I was gagging to bring Chris to Man Fu Yuan for brunch, after having gone with a girl friend a couple of weeks ago and fell in love with their yum cha there.I personally reckon the dim sum dishes are one of the finest and loveliest I’ve had. Though I admit, I don’t often (rarely) go for yum cha!
And so I thought it would be a pretty neat idea to go Chinese style for Fathers Day this year and take Chris there, as well as my parents. It would make for a nice little celebration, and wouldn’t have all those set meals that most other cafes have (I don’t like being forced to/obliged to order set meals, as I like to pick and choose to my liking from a la carte menus).
Inside Man Fu Yuan
A little introduction
I love this family shot of us :)
Hunter took all these photos by himself. He kept saying “do silly pose!!” as he snapped away. And so we obliged.
The service there is really attentive, discreet and polite. You really feel like you’re being taken care of. Though, they should’ve taken the initiative to warn us when we ordered WAY too much. If we can barely finish the food, you know it’s way too much food for a regular human being!
Roasted pork belly – perfectly crisp and full of juiciness. Divine.
Calamari with salted egg yolk – it was a bit odd but it worked! Hunter chowed down on quite a few pieces, so I guess that’s a thumbs up.
Hunter going to town on the calamari and crispy noodle thingys
Yam cake – traditionally these are pan fried. But Man Fu Yuan’s take is to deep fry them, and they’re fantastic this way!!
Beef brisket in casserole – this was the only dud dish. That’s my personal opinion, since Chris quite liked this. I just really disliked it because it was full of tendon and tripe and all sorts of weird stuff… *shudder*…
Steamed prawn dumplings – they look really simple, but were done beautifully
Some sort of crispy beancurd skin wrapped around prawns – this was just average to me. Then again, I never like this sort of dish anywhere.
Steamed cod in rice wine – actually it looked like it was in a silky egg custard. Hunter and Carter loved it and polished it off!
Molten egg yolk custard buns – OMG OMG OMG. An absolute must-order. The molten cream is deliciously salty and sweet, and the whole bun is quickly deep fried. It’s AMAZING. A total must order, and worth coming here for this alone!!
Custard egg tarts – good but not amazing
Carter REFUSES to let us eat at the table unless he’s eating as well (otherwise, bring on the hysterics!). But now we know that if we give him a few grains of rice, he’ll be so amazed with how it sticks onto his fingers that it buys us a few minutes to scoff our food down ;)
We had a lovely quiet lunch for Fathers Day and the kids were well behaved, so that was Chris’ Fathers Day gift ;) I’m glad I married someone so patient. He is the rock in our family, that always keeps his cool, which is so important for the kids to see in a father figure. They say you never really know a man until he becomes the father of your children – and I absolutely agree. When I saw him holding each of our children when they were born, and how he interacts and cares about them daily, I see a wonderful father that our children will be so proud of.
HAPPY FATHERS DAY to you, my love!!
And sorry this post is so late. Was busy flying to Copenhagen and all :P
If you know him in real life, you’ll agree with me that my father is a man of few words. He isn’t overly affectionate in public. He wasn’t effusive with his “I love you”. He was not a person to gush.
But I knew he loved me.
It wasn’t the fact that my parents tried for 7 years (!) before they managed to conceive me, or the fact that they couldn’t have another child after me. I guess that kind of made me know I was really treasured by my parents. But it was (and is) always the selfless and thoughtful things he does for me that the message of I LOVE YOU is LOUD AND CLEAR.
I actually don’t know another man that is as willing to sacrifice all his time, his energy, and his efforts in both raising his own kid, and now in helping to raise his grandkids. My friends that have met him in real life always comment on how unusual he is, how he will do anything and everything for our family, and how he will willingly drop everything to help me out.
It was my Uncle Raymond’s big 60th birthday this week! My cousins planned a lovely dinner for him and invited various family members and close friends. The dinner commenced at 7PM which is actually an unGodly hour for us to be out… consider that’s our kids’ bedtime!! But, we hatched a plan and off we went…
The grand masterplan we had was to nap Hunter super late, at 4-6PM. He was soooo zonked by the time we allowed him to nap! But he handled it like a boss, and woke up cheery and happy. He was very well-behaved and cheery through the whole dinner, though he was starting to go a little laughing-hysterical near the end. We were actually quite surprised and relieved that he could handle such a late night… as he ended up sleeping at 11PM – gak!!
