Gong Xi Fa Chai, my homies! I don’t really know how to begin this post. The only word that comes to mind right now is EPIC, but that would make for a very short post, and rather unlike me to not chatter away, so I’ll try a little harder. So here goes.

Last Saturday, Mowie and Bruce threw a pre-Chinese New Year pot luck do at their place. There were seven of us in total and we all made something delicious in celebration of the new year. There were decorations. There were home made fortune cookies (with home made fortunes). There was a mountain of food. There were cocktails. Need I say more? Probably not. I think I’ll let the photos do the talking.

Five-spice and ginger bread Chinese New Year rabbits with Chinese writing (!!) by Bruce. His talent knows no boundaries and no, he doesn’t usually write Chinese.

Oranges and hong bao (red packets) – oranges (or tangerines) are often given during Chinese New Year as their names sound like luck and wealth.

Lantern decorations! And if you squint, you can see both of our gracious and uber talented hosts 🙂 (and me)

More decorations on a gorgeous orchid plant. But enough of the decorations. What about food?

We started with a yee sang (made by Su-yin), a traditional Chinese New Year dish consisting of raw fish, vegetables and sauce. The idea is for everyone to get involved and “toss” the yee sang. The higher you toss, the better luck you’ll have this coming year! And the more mess you make… well, the more you have to clean up, I’m ‘fraid.

So… toss we did!

After the tossing of the yee sang, we’re unleashed on the rest of the food…

Chinese style crispy salad by Leen, made with fried egg noodles *yum*

Turnip cake by Charmaine! I’ve had the pleasure of trying this before. LOVE IT.

Chicken curry puffs with potatoes and onions by… moi. Recipe below 🙂

Oh and this! The most tender and delicious braised pork belly from Jenn

… which was served with this scrumptious pickled cucumber… *drool*

That’s all the mains, but we haven’t really made a dent yet. Wait til you see the desserts we had 🙂

I told you Bruce’s talent knows no boundaries right? These are his Chinese five spice macarons with szechuan pepper butter cream *OMGWTFYUM* and in the background? His home made fortune cookies, each with its own home made fortunes!

And Mowie, a man of equal talent made these babies – matcha whoopie pies, and red bean whoopie pies with home made red bean paste! Are these guys FOR REAL? Seriously, I want to marry them both. Now.

And if polygamy were legal I’d also marry Su-yin for making these amazing lychee filled agar-agar jellies. Agar-agar is SO MUCH better than gelatine, people. If you haven’t tried it, I’d suggest you hit up Chinatown for a packet and try it now!

Of course there were also these pineapple tarts. But you’ve heard about them before.

And because the boys weren’t quite done showing off yet, here’s some meringue from Mowie…

… and Bruce also threw in some mango jello shots. Just cos he could.

And no meal at Mowie and Bruce’s is ever complete without a dabble in some cocktail or other. On the menu for our feast were some delicious lychee martinis and pomegranate bellinis. Lush.

WOW. Exhausted.

I have to say in all honesty, I haven’t had a Chinese New Year party this awesome since I was a kid. Restaurants don’t even compare to a meal put together and shared with friends and I mean, you’re not going to believe this but most of the people at this lunch aren’t even remotely Chinese! Talk about talent 😀

GONG XI FA CHAI everyone. May you all have a happy and prosperous year of the wabbit!

Oh and ps. the fortune cookies? This was my fortune:


pps. thank you SO much to Mowie and Bruce for hosting such a fabulous party, and props to Charmaine, Su-yin, Leen and Jenn for all making deriiiiicious food!

