happy birthday part trois – east meets west style

My lunar year birthday was August 9, 2010 – Which is also the Chinese Valentine’s Day ;] – so it makes sense that I like to keep on celebrating… my latest dinner celebration for my 26th was in Boston…. well, Wellesley, back home with my parents. Every year I like to go to to Blue Ginger, sort of like tradition, so of course, I was there…

Blue Ginger, is of course, the baby of Chef Ming Tsai – Mr East Meets West himself. I’ve been watching him cook on tv since I was a kiddie and he was still on the Food Network…  now I watch him and his weekly pairings on Simply Ming..still awesome – does this guy ever age?…

We started off with a yummy complimentary bread basket…

The most delicious buttery bread with a soft pillowy middle and even butterier crust… and then garlicky crisps :D Yum – those were my fav

And one of the few sparkling Roses that I enjoy ;D Delicious… my dad absolutely loved it.

Then we continued to order many many appetizers….

Fragrant Thai Mussels with Lime Leaf & Green Papaya

Super fresh, even my mother enjoyed them and mussels usually freak her out because she thinks they look dirty hahahaha…. slightly tangy green papaya with amazing lemongrass and lime leaf flavors.. yum yum… there were some jalapenos in it but it wasn’t spicy at all.. the broth was very light and clean… so refreshing.

Ming’s Tea-Smoked Salmon & Beef Carpaccio* with Avocado-Jicama Salad & Fresh Wasabi Emulsion

I always get this dish… delicious beef carpaccio with amazing smoked salmon underneath it. Tons of avocado and jicama are under the yummy toasts.. delish! I love good smoked salmon that isn’t too salty.

Hawaiian Bigeye Tuna Poke* with Crispy Sushi Rice Cake & Peppercress-Tosaka Salad

This was perfect because I had been totally craving poke since I watched it a few nights ago on Food Network… I think it was on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives… some Hawaiian place, the name/location escapes me

Foie Gras-Shiitake Shumai in Sauternes-Shallot Broth


I didn’t tell my dad it was foie gras until after he ate it and he still freaked out. He’s not into foie.. and I must admit, it was a bit gamier than usual but just as custardy and happy and delicious. Definitely needed the shallot broth tho to ease the gaminess – well for me.

Then came the entrees…

Mommy decided to get one of the newer dishes on the menu….
Local Crispy Skin Striped Bass with Smoky Two Pepper Sauce

Thai Basil-Zucchini Cake and Tempura Blossom
And of course she let me nibble… the first thing she did was chow down on the squash blossom… she LOVES fried foods… instead of the usual cheese it was stuffed with a creamy fish mousse…  makes me think back to the delicious vegan/raw ones from Pure Food & Wine.. yum, truffle shallot cashew cheese ;D

Daddy got the udon noodles… he was in the mood for littlenecks…
Littleneck Clams with Garlic Udon Noodles and Sake-White Wine Sauce
Grilled Corn & Edamame Salsa and Crostini with Olive-Black Bean Tapenade
He said it wasn’t anything super special but everything was very fresh and tasty.  He ate everything clean.. and he adored the clams.

My date went crazy and got the poussin… [chicken] – I rarely ever get chicken when I  go out but it just sounded oh-so-yummy.
Tea-Smoked Poussin with Lapchang Sticky Rice and Sautéed Mustard Greens

It even came with a variety of dips and sauces to eat with the chicken….
Garlic-Ginger-Soy Syrup, Sweet Chili Sauce and Szechwan Peppercorn Salt
Our waitress told us that they actually toast the salt with the pepper to get the flavors out. YUM. The poussin was so perfectly smoked thru-and-thru with the tea.

