My baby girl Nadine is one year old today! She was born on her daddy's birthday, so both of them get to celebrate today (of course, no guessing whose birthday overshadows the other)! It's been a wonderful first year and her presence has filled the house with tremendous love and laughter.
The whole family went out for lunch today, before her afternoon class - yes, Monday is a schoolday for her, birthday or not! Nadine has Down Syndrome, so she attends EIPIC (early intervention program) at Rainbow Centre twice a week this semester. Most of it is quite fun and she is progressing well. She's even developing a pincer grip already (significant fine motor skill milestone, normally happens at age 2 for kids like her)! So proud of her! *beaming*
We wish more parents-to-be could be better informed about their choices when faced with the possibility of having a Down Syndrome baby - hospitals aren't very helpful, they just assume abortion is the way to go (one couple who also kept their baby, told us how the medical staff initiated the paperwork without even asking them first!). Sure, the journey is not easy but there are great resources, programs and support groups (even in Singapore!). And these kids will be the sweetest, most loving and sincere human beings you will ever know.
But I digress. Back to food...
We nearly went to check out Weiner Kaffeehaus but did a last minute detour to Lei Garden at CHIJMES, where we know we'll always get pretty good food. They had a set lunch for four (S$58) which suited us fine - a soup, dim sum, a fish dish, a meat dish, seasonal veges, and carbo of choice (fried rice or ee-fu noodles). True to Cantonese tradition, it started with a double-boiled soup. Rich and opaque, it tasted quite unusual to me. We later found out (from ingredients at the bottom) that the soup was of pork ribs and salted vegetables. I wondered what else went into it. Hubby who normally HATES soup, drank three bowls!
The preset dim sum combination given was siew mai (hubby's favourite!) and pan-fried prawn roll in beancurd skin (my favourite!). Both OK, although I thought the siew mai looked a bit small (cos I just had enormous ones at Hua Ting).
We all loved the cod crowned by garlic bits fried just right. It also came with a nice sauce. Nadine ate quite a bit of the fish (the insides of two pieces) and she normally doesn't like cod!
Also nicely executed, the sweet and sour pork dish was crisp on the outside and tender on the inside. Sauce not too sweet or cloying.
A very generous portion of Chinese spinach which we weren't able to finish. Teeny weeny bit bitter, as is normal of this vegetable.
This is the first time I've tried fried rice that had bits of preserved lettuce in it - this added a really nice crunch to the dish. Just that and egg, spring onion, garlic and seasoning. So simple and yet so delicious.
Although I saw that the menu included some "boiled Hawaiian papaya with snow fungus", the waitress clarified that dessert was not included in the set menu. No matter, we asked for some chilled mango sago with pomelo. Pleasant, refreshing and not too sweet.
All in all, this was a good value meal! Service generally up to expectations and place is relatively child-friendly. And like in many other places, Nadine has got total strangers smiling, waving and cooing over her here too.
#01-24 Chijmes, 30 Victoria Street
11.30am - 3.00pm (lunch)
6.00pm - 11.00pm (dinner)