On the fifth day of New Year my mama said to me
5. fatt choy ho see for us
A friend was asking me if I was still going to review food from restaurants during the CNY season. I said that it depended on the food I was talking about. She also mentioned that most of the food I have reviewed so far were not really relevant to countries like Hong Kong or China. So today, we decided to find a dish that was relevant to both of us. We set off to find a Chinese restaurant that would serve the fatt choy (black moss that looks like thick black hair that sounds like ‘prosper in wealth’ in Cantonese) and ho see (dried oysters which also sounds like ‘good matters’ or ‘good things’ in Cantonese). Many of the food items that are used in CNY celebrations, are used because of homophones; their names in Mandarin or one of the Chinese dialects sound like another word that means something good or will bring wealth or good fortune .
We headed to Plaza Singapura as we knew of at least three Chinese restaurants in that one location. We enquired about our desired dish and in the end we settled for Crystal Jade Kitchen. I was a little hesitant at first as our last two visits to Crystal Jade for dim sum had not been very good. I was not going to go back there for Chinese food again. But that night, it turned out that they were the only restaurant that had CNY ala carte orders that we did not have to pre-order and their portions were smaller for two people. The other restaurants only catered for larger groups. So, in we went. We were already very pleased to have found the dish we wanted.
The dish we ordered consisted of fatt choy (black moss), ho see (dried oysters), sea cucumber, sang choy (lettuce, where sang sounds like ‘birth’ or ‘life’ in Cantonese.) So this dish is all good. The most overpowering item on the list is the dried oysters and hence skill is needed to cook this so that all the foods can be tasted and they are not overpowered by the oysters. To our great delight, the chef managed to do just that. I was glad that Crystal Jade managed to redeem itself (in my books). I may go and visit them for dim sum again after all.
Crystal Jade Kitchen, 68 Orchard Road, #02-32 Plaza Singapura. Tel: 63362833.