January 13, 2014

Birthday Dinner #1: Harvest Moon

Happy Monday Ya'll! To start the week off right - I wanted to get into finishing off my Birthday Dinner Series .. from way back in October! We all know I'm not one of those bloggers who run home and diligently writes her post immediately after a meal - nope. I like to let it stew in my brain a little. A master piece takes time. 

For my first "official" Birthday Dinner (read Birthday Dinner #00 here) I wanted a simple, traditional Chinese feast. Hamilton isn't exactly known for their authentic Chinese food and with a plethora of 'dirty Chinese' - think chicken balls and sweet & sour pork kinda Chinese - we really only have two options if you're craving something authentic; Crystal Dynasty & Harvest Moon. I absolutely refuse to dine at Crystal Dynasty. To be blunt - if you're not Caucasian their service is appalling - I've seen them bend over backwards for a group of Canadians while my table gets left in the dark. And when they are servicing the table, they're rude, and rush through every task. Who makes a guest feel inconvenienced for asking for a glass of water?! Not cool

Therefore - when I'm craving real Chinese food - I always head to Harvest Moon - the foods better anyways!
My apologies in advance - I was too excited about the food to make note of any of the prices or the proper names for the dishes, and of course, being so Asian - they have absolutely so presence online so I couldn't even look up the menu! 

My family was very generous and pretty much let me order whatever I wanted - as much as I wanted - so I over ordered and over indulged! Sue me! 

For starters, we ordered the Fish Maw soup with crab. This one is a long time favourite of mine. Fish maw is the swim bladder of a fish - basically the organ that controls the buoyancy of a fish. Yep, that $%^& is de-licious! Chewy, and soft, kinda like the best piece of gum you've ever had - that dissolves. I'm not selling this very well am I?  You'll just have to trust me on this one! 
We also ordered my favourite - crab claws and my favourite- shrimp rolls with mayo dip. Are you seeing a pattern here. They let me order ALL of my favourites! Finally, I get to indulge in all of my gluttony with no judgment!

There was actually five of us but my sister forgot to count herself - so she had to share her crab claw. These are always fantastic - lightly coated and all jam packed with crab meat. The shrimp rolls are really just used as an excuse for the mayo - there's just something about hot shrimp with cold mayo that I love. 
Onto the mains. We ordered the Peking Duck which came with two dishes. The first; thinly sliced  breast and thighs accompany thin pancakes, hoisin and julienne scallions and cucumbers. The second dish was meant to be a soup made with the bones and carcass of the duck but because we already ordered the fish maw soup, they instead, offered to stir fry it for us. This turned out to be an excellent idea because they left quite a bit of meat on the bones and we all enjoyed picking at it throughout the night. 

Peking duck is one of my favourite things to eat - especially served this way. You're meant to add a little bit of duck, a few lashings of hoisin and some slivers of cucumber and green onion onto the pancake and roll it up like a taco - a pretty badass delicious taco! 

This dish is commonly served at weddings but you only ever get one or two - I was giddy with excitement to be able to go back for a 3rd and 4th .. okay maybe a 5th pancake as well. 
A few more dishes that might be familiar to everyone is the Spicy Fried Calamari and the Beef and Ginger sizzling plate. You have to get the calamari and at least one sizzling hot plate when you're at a Chinese Restaurant - it's tradition and probably mandatory too! 
And because I'm a huge fan of 'dirty Chinese' and there was a white guy at the table - we ordered General Tao Chicken. Not gunna lie - I love this stuff. I know it's all breading and sugar and a few measly pieces of chicken - but I like it. It's not all about foie and caviar okay - sometimes the simpler things in life are just as enjoyable.  
Pictured below is the stir fried duck bones - any smart foodie knows the  meat closes to the bone is always more flavourful so even though this was just a few veggies and a duck carcass - it packed a tonne of flavour! My parents really enjoyed it the next day with a steaming bowl of white rice. Because naturally we had left overs - duh.
Did you think that was it? Nuh-uh! We had to order the Hong Kong Style Fried Lobster too. Yes, we had to. This was everyone's favourite at the table - juicy, crispy bits of lobster perfectly cooked.
Annnnd we also ordered a crispy noodle seafood dish as well. Gotta get those carbs in! You can see it in the corner of one of the pictures above. My favourite thing about Harvest Moon is that you can create your own noodle dish. They let you pick the noodle, the protein, and the sauce. Ours came with fatty (not fat like greasy but fat like you ate really well in your other life) pieces of scallop and shrimp. I wanted a fried rice dish too - but the family officially cut me off at this point. Something about enough food to feed all of Cambodia .. blahh.. blahh ..blah .. or something

Needless to say, we ate like Kings and had plenty of left overs for dinner the next day. Our server was polite, checked up on us and made suggestions from the menu. The flavours were on point - even my parents walked away satisfied! They also do all day Dim Sum and an AYCE Hot Pot as well.  Come back on Wednesday for Birthday Dinner #2! 


Birthday Dinner #00 here
Happy Eating! 


Harvest Moon
80 James Street North 
Hamilton, On
Harvest Moon Chinese Crusine on Urbanspoon


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