Flo and I chose to have an intimate, small (by Asian standards as mentioned before) wedding so we were not able to have everyone celebrate with us. By everyone, I mean all the church aunties and uncles who I know adore me, Mum and Dad’s friends, even some of my cousins who I’m not particularly close to. Usually, Asian weddings are huge affairs where this definition of ‘everyone’ is invited.
Mum and Dad did however, request for us to have a lunch with Grandma P, Aunty Siang, Uncle Bruce and Aunty Doris. We couldn’t have Grandma P join us at church because it wasn’t wheelchair friendly unfortunately and dinner would have been far too late for her, and by extension, Aunty Siang, to attend. As for Uncle Bruce and Aunty Doris, they were there for Mum and Dad when they first began attending this church, and so, are highly thought of by them, as well as me.
I suggested we try Yàn at National Gallery since it was quite central and looked to have some stellar reviews of the food they serve. They had a 5-course lunch special that was priced affordably at $38++ per person which we thought would fill us nicely without stuffing us unlike an 8 course meal.
Our trio of dim sum comprised of the mandatory Siu Mai, a Vegetable Dumpling, and a Crispy Prawn Fritter.
It was a nice start to our meal. Not mind-blowing, but definitely not bad. Everyone loved the prawn fritter.
We were a little taken aback when the Braised Dried Fish Maw Broth was served together with the starter of dim sum. The soup dish is usually served on its own after the first course is finished so that it does not turn cold by the time it is eaten.
Nevertheless, we accepted the soup rather than kick up a fuss about it, some of us opting to have the soup before finishing the dim sum. The soup was hearty and flavourful. There wasn’t a lot of fish maw to speak of but we all enjoyed it with a dash of vinegar and white pepper.
The Steamed Perch Fillet with Light Soya Sauce was next. It was cooked to perfection and exceptionally fresh. I totally forgot to snap a picture but it wasn’t much of a looker on the plate to be honest. It would have been nice if the fish was served with even a stalk of kai lan or vegetable of some kind just to make the plate look prettier.
The carbs course comprised of Live Prawns with Poached Japanese Noodles.
The prawns were incredibly sweet and the broth was full of flavour too without being too heavy on the palate. The only let down here was the noodles which we all thought was devoid of any taste.
We had a choice of dessert – Chilled Mango Cream with Sago and Pomelo, Chilled Apricot with Sea Coconut and Basil Seed, or Hot Red Bean Cream with Lotus Seed.
Half the table opted for the Mango Cream, and the other half, for the Hot Red Bean.
The Mango dessert was not too sweet which I much appreciated seeing that most restaurants tend to ply their desserts with sugar.
Flo loved this and quickly slurped up the rest of what I couldn’t finish.
It was a wonderful lunch aside from the lacklustre service. The server who helped top up our tea cups multiple times kept banging the teapot onto the lazy susan, which was made of glass, each time she set it down. It would have been ideal to have either a plate with a cloth for the pot to sit on without creating a clang. Also, the haphazard nature in which they served the soup was not something one would expect from a restaurant that sees itself to be of a high-tier.
Still, I have to admit that the food on the whole was a hit, but the company was even better. I was extremely glad to be able to see the aunties and uncle looking well, watching Grandma P devour every course, and catching up with everyone after a long time.
Florian also finally got to meet a few more faces of those who have helped support me through really rough times, and who have been praying for me for much of my adult life. I am thankful to have been blessed with so many who love and care for me, and now, for Florian as well.