Carter we actually figured would be just fine with the super-late night. After all, he’s only a baby and we expected he’ll take an extra nap in the evening, and then be OK.
He was pretty good through the whole evening, and even in the car ride home. The problem was once we stepped through the door. When he saw his home, he went mental. It’s like he knew it was waaaay past his bedtime, but his sanity was held intact because he was distracted by the dinner party. But once he got home, it was like something clicked in his head and he was like “I’M HOME AND I’M SOOOO UPSET IT’S PAST MY BEDTIME AND I JUST DUNNO WHAT TO DO WITH MYSELF ANYMORE ARGHHHH!!!!”
He had the most epic meltdown I have ever seen. Through his bath time, and so much so that he couldn’t even take my boob because he was too hysterical and out of his mind. No amount of calming or doing anything would distract him. In the end, Chris turned on YouTube and put an Elmo song on, and that got his attention. After he calmed down a bit, he did a boob feed greedily and knocked out cold.
But it was just terrible trying to get him to calm down, he was flailing everywhere and ranting and screaming like he was possessed. I reckon Hunter is old enough to understand that he’s at a party and so will be sleeping late, and can hold his sanity together. But Carter is just too young, and too regimented with his schedule (yes, we are baby-schedule nazis, I will admit. But our reward is that we get really freakin’ awesome babies that can sleep well! So it’s worth it!).
For this reason, we will reaaaalllllyyyyyy reconsider attending a night-party with the kids again. Maybe for a direct family member’s wedding or something, but definitely not for a random night out!
Man…. I really went on a crazy storytime up above.
Striking a pose together! (On me: Ralph Lauren dress, Alannah Hill belt, Dior shoes. On Hunter: Elly shirt, Uniqlo pants, Camper shoes)
So gross to be crawling around on the floor, but oh well, it kept them occupied!
My darling baby wombat. Always beaming and happy! I want to squish him and then eat him.
Hunter and cousin Elliot wrecked havoc running around the place. Fortunately we were in a private ballroom!
Hunter ate fairly decently. He ate FOUR of those Chinese birthday buns!
Youngest kid there but leading the others up onto the stage to do silly stuff…
Cute cake!! My aunt and uncle with…. their 2 grandsons Elliot and Gerald. No sign of their 2 daughters there though. LOL!
Big family shot :) Mervyn managed to escape GRUB cafe to attend the dinner!
Our family :)
I actually like this pic even more because it’s candid and so… random!
So if you know Hunter in real life, you’ll know that he’s both a reluctant and picky eater. (though I try not to vocalise this within earshot of him, because I don’t want it to be a self-fulfilling prophecy)
Up until he turned 2 years old (!), he only ate food that was pureed. He just really disliked texture and having to chew, I guess. And til now, at just over 2 years old… he eats very little and is pretty much a vegetarian (!).
His eating is somewhat like this:
Breakfast – plain unsweetened Greek yogurt, with fresh fruit. Or, quaker oat cereal in fresh milk.
Lunch – pretty much anything (thanks to him being allowed to use the iPad during mealtime). But easiest is Japanese food which is always a sure-win.
Dinner – sliced avocado, steamed plain tofu, one hard-boiled egg, one piece of cheese or a bun (the fancy kind from a fancy bakery, supermarket-brand breads are a no go for him). All served separately.
It’s totally BIZZARE how his dinner is always the same. Every night. And he never gets sick of it!! If I try to mix it up and cook a dish, he’ll flatly refuse it. He eats no sauce, no salt, no sugar… all very pure and ‘healthy’ stuff.
So in an attempt to try and get him INTERESTED in a varied dinner…. Chris had the bright idea of DIY pizza night. Getting Hunter involved in the food-making might make him realise food is FUN and yummy, right?!
Hunter did have fun spreading the tomato sauce onto the base.. and popping on some of the ingredients (though he wouldn’t touch any with his bare hands). I think he was happiest watching Chris do it all though!
Fascinated watching the pizza being put together.. and he did help a bit!
CHECK IT OUT GUYS
The pizza had grilled mushrooms, grilled onions, green and red capsicum, corn, ground beef and cheese. We’d figured it was all pretty palatable for a toddler and pretty health. y
All prepared and ready to be popped into the oven
The result impressed us, if I do say so myself ;) It was really tasty! We had way more veggies than meat, which is a good thing, and a whole ton of ingredients. Certainly not the usual store-bought kind that has a mere scattering of topping. We loved it :)
Piping hot straight out of the oven.
