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Category Archives: Birthdays

BIRTHDAY CELEBRATION AT EL WILLY


El Willy
20 Donghu Lu
东湖路20号
Shanghai, China

PRICE: 元元元
RATING:

I’d heard a lot about El Willy but we never got around to checking it out. So what better occasion than to celebrate Chris and Hunter’s birthdays? We went there on a Friday night (on their actual birthdays) and it was crowded, but staff were very accomodating and gave us a small/quieter room to seat in, and were very attentive. Best of all, the food came out at lightning speed! We were in and out of the restaurant in an hour, which is just excellent when you have such a young baby and you want to be home early to bathe him and put him to sleep. It was very much appreciated.

El Willy serves up Spanish food, tapas style. This means you can order more dishes, hehe. Unfortunately for us, we overestimated and ordered a bit too much! Actually it wasn’t THAT much food, but we were really really exhausted so much so that it affected our appetites. It meant we were so stuffed by the end of the meal we could barely walk, *lol*. Well worth it though, because the food was fabulous. What we especially enjoyed was that every dish was entirely unique – it’s not like going to a restaurant and getting a pasta cabonara or the like (ie. you can get that dish anywhere). The ingredients were fresh and delicately flavoured, and the presentation was thoughtful.

We had a superb meal and it was a great celebration for our lil family. And yes, it was a bit of a Willy fest (LMAO) ‘cos we also went to Ohana for the birthday celebration with friends ;)

Hunter all ready for his birthday celebration with Dad

The colourful menu at El Willy

Amuse bouche

Scallop ceviche, avocado, crispy shallots – simply exquisite. Utterly fresh and delicate,
the scallops paired perfectly with the creamy avocado and crispy shallots

Patatas Bravas in spicy sauce – we thought this was the only average dish of
the night. Potato wedges that were sitting in too much oil. The crushed tomatoes
and creamy mayo on top was great though.

Crispy sucking pig cooked 12 hours, apple tatin and 5 spice sauce – outstanding!
Lovely crackling and there wasn’t too much fat. Loved the sweet apple tatin.

Beef cheek cooked 5 hours with banana and passion fruit – the beef was
exceedingly soft and delicious, but I wasn’t a fan of the sweet fruit it was paired with

Lobster paella – utter perfection and came in such a large portion! Creamy,
rich, delicious…. I’d come back for this :)~

Dessert platter – every mini dish on this platter was fantastic.
A lovely way to end our meal!

Chris modelling his new Jaeger LeCoultre watch :)

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Posted by on 31 March 2011 (Thu) in Birthdays, Hunter, Uncategorized

 

JAEGER LECOULTRE MASTER MEMOVOX INTERNATIONAL WATCH

Chris’ 30th birthday present was actually three-fold:

1) Hunter – he wanted a baby by 30. He got one :P
2) Family keychain – a little memento of the 3 of us for him to carry around in his pocket
3) Watch

The 3rd present (watch) was almost as painful as the 1st one ;) I could’ve spent the same money on a car, or on 2 (!) Hermes birkin bags, but nooooo… got a watch instead! LOL. After much deliberation and shopping around together many months ago when I was still pregnant, we decided on the limited edition Jaeger LeCoultre Master Memovox International.

750 were made and his is number #24. We particularly liked it because of the sleek black alligator leather band and shiny watch face. The central disc has names and timezones of 24 cities, which we thought is a nice touch because he’ll always know what time it is for Hunter and myself when he’s travelling on business. And frankly, it was the only watch that I thought was drop-dead SEXY.

It was THE most expensive thing I have ever purchased in my life. To be honest, I never knew how $$ watches could be?! Even if I combined ALL my bags and shoes, it doesn’t even make up the value of the watch.. cripes. But I justified it because Chris never buys anything from himself, yet always encourages me to spend money on myself every time I want something. I reckon he fully deserves it and it was well worth it, Plus, a watch can last a lifetime.

What makes this particularly special for us is that we’re going to engrave it with “BURGESS, 2011”… because 2011 is the year Chris turned 30, AND the same year Hunter was born. So the watch will be passed down to Hunter when he’s older. I think it’s a nice touch and makes the gift even more meaningful :)

Inside the watch boutique

A pregnant me, about to bite the bullet and buy the watch!

Jaeger LeCoultre Master Memovox International

 
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Posted by on 30 March 2011 (Wed) in Birthdays, Chris, Fashion, Uncategorized

 

CHRIS’ 30TH & HUNTER’S 2-MONTH BIRTHDAYS AT OHANA

We celebrated Chris’ 30th birthday, Hunter’s 2-month birthday, and a guy friend’s 27th birthday… all wrapped up into one! The place of choice was Ohama, a new restaurant serving Japanese food a la Izakaya-style. It’s opened the famous chef Willy Trullas (of El Willy restaurant) and we were lucky to be the first diners to check out their Brunch options on their first day.

Things were already looking very promising even before the event. My inquiries (phone and email) were swiftly responded too, and everything we wanted was accommodated pleasantly and easily – typical Japanese customer service :) It was such a delight! We had a party of 14 people and it really is no mean feat to cater for a large group when you’re serving beautifully-decorated Japanese food, not to mention on your first Brunch day.

