Happy Birthday Mum! @ Victoria’s Peak (Orchard Central)

We celebrated my mum’s birthday on Saturday with a sumptuous feast at Victoria’s Peak @ Orchard Central. I had been interested in checking out the place for a long time, and my mum’s birthday gave us the perfect reason to try it out!

I have this fascinated with restaurants that are high up and Victoria’s Peak is indeed at one of the highest points of the Orchard stretch, at the 11th floor of OC. Unfortunately, it doesn’t quite leverage on that as the restaurant has no windows which allow you to have a view of the Orchard night scene. The ambience was therefore rather disappointing to me – but the food didn’t disappoint!

For some reasons, the photos mostly have this yellow hue which I really don’t like – perhaps due to the lighting of the room, but they shall suffice in displaying the food we had that evening. I don’t have the actual names of the dishes too, so my ‘translated’ names will have to suffice for this entry! Heh.

1. ‘Shou Bao’: What was unique about their ‘shou bao’ was that they didn’t just have lotus paste inside, but there was salted egg too! Not everyone loved it, but I did and my mum did too, because she doesn’t have much of a sweet tooth.

2. Six of their best ‘xiao cai’:

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Smoked duck

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Pork leg (according to my uncle, this is taken from the
two front legs)

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Barbequed Roast Pork

The 2nd dish was a selection of the best xiao cai available in the restaurant.

I didn’t take photos of the other 3, but I recall there was silver fish too which was great with the mayonnaise given and tofu with garlic and prawns. The smoked duck was great – the meat was so tender and flavourful with a nice layer of fat to add some juiciness to it. The sweet sauce complemented the smoked flavour very well.

3. Prawns (The actual name was so exciting, but I completely forgot it!)

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The prawns were juicy and sweet and they provided us with a lovely sauce which was a blend of soya sauce, garlic, vinegar and other ingredients I couldn’t discern. I gave up just ‘dipping’ my prawns in the sauce and decided to just dunk and soak them in the sauce when I reached my final few prawns.

4. Crab clawIMG_0524

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This was alright, nothing really impressive. They prepared a special chilli sauce to go with this though which was nice, more sweet than spicy and not too starchy. The sauce was even steaming hot when the dish arrived! Plus points for pride even in freshly preparing their sauces.

5.  Broiled chicken soup: No photographs of this. It didn’t really photograph well either, as it was just clear chicken soup done well.

6. Crispy skin chicken generously sprinkled with deep fried chopped garlic

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Yum! This was great! The chopped garlic was so good and I ate so much of it.

7. Soon Hock

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This is a particularly bad photo as it doesn’t capture the size of the fish. We have soon hock quite often as my mum loves steamed fish, but this has to be the biggest soon hock we’ve ever had! This is the first time we were struggling to finish the fish. It was really fresh fish! 

8. Mushrooms with vegetables

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9. Ee-fu Noodles

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The last two dishes were rather typical – nothing much to comment on really. I thought the Ee-fu noodles were more tasty than the usual, but it wasn’t that impressive either.

10. Complimentary fruit platter and mooncakes!

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Enough of food. Now, time for the celebration photos!

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My mum with a lovely bouquet of flowers specially put together by Jasmine and a Swarovski bracelet bought by Wenda & Sharon

 

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My mum’s ice-cream birthday cake – a double layer macadamia nut chocolate ice-cream cake with a thick chocolate outer crust.

This cake was so difficult to cut, but was so yummy. A bit too rich though as most of us could not eat more than a ‘slice’ and we actually had to ‘da bao’ it back. We just put whatever was left into a da bao box and refroze it when we went back.

Group Photos!

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Happy Birthday Mum!

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Insightful Articles on National Day Rally 2011

1. Cherian George – “PM’s National Day Rally Calls for more rational online spaces

“PM Lee’s wish for open, balanced and reasonable online spaces requires a cultural change on the part of the establishment as well. The government will need to find within itself the capacity to respect the role of independent websites as convenors of Singapore’s online politics.”

Quite aptly, PM Lee’s comments on ‘cowboy towns’ has stirred up a lot of online controversy.

2. Andrew Loh, “Patching up holes as we go along

To me, the National Day Rally did not reflect a Prime Minister speaking from a position of power. It reflected a Prime Minister frightened and bullied by the electorate.” [quoted from his friend’s blog]

On a side-note, I was really quite perturbed when all I could find on the online media was criticism (rather harsh ones too) of the NDP Rally and no recognition of the efforts made by the PAP to engage its citizens more meaningfully. This week, at the Teachers’ Mass Lecture, it was commented during the Q&A session that critical thinking is viewed commonly as being ‘critical about the government’ and I warned my students against this too. There aren’t enough quality blog entries with balanced, keen insight to support government policies written online to counter this wave of anti-government blogging.

I found Chua Mui Hoong’s commentary on the Monday Straits Times rather heartening though as she struck a balance between highlighting what was done well (‘impressively speedy responses to ground unhappiness’ etc.) yet at the same time pointing out the rather ‘insular’ nature of the Rally which didn’t focus on the Presidential Election, the debt crisis etc.

Of course, most people are so cynical about Straits Times now that they see it as a ‘tool of government propaganda’, but after reading so many online blogs and alternative news websites, I find the Straits Times to be one of the more reliable sources of news that contains credible commentary that doesn’t try to shove its perspectives on you.