The question is, did Hunter eat the pizza??
Well, he ate two 2cmx2cm pieces that I cut for him.. then refused to eat anymore. And then proceeded to ask for his usual avocado/egg/tofu dinner. *facepalm*
My first Mother’s Day as a mum of two. It’s a little startling how much life has changed. I would have flat out thought you were insane if you have told me, 5 years ago, that I’d be here now – married with two children.
But here I am.
Motherhood is such a privilege, and even though we mums love to snipe and groan about our kids’ madness, really and truly, we feel thoroughly BLESSED to have them. Their sugar-pie smiles and ultra sweet “I love you mama” murmurings more than make up for the hair-pulling and head-bashing they make us want to do. To ourselves, I mean. (though maybe sometimes we do sorta kinda fantasize about doing that to them………..)
I really do believe that having children makes you view the world differently; makes you really choose who you want to be friends with; and makes you realise every day just how fortunate you are.
I guess, in a way, it’s hard to truly appreciate your own mum until you’ve given birth and raised a child yourself.
No that’s not quite the right word.. I guess the right word to be to “truly understand” your own mum, because now you know what she’s been through just to get you through to adulthood in one piece.
So what did we do today? We had a wonderful morning swim! The weather was lovely and the sun was out, so the kids went splashing away in the pool. They loved it and it also got rid of some energy so they could conk out for their afternoon nap later ;)
We also had homemade French toast with fruit compote and maple syrup for breakfast, made with bread that Chris bought from the bakery the same morning, freshly baked hours ago. It was lovely. Though Hunter, the nut, merrily ate his yogurt with bananas and spinach/blueberry/apple puree and rejected the French toast.
Homemade French toast with fruit compote and maple syrup
We had an early dinner after church at GRUB. Man I HAVE FOUND THE TWO BEST DINNER DISHES THERE!!!!!! And because I’m super duper nice, I’m gonna share them with you:
Pan-seared king salmon with risotto and chimichurri ($15) – I rarely order salmon when I’m out, unless I’m fine dining. Reason being more often than not, the salmon is overcooked. I am verrrryyyy picky, I like it done very moist and not cooked through on the inside. These guys do it spot-on. It means the salmon retains its natural juices and is extremely tender and moist, excellent for kids too. The risotto is executed well and smooth and creamy. It’s a good portion for an average-to-large eater.
Pork steak burger with apples and chimichurri sauce ($12) – this sounds utterly UN-exciting on the menu. All I think about is a slab of tough and chewy meat. They ought to rename it to “OMG this is super amazing ultra juicy and squishy and soft pork burger, like you’ve never had before in your life“. Yep, that should be written on the menu instead. It is so mind-boggingly tender and wet and soft it’s not even normal?!?!?!?! I can’t describe it properly. Just go there, and order this burger. Then your eyes will bug out upon first bite, and you’ll see what I mean.
Getting my GRUB on
Me and my little Grubette! Naked, because it was hot and the sun hadn’t set yet
For Mother’s Day, Chris is taking me out on a Gold Class movie date (Iron Man, yay!). I know it’s a bit weird to celebrate without the kids, but I think we’ve only been to a movie once or maybe twice in TWO years, basically since Hunter was born. So this is what I wanted.
Carter was very well-behaved and slept/ate/etc like a champion. Which, to me, is the best gift ;)
Hunter said “Happy Mother’s Day, mama” in his sweet little voice, accompanied with a hug and a kiss. It made me melt into a puddle.
He also made sure I also had to use my manners, no exceptions even though it was my special day. He passed me a toy car to play with, and I took it from him – and didn’t say a word cos I was a bit distracted watching Carter.
“Mama”, he admonished. “Hunter gave you car. You didn’t say thank you.”
“Oops… “, I admitted. “Thank you Hunter.”
“You’re welcome. Good mama”, he grinned cheekily.
May you always be such a decent young man, and always remember your manners, my darling!
Putting on his “I’m an angel” face
And the movies below were taken last week, just of Hunter chattering away about… random things! He always has something to say and some tall story to tell, but I always have to listen to his stories and chat back, or he gets really angry I’m ignoring him!
Rambling away about what he saw outside
A little prayer that struck a chord
HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY to all the special mums out there. And especially to my own mum, who has always held my hand through the years, no matter what.