Dad's 69th Birthday Celebration

My dad's birthday falls on 10th Aug, the day after National Day. So year after year, how best to gather the family together to celebrate, will be on National Day itself, where it's a public holiday. Most of the time, we dined out, therefore, missing out on the actual national day parade and the fireworks. On one or two years, I convinced them to come over to my place, so that we can watched the 'live' NDP on television, and watched the fireworks from my house.

This year, it was no exception. We celebrated his birthday at a restaurant. The only exception was, the children were not with us. After getting some bonus in July, I felt generous and wanted to buy a good meal for my family. With my sister's recommendation, we decided to go for some Italian cuisine. We figured that the children might not able to enjoy the food, so I left my children at my sister's house with her children. And the adults, together with my eldest son, went for some "fine" dining.

My sister did the 'ground work' of arranging with the restaurant a six-course menu for our family of 10, at $80++ per person. The place to be was PepeNero at Stanley Street. The restaurant set up was small and simple. The decorations on the wall are kept to a minimum too. The lime green wall made the place feel refreshing and the lit candles on the table made it cosy. If you like a quiet ambience, then this is the place to be.

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Here's the menu for the evening.

Grissini & Ciabatta bread with olive & sundried tomato dips.
Astice alla Griglia con Pinzimonio di Verdure di Stagione
Grilled Lobster with Fresh Vegetables Sticks and Vinaigrette with Sea Salt
We had a whole lobster to ourselves! The grilled lobster was very well done. It was flavourful with juices flowing out of the fresh. The lobster was really very fresh. There were also lobster flesh in both its pincers. The lobster flesh is limited to the lower half of the body though. I didn't have enough of this! This is a must-try!
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“Fritto Misto” di Pesce dell’ Adriatico con Salsa Tartara
Adriatic “Fritto Misto” with Tartar Sauce 

This was a mixture of fried calamari and prawns. Dipped them in the special tartar sauce tasted good. As this was served before we finished our lobster, it wasn't as crispy as we hoped it was.
Risotto ai Frutti di Mare
Sea Food Risotto
Seafood risotto was very tasty. In fact, it was a tad too salty for our palate. My parents didn't really like too much salt in their food. However, despite it being salty, we like the flavour. There were squid and prawns in the risotto. The grain was cooked through and was very soft.
Lasagnetta al Forno Profumata al Tartufo con Funghi Misti di Bosco
Scented Truffle Oven Baked Lasagna with Mix Roasted Mushrooms
This...was really good! The truffle really lingered on the palate after eating it. I didn't realised there was truffle in this lasagna until after tasting it! The lasagna was pretty light, not too heavy. Between layers of pasta sheet, you can taste fresh mushrooms and tomato bits.
Pollo alla Cacciatora in Umido
Chicken Huntr's Style
The chicken looked like it was simmer for hours as the meat was easily shredded. It was very soft. The additional of basil leaves gave the dish a special flavour.
"Caponata" di Verdure al Forno
Oven Baked Vegetables "Caponata"
Caponata done it the Chef's way. Every Italian Chef I was told, had their way of making Caponata. As this was my first time trying it, all I can say is, I like it. The cherry tomatoes were really juicy and sweet. The vegetables were full of flavour and very soft till it melts in the mouth.
Totano Farcito con Pane di Altamura, Vongole e Gamberi con Basilico Fresco e Pomodorini Siciliani
12 hours slow Stewed Squid, Stuffed with Altamura Country Bread, Clams and Prawns with Fresh Basil and "Pachino" Cherry Tomatoes
After 12 hours of stewing, you can never find a chewy squid! The squid was so soft, and effortless to eat them. The stuffing was not too fantastic though the sauce was good.
This was complimentary for us. It was Italian Cherries. They were as good as USA cherries - sweet and fragrant.
The dishes were well presented. The culteries were changed after each dish. The service staff were very prompt in topping up our water. As we don't drink, we didn't order any wine. Otherwise, you can find a whole range of wines in the restaurant to compliment your meal.

My favourite dish was the grilled lobster. The sauce goes well with the lobster. I could visit the restaurant again just for the lobster! Truffle lasagna was really good too! Please note that I paid fully for the meal. The review is purely my opinion.

After a great dinner, we adjourned to my sister's house to join our children, and to continue our birthday celebration with dad. As usual, I baked a cake for him - Blueberry Chocolate Cake, using canned blueberries. It so happened that my house has ran out of all fresh fruits!

Since the day I started baking birthday cakes for my family members, they've never really celebrated their real age, because we only used one candle (to save the earth)! LOL.

Happy 69th birthday to my dearest papa!
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Ann@Anncoo Journal said...
August 12, 2012 at 5:30 PM

Happy belated Birthday to your Dad :) That was a wonderful birthday dinner and the birthday cake looks moist and soft too!

passionbaker said...
August 12, 2012 at 5:32 PM

Thanks Ann! So happy to see your comments. :) The cake was good too!

Jess @ Bakericious said...
August 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

Happy Belated to your dad! The cake looks good and yummy, wish I can have a slice now lol.

passionbaker said...
August 13, 2012 at 7:24 PM

Hi Jess,
Thanks! Suddenly I have craving for a slice of cake! Wish I had a slice too! LOL

Judy Phua said...
August 13, 2012 at 11:32 PM

Blessed Birthday wishes to your dad! Gorgeously yummy food and cake! My husband will be 69 in October but we always end up eating his favourite pepper crab on his birthday! Quite boring!

passionbaker said...
August 14, 2012 at 8:30 AM

Hi Judy,
I'm sure the place doesn't matter, it's the company that matters. You'll have your children and grandchildren celebrating together, that's lovely right? :)
Thanks for your well wishes.

Doris Goh said...
August 14, 2012 at 11:45 AM

I love the combination of blueberry & chocolate cream, it must be very yummy :) and Happy belated birthday to your dad.

passionbaker said...
August 14, 2012 at 5:12 PM

Thanks Doris! Yes, blueberry and chocolate goes! said...
August 16, 2012 at 4:53 PM

Oh! IT all looks so good and tasty!

passionbaker said...
August 17, 2012 at 8:27 AM

Yeah. Worth the try.

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