It was the boyfriend’s father’s birthday over the weekend so we headed over to Golden Unicorn in Chinatown for birthday dinner! Typical birthday dinners at Chinese restaurants usually include more than one table (usually seating 8 people) and various courses. The first course is always an appetizer platter and the last course is usually dessert and fruit. In between those two courses is when the best dishes are served. I only managed to snag pictures of a couple of the dishes we ate, not all of them, because everyone dug into the food before I could even get a chance!
First up is my all time favor dish at birthday dinners – Jumbo Shrimp with Walnuts and Mayonnaise. Large prawns are lightly fried in batter and then drizzled with a sweet mayonnaise. The prawns are served over steamed broccoli and walnuts. This has always been my favorite dish because the mayonnaise that most Chinese restaurants use is sweeter than regular mayo. It gives such great flavor to the otherwise bland-tasting dish – the prawns and the broccoli don’t have much flavor. The large shrimps are always gobbled up fast at the table.
Next up is the Crispy Fried Chicken. This dish comes with crispy chips, which are usually the fastest to go. My preference in chicken is always the white meat. I like my chicken all meat and no bones. The white meat on this chicken was cooked to perfection. It wasn’t dry or stringy. In fact, it was juicy and delicious. The skin isn’t fatty at all and is very crispy.
Typically for dinner, two lobsters are chopped up and cooked into one dish. Since it was a large table, our dish was supersized to have three lobsters. Three lobsters = 6 claws, which are my favorite part of the lobster. The lobsters pictured were cooked in typical Chinese fashion – stir fried with ginger and scallions. The lobster meat was very flavorful – but the claws were a bit on the small side. The lobsters were probably the 5th or 6th dish of the night, so we were all pretty full by the time they arrived. Most of us just had a piece or two. I can attest though, that left over lobster from Chinese restaurants taste just as good the second time around!
The last two dishes to be served at a birthday dinner are the fried rice and the birthday noodles. Golden Unicorn’s special fried rice has egg, bacon, raisins and cut up pieces of Chinese broccoli. They didn’t use a lot of soy sauce when frying the rice, because the rice stayed a golden yellow color. If a lot of soy sauce were used, the rice would be a darker brown color.
Dessert at Chinese restaurants usually consists of a fruit platter or sliced oranges and whatever sweet soup, or tong sui, the kitchen had cooked up that night. Most restaurants offer red bean soup, since it is the most common of the sweet soups. Some fancier restaurants will put some sago balls, which are rolled up, ball forms of a starch that is extracted from tropical palm stems. The red bean soup with sago, as pictured, was sweet and thick. I prefer my red bean soups thick in consistency, so this was a good bowl for me.
Also for dessert were birthday buns, which are always served during Chinese birthday dinners. The birthday buns are called “Sao Bao” in Chinese and are shaped like peaches. They are shaped like peaches because they were meant to symbolize long life and good health. The buns are steamed and then served hot. Inside is a red bean paste that is sweet and sticky.
Finishing the night was birthday cake – which was a black forest cake from Tai Pan Bakery. Tai Pan is my go-to bakery for egg custards, or don tats. The cake was fluffy and light – so light that I actually had two slices!