Celebrating A Birthday & Chinese New Year At Hee Lai Ton Centrestage PJ

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rosemarie5To be able to live a long and wonderful life is a blessing especially if one is surrounded by loving family members. I was invited to a birthday party and Chinese New Year celebration at Hee Lai Ton Centrestage PJ on 1st February and the invitation card featured the birthday girl when she was just 19. All the guests at my table remarked that she looked like a Shanghainese actress or singer. Indeed, the image is of a very pretty girl with a fashionable hairstyle and dress.
cardNow I’ve known the birthday girl, Tan Sri Rosemarie Chong a.k.a. Tan Sri Chow Poh Kheng for most of my life as I used to a lot of time with her. She was one of my mother’s best friends and I was at her residence a lot back in the 70s. I’ve always thought of her as an elegant, dignified and remarkable lady who deserves a lot of respect for what she has done for women in this country but that’s another story altogether.

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Never mind over 80, I don’t think she looks a day over 70 but this ageless lady is actually 90! Hard to believe looking at her complexion and I must ask her what her secret to a long life is one of these days.

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The birthday girl even sang on stage against the backdrop of the photo taken with her late husband when she was a wisp of a girl at 19 and he a handsome young doctor at the age of 30. Looking at her at that age, I am sure he must have been smitten with her at first sight.

We were treated to a sumptuous dinner after the birthday girl and her eldest son had delivered their speeches. It’s so touching to see a nonagenarian given so much love and affection. She has done a fine job at raising sons and daughters who are medical professors and a lawyer.

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What would a CNY dinner be without Prosperity Yee Sang? My table was all female and I was the youngest of the lot for once.

dscn2368The shark’s fin soup with dried scallop and crabmeat came in individual servings and kept warm by a tealight candle beneath. I always have a prick of conscience whenever I consume shark’s fin.

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Roasted Suckling Piglet was everyone’s favourite because I didn’t even have a chance to take a photo before just about half of it was gone! I only managed to get 2 pieces because the ladies were really fast in polishing off all of it leaving only the head! Poor little piglets….again more than a prick of conscience.

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The steamed Loong Ton fish had very firm flesh, one of the guests remarked that this King Grouper costs about RM600!

dscn2373Pan Fried Crystal Prawn in a bamboo basket, nice presentation and much better than on a plate.

dscn2381Braised Abalone with Mushroom – I must have devoured 3 of the abalones as they are such a rare treat.

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Longevity Noodles are a must-have at every birthday celebration.

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There were 2 desserts and the first one was read bean soup.

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The second was Double Fancy Duets – mini bums with lotus and pandan paste.