Grandma’s 80th

For my grandma’s 80th birthday, the extended family decided to get together for a big birthday celebration. Just like her previous milestone birthday celebrations, it had to be a traditional chinese restaurant with a private room and karaoke.

It was decided that we would go to Spring Court (詠春园) which is Singapore’s oldest family run restaurant and whose dishes had generated many rave reviews.

We secured ourselves a cosy private area on the fifth floor, which was dedicated to our 3 tables and had a large karaoke screen with a loud karaoke set for us to make a nuisance of ourselves. There were dedicated attendants for our area who provided excellent service and attended to our many requests for drinks, cutlery, cakes and karaoke system service amid the cacophony of 30 joyous voices chattering and singing away.

The food was excellent.

As it’s grandma’s birthday, it’s traditional to start with the 寿桃 (longevity buns). It was soft with a sweet creamy lotus paste filling. Ted loved it so much he had two at a go.
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It was followed by a cold platter.

Any meal that starts with a cold platter has to be good.
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Next up was the (or at least, my) highlight of the day, which was the roast pig.

The crust was perfectly done – crispy without being too oily.
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Ted kept clamouring for more. We let him have 3 large pieces of the skin.

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After we were done with the skin, the attendants took the rest of the pig away and cut the meat up into bite size pieces to be served as another dish. The meat was juciy and tasty – loved it! I’ve already decided that I’m definitely coming back for more roast pig on the next big occasion.
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Another dish I really enjoyed was the 霸王鸡. I am not usually a fan of chicken at chinese restaurants as they tend to end up either too dry or too bland. This was done nicely, and served with a side of salt and pepper seasoning.
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We also had fish, as is traditional of any Chinese multi course dinner.

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We ended the dinner with a lovely durian cake from Emicakes.

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But perhaps what was most enjoyable was the joy of a large extended family gathering, where everyone chit chatted, laugh and sang noisily to their hearts’ content, where everyone caught up on the latest happenings with one another.

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We were really glad that Ted got a chance to interact with many extended members of his family. The food was good and the company was better. We would definitely go back again for the awesome roast pig!

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Visiting 外婆家

Meal times at 外婆家 is especially fun for Ted because 外婆 would always make sure that there is plenty of variety. All the dishes put out on the table (even for adults) are toddler friendly. Vegetables are chopped finely, and soup is cooked with plenty of vegetables. There is almost always steamed fish on the table, and at least a few different cut fruits or fruit juices on the menu.

Recently, 外婆 found a new way to partition out the variety of foods she has prepared. Apparently the usual toddler plates with 3 different partitions aren’t good enough for her. She recycled a candy box which had 6 partitions, and Ted’s meals are now a lot more fun!

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In the picture below, Ted had rice, fish, carrots, potatoes, home-cooked hokkien noodles (my mum makes awesome tasty healthy hokkien noodles!) and the lean part of roasted pork belly.

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It’s really awesome being a toddler at 外婆家.

 

A Birthday Celebration at the River Safari

This is actually a super outdated post because Ted turned 2 a few months back but I haven’t had time to consolidate the photos and get them uploaded.

Ted was really excited because he loves being outdoors and he loves balloons. I decided to invite my family along together with the Great-Grandmother as they had never been to the River Safari.

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We bought him a balloon just for the day. We thought it would be fun if he could take the balloon all around the River Safari.

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Unfortunately, balloons are NOT allowed in the River Safari park. We had to deposit our balloon with the staff at the counter. 😦 Ted was disappointed but he didn’t kick up a fuss.

The River Safari is a pleasantly family friendly place. Most of the exhibits are housed in large tanks and there is plenty of shelter, including sheltered walkways built around them. This means that if we want to stop for a rest or in the event of rain, it is easy to find a nice shady spot to settle in.

This is rather different from the zoo in which visitors are almost always out in the open, and the hot afternoon sun or an unfortunate rain shower could really spoil the visitors’ mood.

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We learnt about the difference between the various types of crocs.

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Ted taking a rest to have a munch on some bread.

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We saw some really large fishes and river animals.

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Ted was curious about almost everything.

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We made our way to the Yangtze River where the pandas were housed. There is a large air-conditioned enclosure where the pandas live in comfort and have plenty to eat. Unfortunately for us, the pandas were not very active when we were there and were hiding out in an obscure, far corner of their enclosure.

We tried pointing out the faint black and white figure hiding behind the rocks in the background, but it didn’t seem like Ted could make out the pandas.

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It was a weekday morning, so there weren’t too many visitors.

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A couple of us adults queued up for the boat ride they call the “Amazon River Quest”. I was rather intrigued by the way they designed the beginning of the journey, in which our entire boat was lifted up via a very large lift.

The ride itself was, however, disappointing. Not only did we have to endure the hot midday sun throughout the 10-minute journey, we hardly saw any animals. There were many signs indicating the name of the animals we were supposed to see, but most of them were probably napping somewhere in the shade, and away from the sweltering heat outside. It was essentially a boat ride to see animal names (and their sponsors).

It was a rather disappointing trip for the adults but I think it was enjoyable the the toddler who basically just enjoyed the running and the walking. I probably won’t be back here anytime soon.

Toddler in a Restaurant: Mouth Restaurant 地茂馆

We had a date with Papa’s extended family, and we decided to visit Mouth Restaurant(地茂馆)at China Square.

Aunt C placed the orders since she was the connoisseur of the family. In general, the food was really tasty, especially the fried fish and the spring rolls in the centre of the table. My only gripe was that there wasn’t a good enough selection for little toddlers, as the food, being mainly dim sum, tends to be oily, and most of the dishes contain prawn, which kids commonly have allergic reaction to.

We ordered a sliced fish porridge for Ted, but porridge isn’t the type of food that will keep a toddler interested for long.

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The fried tofu was good and Ted had several pieces of it.

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He even had some meat from this sweet and sour pig’s trotter dish and said he liked it.

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He was intrigued by the rainbow har gao and although he picked out the yellow (pumpkin-flavoured) one, it seemed that he didn’t like the taste of it.

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I think what really mattered at the end of the day, was that Ted enjoyed time with his extended family.

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~ * ~ * ~ Toddler Experience Rating ~ * ~ * ~

2|4
Ambience: Noisy, many big families chattering away
Food: Tasty for adults, a little too oily and heavy for children
Recommended order for toddlers: Tofu dishes, porridge
Children’s set menu: None. They’re going to have to eat what the adults eat

Making a spectacle of himself

Our little toddler loves going to his grandpa’s little shop in an old eastern neighbourhood to play.

Every once in a while he would say to me, “I want go Ah Da’s glasses shop?” Ah Da means grandfather in Hakka.

And every once in a while, we would bring him there as a surprise to his Ah Da who would always be delighted to have him visit.

On this day, his Ah Da picked out a really cool pair of glasses for him.

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Doesn’t this look remind you a little of a certain animation movie character who wears green glasses and thought the sky was falling?

I have been told on several occasions that I resemble that same character so it looks like the little boy has inherited some of my good looks.  *笑*

On this day, business was slow, as it usually is in small shops in the quiet eastern neighbourhood.

We decided to let Ted play shopkeeper.

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He had great fun selecting glasses for us to try on although he kept trying to sell them for $4 or $6 per pair. I think it’s time to start him on some business management lessons.