Thursday, April 26, 2012

Family Time In Asia’s Context

The culture of eating is so deeply ingrained in the culture of Asia that it’s even become the way we greet one another when we meet. “Have you eaten?” is a commonly-used rhetorical question that does not require an answer. In fact, I don’t even think when I’m asked such a question. I just blurt out ‘Yes, thanks!’ auto-mode.

I remember feeling very touched by my dad’s gesture when I was pregnant. Whenever I went back to visit my parents, he would ask me what I felt like eating that day and that he would bring me anywhere to eat the food I wanted to eat even if it meant a long drive away. To my dad, a traditional Asian family man, his way of showing his love for me is to make sure I got to eat my favourite food. It was a simple and most direct expression of his love for me.

So now on a (almost) weekly basis, I would bring the kids to visit my parents, and we would always go for a nice meal somewhere. Dinnertime with my parents is always heart-warming, relaxing and very happy. I don’t like talking on the phone, so I don’t call my parents much. It’s usually during such dinners when we update each other about happenings in our lives.

Recently, we had dinner at one of our all-time favourite dim sum restaurants – Swee Choon. Everyone in the family loves the food there. Even my kids would eat super a lot every time we dine there. If you are a lover of dim sum and you have not tried this restaurant, I strongly urge you to go try. It’s second to none.

Swee Choon operates from 6pm to 10am everyday (Open till 12 noon on public holidays).

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Meal times with my parents around are always easier. I wish I have my mum’s patience in getting the girls to eat. The girls love hanging out with their grandma and would bug her all throughout dinner, which I totally don’t mind. =P

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Always glad to have my younger brother around. He’s an air steward, so he’s not around on some weekends. Love chatting with him about anything and everything under the sun. You start to appreciate your sibling when you are all grown up. That is really so true. Me and my brother used to fight a lot when we were small. I’ve always suspected that he hates my guts. Haha. Thankfully, now we are best of friends. I miss our late night chats before I got married.

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Swee Choon is always packed, and the best is to go at 6pm when it opens for the day. If you go any later, you might have to queue outside the restaurant for a bit.

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Our table of yummy goodness! They serve very fast, so once you are seated, you don’t need to wait long at all. That is just perfect, because once you see the photographs of the dishes on the menu, your mouth starts salivating automatically.

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Drunken wine chicken (cold dish)

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Deep-fried beancurd with pork floss

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The shop’s specialty dish: Xiao Long Bao! [That’s basically dumpling with soup trapped inside. Extremely addictive & satisfying]

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Chee Cheong Fun. Smooth & slightly chewy. They serve this soaked in soya sauce, and provide dipping dishes of sweet sauce & chilli sauce.

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Braised chicken feet. Nobody does it better!!

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Bean Paste Pancake. Extremely, supremely good. I am not a fan of such a dish, but whenever I visit Swee Choon, I coo and woo at how awesome it is.

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Pork dumplings. Very, very, very, very juicy. You have to try it to know.

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Chicken soup for my girls to eat with their rice. My mum told me that she could tell from the taste that no MSG was added and it was pure chicken goodness. I have to agree it tastes very good.

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Usually, we would order a dish of green veggies to make it a more complete meal. =)

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Swee Choon is located at 185/ 187/ 189/ 191 Jalan Besar, Singapore 208882. Average spending per pax is $15-20.