2014_lunar_new_year_01

Soup bowls at the ready.

I’m slowly digging my way into the foodie world here on the east side of the San Francisco Bay, and as always, Meet Up has proven a good resource for meeting like-minded lovers of food and wine. In particular, I’m enjoying the Tri-Valley Foodies group run by Miggi Demeyer, a local chef and sommelier with a beautiful Chinese cookbook available on Amazon. Miggi is a force to be reckoned with, a charming event host who’ll sweep you right into her circle of friends without hesitation. Such was the case at her annual Lunar New Year Celebration last month at BK’s Bistro, a dim sum restaurant in Fremont.

Miggi making announcements at her annual fête.

Miggi making announcements at her annual fête.

For $35, we enjoyed at least twelve courses (it was hard to keep track!) and the entertainment of watching Miggi declare us all to be celebrities in our respective fields as she made introductions. She then held applause contests for the Most Festive and the Best Dressed of the night.

Miggi awarding the Most Festive award to a friend.

Miggi awarding the Most Festive award to a friend.

Then the feast commenced! First up was a selection of appetizers, a cold-cut plate if you will.

2014_lunar_new_year_02

I was quite happy to enjoy both jellyfish and octopus for the first time. I say first because it was the first time I enjoyed them, not that I had them. Both are often ridiculously chewy, but BK’s did a nice job with them. Though I valiantly ate a whole slice of head cheese, I still am not a fan of that meat concoction. But I was a huge fan of the bamboo and mushroom soup with shredded chicken and scallop that came next.

BK's staff serving up the soup.

BK’s staff serving up the soup.

BK’s staff serving up the soup.

My bowl.

I’ve never had bamboo prepared in that manner before—did I mention this was my first Lunar New Year feast? It was gelatinous and delicious, and the chicken was tender and flavorful, which is a feat for chicken in soup.

Course #3 was crispy duck skins assembled into steam bun sandwiches.

2014_lunar_new_year_10

It was the hands-down favorite course for many of my fellow diners. I wouldn’t go that far, but the crunchy skin provided a great textural contrast with the sweet and spongy steam bun wrap.

At this point in the feast, the meat dishes started flying onto the table, and all our appetites struggled to keep up with the amazing plates.

Roasted Peking Duck

Roasted Peking Duck

Lobster simmered in broth.

Lobster simmered in broth.

Salmon (at least I think it was!) in a sweet teriyaki-style glaze.

Salmon (at least I think it was!) in a sweet teriyaki-style glaze.

Those are only a sampling of the meats we enjoyed. The roast chicken, not pictured, was probably my favorite, though I appreciated how nicely sautéed the sea bass was as well. Somewhere in the midst of those meats, we also enjoyed honey-glazed prawns with walnuts—

2014_lunar_new_year_12

–and ended with barely any room at all to enjoy the e-fu noodles and the abalone with bamboo and greens.

2014_lunar_new_year_15

That was actually my first abalone, and I can’t wait to try it again when my stomach isn’t already full to bursting. The greens served with it were exceptional.

Of course, the little inconvenience of a packed stomach didn’t stop me from devouring two — 2! — mango and coconut mochi for dessert.

2014_lunar_new_year_16

My favorite course? You bet it was the mochi.

Not only did Miggi host a feast worth remembering, but she also did a great job facilitating new friendships. I had a lovely time meeting my dining companions and am already working on future wine-tasting plans with them. Needless to say, I look forward to the next Tri-Valley Foodie event!

Event was held 31 Jan 14.

facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedintumblrmailby feather