We are all taken to May’s house for the traditional Chinese New Year Reunion Dinner. It’s called a reunion dinner because typically families get together to celebrate. May has two lovely little daughters and she and her husband Kendrick welcome us to their home. It’s a big ask to have a group like ours into a family home due to their small size. (Smaller than what we are used to anyway – in Hong Kong terms May’s house is quite spacious.)
The house is decorated with Chinese blessings. We are each given a blessing hand-painted by the girls. Traditional New Years’ sweets are passed around and the wine flows freely.
May puts a feast out on the table – eight dishes initially, as that is an auspicious number. The aromas are amazing and the dishes are absolutely beautiful. Everything is delicious. The most challenging dish for me is abalone and mushrooms with black fungus and the swim bladders of fish. I try it and it tastes better than it sounds! My favourite dishes for the night would be the crab and broccoli, and the sticky glazed oysters.
It’s truly a wonderful, money-can’t-buy experience to be welcomed into a home for a real Chinese New Years’ banquet. I am so grateful to May and her family for allowing us this privilege.