Ohana is very uniquely decorated. It’s largely like a Japanese dining room, and we were seated in the recessed table area. Lots of smooth wood panels and open space, but with a cosy and familiar twist thanks to the array of little toys and paraphernalia scattered around. Service was very attentive and fluent in English, which was fantastic. All of us opted for the 120元 brunch menu which was a really good deal, considering the assortment (and presentation!) of food and the quality of the ingredients.

I wish Ohana was much closer to where we live (it’s out in the Hongqiao area) so we can go there frequently. Lovely restaurant, fab service, and excellent food. Thanks Ohana for a great birthday celebration!

Heading upstairs into Ohana

Our lil family

The boys checking out Hunter

Me and my baby boy!

Chris has a cuddle

Sleepy baby.. only for a bit though, before he woke up crying!

My 4 drinks – champagne, coke, oolong tea, sake. Weird combination :P

Steak tartar – just WOW. Love the combination of flavours in the raw steak,
and the side of seaweed was so fresh and crisp!

Patatas bravas with bonito – delicious, creamy, and worth every calorie ;)

Tempura calamari – light and flavourful, but nothing outright spectacular

Appetizer trio of chilled tofu, seaweed, pumpkin – never thought I’d like these
ingredients, but each one tasted delicate and fantastic

Deep fried lotus root cake – so unusual, people either liked or disliked it.
I liked it, but it’s best in a small canape portion like what they did

Sushi rice topped with tuna and white fish sashimi – how PRETTY is this?!?!? OMG.

Deep fried pork cutlet – I loved this, so crisp and all lean meat

Grilled codfish in miso paste – delicious flavour, we wanted a bigger portion!

Black sesame mochi balls with vanilla ice cream – the BEST dish of the meal!!
Creamy, sticky, rich, sweet… just outstanding. I’d go back for this alone :)~

Our lovely gf that organised these custom-made birthday cupcakes!

Starwars cupcake and Computer cupcake… for the 2 geeky birthday boys!

Boys and their cupcakes, in flavours Red Velvet (my fave), Chocolate, Carrot Cake

The boys lusting over my gift to Chris for his 30th birthday… will do a proper post on that later :)

Chris said “Make like that figurine!” (on the table next to me).
And I actually did. LMAO!! Oh dear.

 
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Posted by on 28 March 2011 (Mon) in Birthdays, Hunter, Uncategorized

 

HAPPY BIRTHDAY CHRIS & HUNTER!!

Happy 30th Birthday Chris!!
Happy 2-month Birthday Hunter!!


The above is Present #2 for Chris, a wee one for him to hang his keys on.
Present #1 is a massive one and rather epic, and deserves it’s own post… when I get round to it :P

Have a lovely weekend everyone!

 
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Posted by on 25 March 2011 (Fri) in Birthdays, Uncategorized

 

BIRTHDAY LUNCH @ RITZ-CARLTON

My birthday lunch/brunch was a quiet little date with Chris in the Ritz-Carlton hotel, high up on the 52nd floor overlooking the city of Shanghai. We very rarely do fancy brunches, so it was really nice to splash out to celebrate… especially since it was a crystal-clear sunny-blue-skies day :)

Pudong is so different to Puxi (the main city area where we live). It’s so much cleaner, and has open spaces!!! No one bumping shoulders with you, and hardly anyone spitting at your feet or doing strange things. We were imagining pushing a baby stroller along the nice paved footpaths and pottering around, and how lovely it would be… really puts “living in China” in a new perspective. I think the main reason I feel so harassed and annoyed sometimes (with having to deal with some crazy/uncivilized people) is because we live right in the middle of the bustling city, with all types of folk. But out in Pudong, it’s a lot more civilized and way less people – it actually feels very much like being in a Western chilled-out city.

Shanghai’s infamous sky scrapers

Me with the beautiful Pearl Tower

The Scena restauraunt in the Ritz-Carlton has INCREDIBLE service, though I must note they make you pay 15% service charge for the honour. Fortunately they did make it as worth the money as possible, with top-notch English speaking staff and excellent service. We loved the lofty ceilings and airy ambiance, even more pronounced by the large glass windows that let in streaming sunlight and offered gorgeous views of Shanghai and the Bund. It’s an excellent place to take visitors and we’re making a note to come back with both sets of parents when they’re here visiting early next year – and with baby in tow :P

My roasted veal loin, marsala sauce, sauteed mushrooms, ratatouille was perfectly cooked, much to my delight. I don’t often get a chunk of red meat in China because it either doesn’t exist, or it’s exorbitantly expensive and not that well cooked. Their veal was very tender with no strange sinewy bits, and could be cut with a butter knife (which I used). I do wish they had provided a lot more sauce, but on the plus side, the sparse drizzle made the flavour of the fresh veal really stand out.

