Food for Thoughts at China Blue

Every time a member of my family finishes his or her studies – may it be elementary, high school or college – the graduation dinner treat for him or her is always held at the old, not so expensive and not so savory Filipino restaurant in Malate, Manila (which I refuse to name).  It has always been the tradition that Nengkoy got to insist that the celebration be held in that restaurant may you graduated with summa cum laude honors or you finished at the bottom of your class’ ranking.

But for the Master’s Degree graduation of my nephew Luis, I got to choose the restaurant!  Nengkoy allowed that it be held someplace else maybe it is because the graduation is not just an ordinary bachelor’s degree but something higher, more advanced and more difficult to obtain.

I chose China Blue.  Having previously enjoyed the savory food I this authentic Cantonese Restaurant located inside Conrad Hotel, Manila, I knew that Nengkoy and the members of my family in that dinner would truly enjoy some sumptuous treat!

Nengkoy with Team Langit. Congratulations Luis!
the mandatory photo-taking of me and nengkoy…
super nice private room where we had dinner… the waiter i guess felt that me and my family are so noisy we were billeted in this private room

And since I arrive early in the restaurant, took the liberty of ordering the dishes for our group.  And when everyone arrived and each dish was being brought in into our room, I asked my family not to touch the dish until I tell them to because I want to take pictures of it.

Here’s the actual photos of some of our orders.  And since I lack the ability on how to properly describe each dish, let me then attach a Chinese proverb for every one of it…

when you drink the water, remember the spring.
(paper thin crispy beef in sweet and spicy sauce)
a bird does not sing because it has an answer. it sings because it has a song.
(sweet vinegar marinated cherry tomatoes with sour plum)
when the winds of change blow, some people build walls while other build windmills.
(barbeque honey-glazed matsusaka pork neck)
what you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others.
(steamed truffle mushroom buns)
he who returns from a journey is not the same as he who left
(crispy fried shrimp salad with wasabi dressing)
pearls don’t lie on the seashore. if you want one you must dive for it (hahaha! can’t remember what this yummy dish is called)
true knowledge is when one knows the limitations of one’s knowledge
(pork belly wok fried)
if you always give, you will always have
(crispy pumpkin coated with salted duck eggs)
if you are patient in one moment of anger, you will escape a hundred days of sorrow
(fried spinach bean curd with spicy sichuan eggplant with minced chicken sauce)

I failed to take a photo of the Buchi or glutinous rice dumpling with red bean filling coated with sesame seeds (our desert) which according to our waiter Angel was a very good choice because it was the award-winning dessert of China Blue Manila.  My family are all sweet toothed, it would not come as a surprise that everyone would just rapidly dig into the delicately sweet Buchi and would not care if I have already taken a photo or not.

I really can’t figure out what specific dish was the highlight of that dinner.  It is because every dish was beautiful, every dish was delicious and every dish deserves a big round of applause!

And when Luis would decide to further pursue his studies, doctorate degree that is.  I’m pretty sure Nengkoy would again agree that Luis’ PhD graduation dinner be held again in China Blue Manila.

Kongrats Luis!

Ate Gaying Looks Richer Today (Just Today)

my dear sister on a fine powdery snow...
my dear sister on a fine powdery snow…

Me and my elder sister Gaying believes that there is a direct and positive correlation between the way a person looks and the number of flyers that person receives every time he or she is in a mall.  We believe the more affluent-looking or rich-looking you are, the more flyers will be handed to you by Flyer Ladies and Flysheet Dudes inside a mall.

That is why when I and my elder sister Gaying would be together inside a mall for some shopping, we have some sort of a small competition.  We would tally how many flyers would be handed over to each of us.  The person who receives the most number of flyers at the end of shopping wins.

Scoring would actually depend on the type of flyer given to us.  If the flyer would be about a luxury car, a posh condo unit or a high-born club membership that would mean high points.  But if the flyer is about a missing pet, a launching of a new soy sauce brand or would be about a dishwashing liquid that would definitely trigger hilarious pang-aapi (verbal oppression) and riotous heckling towards the person who received it.

me and ate gaying love osaka!
me and ate gaying love osaka!

And since it’s my Ate Gaying’s birthday today and though we did not go shopping today, let me concede and declare that today even without any flyer (just for today though) that she looks richer and more high-heeled than I am.

Sige dahil bertday mo, mas mukha kang mayaman ngayong araw kesa sa kin. Happy Birthday Ate!