And me of course, I got the usual, the butterfish… I’ve tried many of the others.. the steak, the lobster, etc.. but I still always come back to the butterfish…
Sake-Miso Marinated Alaskan Butterfish

Wasabi Oil, Soy-Lime Syrup and Vegetarian Soba Noodle Sushi
Melt in your mouth deliciousness.. it’s butterier than Chilean Sea Bass, NOM! Did you know that butterfish is actually marketed as this or white tuna but is actually Escolar?! ANYWAYS. Delicious. ANd the Soba Noodle Sushi is SO super creative… it was mixed with tons of wasabi and happiness… yay

Side note: Sashimi wise, White Tuna is Escolar… and Super White Tuna is Albacore. I know that R was curious the other day when we were at Haru to figure out the difference, but voila. That’s what it is.

While we were eating our entrees… Chef Ming Tsai came over to talk to us and wish me a happy birthday… :] He said he didn’t want to bother us with our dinner but afterwards we could take pictures in the front, woohooooo!!!

Dessert time came….

Strawberry Cake with Farm Fresh Berries

Lemongrass Ice Cream, Lemongrass Curd and Strawberry Thai Bird Chile Sauce

The cake itself was a bit too dry for me but the sauce definitely helped soften it up. I loved the baby strawberries and the lemongrass ice cream was amazingly delicious.

Bittersweet Chocolate Cake

Cardamom Ice Cream, Spiced Sugar Wafer and Chocolate Ganache

Ok ok, I know, chocolate cake = boring, but come on – how can you refuse CARDAMOM ice cream?!…  Reminds me of my selfmade “Babies’ Spit Ice Cream” with a Cardamom/Honey swirl with figs and pistachios in a creamy gelato base…. best ice cream EVER.  Anyways *ahem* back to the dessert… melt in your mouth happiness… it was almost like flourless but lighter… a nice thick, not too sweet, chocolate ganache.. and of course, my love, cardamom ice cream!

Sesame Macadamia Caramel Nut Tart

Toasted Coconut Ice Cream, Housemade Hot Fudge and Gosling’s Rum Caramel Bananas

Still my favorite dessert here at Blue Ginger…. delicious caramel covers the nuts…. warm and fuzzy in my tummy.  I pretty much demolished most of this.

Then came presents time… yayyyy


A gorgeous new David Yurman bracelet in my birthstone… Peridot.


Clive Christian perfume….  smells soooo amazing.


I was so uuber happy I spritzed it on immediately :]

After the delicious dinner, desserts, and my pretty gifts… we got to talk with Ming some more – and he even spoke some chinese to my parents – and take some pictures before we left. He. Is. Awesome. SO down to earth…


After a group picture he told everyone to get the hell away since it was time for the important pics.. with the birthday girl :D

Best quote of the night: “I don’t care how the fuck I look, just gotta make sure your girlfriend likes the picture”

We talked about living in the area, living in NYC and my blog :] AHHH, he’s so awesome.

Funny Fact: My mom and her gfs see him eat around town with his family.. my mommy was like “He makes SUCH amazing food and he’ll go eat out all casually at buffets and stuff, awesome.”

Comments

  1. Beautiful presentation of each dish!

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Miss Tiffie, Miss Tiffie. Miss Tiffie said: Celebrating my lunar birthday – aka Chinese Vday – with the fam, Ming Tsai and his Foie Gras Shumai – http://tinyurl.com/3y2vrvr […]

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  2. […] was so happy to see Ming again I forgot to take pictures of his dish. But it’s his yummy soba sushi that you can get at Blue […]

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  3. […] of my must-eats at Blue Ginger when I’m back home and at his restaurant :] SO glad to see it on the […]

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  4. […] Birthday since I’m back in Boston for a few days to play :]… Blue Ginger and my meeting of Ming Tsai will be the next one… and as promised, butterfish :] […]

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  5. […] him earlier at the bar and got to say hi to him.. since I see him so much I didn’t wanna bother him and take him away from all the other […]

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  6. […] wait, I think last year I turned a sweet 16 with a party at Momofuku, Carnival, Maze and Blue Ginger. And while Family birthday dinner is ALWAYS at Blue Ginger… every single year… we […]

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  7. […] take me to eat at Ming Tsai’s joint out here in the boonies.. Wellesley MA – srsly.. almost every year.  Not sure why I can’t find of my old posts, but you can def find old pictures […]

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