To set the mood, he sent an email the other day that stated the four ingredients in a royal dish in the old days of China: abalone, sea cucumber, sharks fin, fish flotation sac. We had 3 out of the 4, only skipping out on the sea cucumber because my dad doesn't like it. Too yucky for him!
Now onto the good stuff. Note: since this was a few weeks ago, I kind of had to cobble together what I remembered everything was. Close enough, I think! Feel free to click on any of the images if you want to get up close and personal.
Suckling pig is a really big thing with my peeps and celebratory dinners. This one had blinking cherry tomato eyeballs and was later served with steamed buns to make little sammiches out of, kind of like peking duck.
As far as weird food goes, this lobster was pretty tame! At least his feelers were not still moving or anything.
Shark's fin soup is always fun, as it is served with a little chunk of flaming hot purple Sterno. Fire makes kids happy! If you wanted to read up on this soup, here's the link to its Wiki page. I do believe it will be banned in California shortly.
This was also the time that my brother and I gave my dad a bday toast. My mom told us to toast during the shark's fin soup course. I'm not sure why. I guess it's a thing. Our toast included references to World of Warcraft, Nicolas Cage, and Applebee's, all having to do with the number 60. We're awesome.
Okay, next up, is the Dish of the Evening. The Talk of the Town. Goose Feet with Fish Air Bladder/Floatation Sac, aka, Fish Floaties.
Apparently these were so hardcore gross, that my dad contacted people ahead of time to ask whether or not they dared to eat these feet. He then asked me to create a sign so that the servers would know who lacked the constitution to to be served such a thing. My dad said to make it look like Ghostbusters.
I have no idea what kind of fish this was exactly, but a big ol' steamed fish is pretty ubiquitous at any of our Chinese dinners. Don't fight over the eyeballs, kids!
Chicken and ham is pretty tame, but just keep looking into the eyes of said chicken on the plate in front of you and contemplate the fact that you are chewing on its flesh. I rather enjoyed the composition of the plate, kind of like the broccolis are streams of air on which the chicken is flying.
My peeps like to end a meal with a rice or noodle dish. For birthdays, it's the long life noodle. I think it's supposed to be one super duper long noodle to symbolize a super duper long life, but I can't attest to whether there was really just one in there.
Next up is dessert! There is a lot of it!
Okay, I don't know what those Eggy Cakes were called, but, they were like sweet heavenly manna inside a paper wrapper. THE SCENT, OH THE SCENT. Warm, sugary, custardy, delightful. I wanted to rub them all over my body so I could smell like them forever.
These Birthday Buns are called Peach Buns because they are decorated to look like peaches, but the flavor has nothing at all to do with said peaches. They are steamed buns with sweet lotus paste inside. Yummy Yummy! On special occasions, they will make a GIGANTIC peach bun and fill it with normal sized little buns. It's pretty epic. Like in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom when they slice open a big snake at the dinner table and all the little baby snakes slither out. We sang happy birthday, and then my dad tried to cut the big bun open with a knife, but I think he ended up ripping it open with his bare hands. True story.
The dessert parade ended with one of my childhood favorites: baked tapioca pudding. I will never stop loving this!!!
When saying goodbye to one of our family friends, she asked me to autograph her goose-foot ghostbusters sign. I didn't really know what to write. I put, "Dear Pete: No feet!" But my handwriting was so bad, she said, "Does that say 'Mo' feet?'" Hey, choose your own adventure! No feet, mo' feet, I'll love ya either way.