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it's my birthday

Itsmybirthday

Cake_s

OH.MY.GOD: Last night I was treated to the best Chinese meal I've ever had. (Which is saying something - Sydney has brilliant Chinese food. Seriously. I miss Sydney food. *sigh* But more on that later.)

We dined with Len & Grabrielle (on their annual trip this side of the pond) and Rachel at Hakkasan:

Grilled Shanghai dumplings
Sesame prawn toast (with fried seaweed and enoki mushroom)
Roasted honey and black pepper pork rib
Salt and pepper squid

***

Pi Pa duck
Stir-fry Mongolian style venison
Roast chicken in satay sauce
Hakka stew (braised organic pork belly in five spice with woodear, baby leek and garlic)
Tong fong sha soft shell crab

My favourite dish was without doubt the venison. However the pork belly, which Gabrielle described as like eating the love child of a pig and a croissant, was also a winner. Unfortunately, I was unaware of the 24 hour notice period required for the Peking duck with Royal Beluga caviar (whole duck, 30g caviar and baby caviar)... at £140 a pop, probably a good thing (but really, can a single dish be worth that much money? Do I care to ever find out?)

The alcohol flowed (perhaps too) freely... nothing like waking up on one's birthday with a hangover. Fred kindly made me breakfast this morning (bacon sarnie) and I opened the presents under the present tree. You see, the only good thing about being away from family/friends on one's birthday is that the presents arrive by post and are stockpiled until The Day. Sort of like Christmas. And Christmas has a tree, so now do birthdays. (A bunch of lilies and hydrangeas courtesy of Columbia Rd last Sunday. Not a tree per se, but you get the idea). Niall, thank you very much - Amazon UK delivered promptly!

The day was spent lounging, then a cycle into Gt Portland St to drop off my beloved camera for diagnosis. Afterward, straight to Claridges for afternoon tea with the girls: Helen, Emerald, Anna and Kate. The tea was exemplary, much better than at the Savoy a while back. Luckily, my blogging pals took photos of the delicious food in order for the experience to enter my reality...

Girlss

Now let me tell you about my present: Fred has given me the gift of travel. From 21 October to 8 November I will be in Sydney. Yes, you read me right - first time in three years! I'm so happy I can (and do) cry. Also, next week's mini-break is in France.

August 10, 2006 in food, life in london | Permalink

Comments

Ohhh Happy Birthday, Ace Chick!

Posted by: Claudia | 10 Aug 2006 19:02:32

Oooh. I'm excited!
(and about your birthday)
Niall

Posted by: Niall | 10 Aug 2006 19:40:57

That will give you a chance to catch up on Sydney Food - a speedy trip is better than no trip - happy birthday too

Posted by: Donni | 10 Aug 2006 22:26:56

happy happy birthday p!! what a great gift, nice work fred.

Posted by: kacey | 10 Aug 2006 23:53:07

Happy Birthday! - looks like you had a really great day!

Posted by: Mary-Lou | 11 Aug 2006 03:29:05

lady p is coming home! wheeeeee!

happy birthday, lady.

Posted by: madame.x | 11 Aug 2006 08:30:04

Madame X, there are a couple of young men I'd like to meet.
; )

thanks for the good wishes people!

Posted by: pauline | 11 Aug 2006 08:36:03

Happy birthday! Sounds like you had a lovely day. Must make mental note to have cream tea at Claridges -- it sounds divine!

Posted by: kimbofo | 12 Aug 2006 03:42:21

Happy birthday, you lucky girl!

Posted by: Sharon | 14 Aug 2006 12:07:31

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