Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Urban Family's Chinese Assimilation Program CNY Celebration

I apologize for the tardiness of this post but on CNY, eleven happy Chinese assilimilators gathered at Utopia Cafe for a banquet. I picked Utopia based upon previous Chowhound recommendations, its central Chinatown location, reasonable prices, and low corkage ($5 for 4 bottles). As you can see... we took ample advatange of the low corkage and brought an array of spirits for festive boozing. The most unbelievalbe part is that all of this came to $138 total.

The fist course was a seafood tofu soup. Delicate in flavour yet soothing and warming at the same time.
White steamed free range chicken - this is not my favourite dish in the world. Maybe due to chicken phobia. But the chicken was too *chicken-like*. Nonetheless, those who weren't repelled thought the meat was tender and had good ginger dipping sauce.
The next dish was a medley of oyster, mushrooms, etc done in a lettuce wrap - solid and a nice alternative to the chicken version.
Twin dungeness with ginger scallion preparation - the crab meat was sweet and amplely meaty. Good saucing too.
Pepper beef - great black pepper flavour and not too chewey which can happen with Chinese beef preparations.
Bamboo core with bok choy -Really savory with the oyster sauce. I've never had bamboo core before and its texture was kind of sponge like. Very interesting.
Steamed whole fish - delicate and perfect doneness.
We also had the following which we missed out on photos:
Scallop and Calamari
Smoked Meats Claypot
E-Mein Noodles

The claypot was probably one of the most loved dishes of the evening. The rice got infused with all the smokiness of the meats and the crisp edges really add great texture. God, I want to go back there again for the claypot.
Sherri brought cookies from Tartine Bakery for New Year sweetness. The Year of the Rat is really getting off to a delcious start!

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