count your blessings” to be able to look after your old mom when she’s still here in this world with us.

Blessed my siblings for including my mom this year with their respective family. She received 4 invitations altogether .. now isn’t that something? She got to choose steamboat meal with eldest sis, home-cooked meal with eldest brother or second sis, or dining out at Chinese restaurant with my younger brother .. and the latter won her vote.

My humble roti canai for dinner

With mom being taken care of, I was left to my own devices. My cravings for roti canai and kari ikan were finally satisfied, and that’s what I had for dinner … 3 pieces of roti canai, blimey!

Last-minute spring cleaning

And I also managed to get some last-minute spring cleaning done too.  Now, this is going to be a year that I’ll remember many years down the road …

 

 

Majestic Emerald
Lot D-1-2, Lvl 1, Emerald Avenue, Dataran Avenue, Jln PS11 Prima Selayang
03-6127 0348 / 016-279 5477 / 012-605 8478
Google Map: https://goo.gl/maps/yVmAEXbs7AH2
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MajesticEmeraldRestaurant/

 

Writer

Travel opens up a whole new world, which is cliche but true. I am a strong advocate for independent and solo travel. I was born and raised in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia but now live in Bangkok, Thailand, resulted from a chance encounter in 2009 with my why-are-you-Thai bf. I am now split between two countries. One country for my bf, another for the family, for the occasional weekend together.

4 thoughts on “My Lunar New Year: A Year of Many Firsts

  • January 28, 2017 at 3:30 pm
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    3 pieces of roti canai??

    • January 28, 2017 at 3:52 pm
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      Ya, should have bought 5 pieces. Cravings still not fully satisfied

  • January 28, 2017 at 4:36 pm
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    She like chicken breast and me is the thigh

    • January 28, 2017 at 4:38 pm
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      Ahhh … roger that!

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