Celebrating Hoa' s birthday with friends- 5/26/13

Fringale The food Celebrating w. friends

A week after celebration Hoa's birthday at Fringale I am throwing a semi surprise party for Hoa.  I told him our friends are just coming over for dinner but I did not tell him that this was to celebrate his belated birthday. Yes Hoa is having 2 parties for his birthday this year!

On his birthday he specifically told me he wanted an intimate birthday so I arranged a tête-à-tête dinner.   Somehow secretly he probably wish I would not listen to him and he kind of expected our friend to surprise him and show up at Fringale!  However I respected his wishes and I suspect he was a bit disappointed to find out that  the reservation was just for the two of us. 

I felt a little guilty so to make it up for not having our friend around on his special day, I am inviting our friends the following week-end and we are going to celebrate a belated birthday for Hoa.

Tonight I am making small plates, tapas, and pintxos inspired by Spain and Basque food.

The table is set up and I want it to be colorful and bright.

Flowers arrangement from our garden

View of the table

Small and colorful plates to go with the dinner theme

Menu is printed out.

We are having a lot of small plates tonight!


Getting ready just before the arrival of our friends.


Cocktail time in our backyard.

Tuan, Be Lan, Ha, Dung, Hanh, Annie, Trung, Maily, and Loan



The kids back from college.



Lea, Ludo, Nicky, Kevin V., Khoi, and Tiffany


Anh Minh grilling the pork belly skewers, and giant squid.


Hoa with the kids.

The kid's table

First course: starting the first course with a Vichyssoise shot!

Cheers to everyone!


Hanh and Dung

Putting together the 2nd course.


Second course:Meat ball with marina sauce and pesto sauce



Preparing the 3rd course with the help of Miriam our helper.

Without her I would not be able to throw large dinner party!


Platting the squid a la plancha.


Third course: Squid a la Plancha. This dish was inspired by eating a Fringale.


fourth course: Pork Belly skewers.  Oh boy it was so delicious!

because we are eating an 8 course dinner, I only serve a skewer per person but I think this dish would be gone if I served more.

Fifth course: Roasted chicken wings with tomato and basil


Sixth course: Bruschetta with pan seared shrimps.

This dish was inspired by Donostia, a small restaurant in Los Gatos that served tapas and Pintxos.


Seventh course: Poor man cassoulet

It is called a poor man cassoulet because it does not have duck confit however it is a really good dish.  I usually don' t care for beans but here it is actually quite delicious with pork belly and Italian sausage.

We skipped the 8th course: Chicken and spareribs stew.  However, the kids still have room so they got a serving.


Time to bring out the birthday cake...

Candles are lit!

Time to gather around Hoa.


Time to snap a few picture...

Hoa probably feels like a Hong Kong movie star here (insider joke!).

Singing happy birthday! and time to blow the candles...

Champagne are poured for the celebration...


CHEERS to the birthday boy!


The kids still have room for cheese and desserts!

Crêpe soufflé with grand Marnier crème anglaise.

Crêpe soufflé is such a light dessert and it is so delicious!  The grand Marnier crème anglaise really enhance the taste of the Crêpe.

Needless to say there are no leftover when I serve this dessert!


It was a really fun evening with our friends, lots of food and lots of wine flowing freely! 

Happy birthday and until the next one!


Filed under: Birthdays



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