Chicken curry puffs
500 grams chicken breast meat, diced finely
4 potatoes, peeled and diced into little cubes (I used 2 sweet potatoes and 2 regular potatoes)
2 onions, diced into little cubes
5-6 tablespoons of curry paste (sorry, I didn’t make the paste! But get one that is for Malaysian chicken curry)
5-6 tablespoons of coconut milk
2 tablespoons oil
1 egg
Puff pastry (and I didn’t make the puff pastry either!)
  1. Boil the potatoes until they become soft. Drain and set aside.
  2. Heat up the oil in a fry pan and sauté the onions with about 2-3 tablespoons of curry paste until it becomes fragrant.
  3. Add the diced chicken with another 2-3 tablespoons of curry paste. If it gets dry, add some coconut milk.
  4. As the chicken becomes cooked, add the potato into the mix and continue cooking for a few minutes. This is when you want to get the taste of your curry right, so add more paste if you want it spicier, and add coconut milk to dilute. DO NOT ALLOW IT TO GET TOO WET.
  5. Once cooked, set aside to cool completely.
  6. Unroll/unwrap the puff pastry. Using a small bowl or glass (diameter about 8-10cm), press into the pastry to make flat rounds.
  7. Hold one round in your left hand, scoop one tablespoon (you can try to add more if you like but don’t  be too greedy!) of curry chicken into the round and with your right hand (use some flour if your fingers get too sticky) press the edges together to make a semi circle or crescent shape.
  8. As the edges touch, press tightly to seal.
  9. To make the pleat, start on one end and fold the seal forward slightly onto the top side of the curry puff. Then pinch the next little bit of pastry and fold again. Repeat until you get all the way around the crescent and tuck the very last bit on the bottom of the curry puff. It should look a little like the image below.
  10. When the curry puffs are done, you can either refrigerate or freeze them if you aren’t eating them straight away.
  11. When you’re ready to eat, whisk an egg in a bowl and using a basting brush, glaze the curry puffs lightly. This doesn’t change the taste of the curry puffs but gives them a nice golden finish.
  12. Heat the oven to 200°C/395°F and bake for 15- 20 minutes until brown and fluffy.
  13. Enjoy while it’s warm!

I made about 36 curry puffs.

19 Thoughts on “Gong Xi Fa Chai! Our indulgent Chinese New Year celebrations (and a curry puff recipe!)

  1. Those Chinese New Year gingerbread rabbits with 新年快樂 written on them are so cool (I would say cute but hey I’m a bloke, and I’m insecure about saying cute in public).

    Anyway, as we say in Cantonese, Kung Hei Fat Choy!

  2. Happy CNY Catty!

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  4. I think I need to make some new/ better cooking and hosting friends! Happy New Year!

  5. “Chinese five spice macarons with szechuan pepper butter cream”. Oh. My. That seems like one fantastic party. Gong xi Fa Chai!

  6. Mr Noodles: no kidding how cool are the bunnies? They were cookies – 5 spice and ginger bread! heheh 😀

    Melissa & Kay: Happy CNY to you both! xx

    Koreen: Haha yeah, that’s the secret – make some AWESOME hosting/cooking friends and you will be set for life 😀

    Tori: Trust me, it was one of a kind. I love these guys and their parties (and macarons) are the best!

  7. Looks wonderful, they really went through so much effort for this party! I have no idea what goes on at CNY, but it sounds like a great feast! 🙂 xx

  8. I used to live with a whole bunch of cantonese and they say gong hei fat choi, ofc telling us the best way to remember this way to say ‘COME HERE FAT BOY!’ The food looks amazing catty you lucky girl you! any recipe on the braised pork belly please??

  9. What a colourful and scrumptious-looking feast! Happy happy CNY! I’ll miss you over the coming weeks, but at least I can share your food adventures through your blog. xX

  10. happy year of the rabbit pl!

  11. Beautiful spread!! You guys seriously rock. Gong Xi Fa Cai to you babe!

  12. Gong hei fat choy Catty darling! 😀

  13. Maria: Oh you don’t need to know a lot about Chinese nee year – just food and the colour red! 😀

    Sean: LOL re Come Here Fat Boy! I didn’t make the braised pork belly recipe but I could ask Jenn if she’d share the recipe!

    Nina: Awwww I MISS YOU ALREADY! Can’t wait to see you in March x

    mc: 😀

    penny: I don’t rock, my friends rock completely!

    Lorraine: Gong xi fa chai to you!

  14. Hey – happy new year Catty! I sure hope it’s suitably rabbity and good. That feast looks EPIC. I am jealous. That is all 😉

  15. That was such a great post! We did have fun didn’t we? When you get back maybe Korean? Have a wonderful trip and I forgot to tell you to check out a restaurant called ‘Prune’ in the lower East side. The chef used to work at Chez Panisse and its AMAZING.

  16. Kung hey fat choi, Catty! Looks like you guys had a total blast!

    Hope you’re having a fabtastic trip, you lucky duck you. Make sure you send me some NYC recommendations!

    Jax x

  17. wow – that seriously looks better than 99.9% of the CNY feasts out here. Epic and awesome!

  18. Pingback: Chinese New Year ‘cakes’ « Bread et Butter

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