Chris’ tagliatelle and seafood tomato sauce was an impressive ratio of seafood and pasta. It was a very decently sized portion and was absolutely delicious! Lovely tart tomato sauce and generous ingredients. Good comfort food ;)

When we were relaxing with our orange juices and enjoying the view after our meal, the staff suddenly came up and presented us with….. a birthday dessert platter!! It was so sweet of them, and I loved the desserts prettily arranged on the plate. The Fruit tart was superb – I normally steer clear of fruit tarts cos I can’t quite grasp the concept of fruit in a dessert (defeats the purpose of a dessert IMHO) but this one was excellent because the fruit was super sweet and juicy, plus the tart had the perfect balance of custard and tart base.

And then…… the DESSERT BUFFET. It was the main reason why we were there for brunch and it did not disappoint. I was impressed that the desserts were very fine quality and beautifully presented, in lovely little dishes and mini sized. The ingredients were evidently of excellent quality to the taste, and the spread was really big. We ate, and ate, and ate, and ate… until we physically could not put another morsel into our mouths ;)

We staggered outside, stuffed to the brim and very happy indeed. It was quite a memorable Birthday brunch!

Ritz-Carlton hotel

Chris soaking in the warm sun

Assorted bread platter with tapenade and olive butter

Enjoying ourselves high above Shanghai

Roasted veal loin, marsala sauce, sauteed mushrooms, ratatouille

Tagliatelle and seafood tomato sauce

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEE :)

The dessert buffet

*salivates*

Cute wee lil desserts

Went a little wild………….. *ahem*.

Closeup. Man those chocolate truffles were good!

Coffee served with really cute sugar canisters

All blissful :)

Watching Chinese acrobatics in the IFC luxury mall next door

 
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Posted by on 4 November 2010 (Thu) in Birthdays, Food, Food reviews, Uncategorized

 

TIFFANY & CO PRESENT CHARM

This was a wee little birthday gift from myself to… errrr…. myself :P A Tiffany & Co present charm!!

I like how wee and little it is, and in my favourite colour to boot :) Works as a necklace pendant, bracelet charm, or bag charm. At the moment I’m using it as a mobile phone charm though, so I can see it and coo at it every time I whip out my phone, haha.

My favourite colour :P

Tiffany & Co present charm

Sooooo wee and adorable!!

 
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Posted by on 3 November 2010 (Wed) in Birthdays, Tiffany & Co, Uncategorized

 

BIRTHDAY PARTY AT HoF!

My birthday dinner this year was at my all-time favourite dessert cafe and bar, HoF. No clubbing/partying this year, for obvious reasons! Chris was wonderful and arranged a chill evening with around 18 of my favourite people in Shanghai :)

To thank everyone for coming, I decided to bake some Melting Moments, packed into little party favour boxes that I bought online and are soooooo cute!! It took us around 2 hours to bake everything up because we had to make a double-batch of 100 cookies, and we were so exhausted by the end of it, LOL. But it was all perfect timing because it meant we could bring fresh cookies for everyone – literally straight from the oven :) It’s kinda nice giving out a wee homemade gift on your birthday, instead of just collecting birthday gifts, no?

Freshly baked Melting Moments

Little party favour boxes that I put the cookies into!

Brian (the owner of HoF) and his staff were fantastic the whole night – bringing out the food so quickly and filling us up to the brim! The thing that always surprises people about HoF is that they do fantastic food, not just desserts/drinks. It’s why we picked it for my birthday celebration – we could have good food, good desserts, and good drinks – the holy trinity of gastronomy ;) I only wish that they had a big private room, because we were in the main area which is too small to accommodate all 18 people on one table, so we had to split into 3 separate tables, which also meant I couldn’t spend a lot of time with everyone that came.

Had a wonderful evening though.. lots of great food, and celebrating with friends :) I think we should all get together like this once a month, hehe, it was so much fun. HoF is a great place for a dinner party because they’ve got a great atmosphere/vibe, yet have top notch food and drinks.

Big THANKS to HoF for helping host my birthday party, and also to Chris who tirelessly organised it all perfectly!! I loved it!

Garlic bread and Tapenade & Parmesan toast

Salmon Rillettes… that HoF specially brought over from their Pudong branch,
by Chris special request. Thank you so much, I loved it!!

Close up of the creamy goodness

My iced chocolate, served to me upon arrival upon request of Shau Ru :P

My croque madame…. *drools*

With my girl friends!

At one of the tables

Everyone chilling out

Boy I am in a VERY awkward pose here!

Us girls :)

Candid shot of me squealing in delight at the shot of my birthday cake…

It’s the HoF famous Chocolate Orange Cake with caramel and sea salt…
my favourite choc cake in the world!!!

Look a little possessed here *ahem*.. I’m delighted by a special birthday platter from HoF

Oh man the desserts were good, esp the little biscuit cup with vanilla bean ice cream.
HoF NEEEDS to put this on their menu, it was outstanding!!!

With my pretty flowers

On our coffee table. They smell INCREDIBLE!

Super adorable “chocolate” bag, a present from HoF :) What a nice momento!

 
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Posted by on 1 November 2010 (Mon) in Birthdays, Parties, Uncategorized