Chow Yun Fat turns 60, keeps it simple with a $500 Hakka village dinner

HONG KONG - Hong Kong cinema's everyman star, Chow Yun Fat, hit the big 6-0 on Monday and true to form, celebrated his milestone birthday at a Hakka village eatery in Yuen Long, the far-flung corner of the New Territories.

On the day he turned 60, he went hiking alone in the morning, and shooting with his photography-loving friends in the afternoon, said Apple Daily.

In the evening, he and his Singaporean wife Jasmine Tan had dinner with more than 20 friends - including actor Cheung Siu Fai - at Ping Shan Traditional Poon Choi in Ping Shan, Yuen Long.

The village eatery was recommended by fashion designer William Tang, who belongs to the same clan as the owner, said the report. Chow is a regular at the shop, where he often eats with his friends after a hike.

On Monday, the birthday boy was served two soups - wild duck with tangerine peel and black-skinned chicken with coconut - soon after he arrived, and he downed two bowls of the duck soup.

Dinner was poon choi, the Hakka big-basin dish, and more than 10 dishes including steamed grey mullet, wine chicken, soya sauce chicken, pig's trotters braised with plums, goose braised with yam, fried conger eel, mushrooms braised with abalone and fish maw in superior stock. The bill for the two-table banquet came to less than HK$3,000 (S$517), said the report.

Chow's wife got an ice cream cake for the occasion, and the couple took a selfie with it.

Speaking to Apple Daily later, the star said: "I had a good time tonight. I ate such a lot of my favourite food. For a moment, I didn't know what to eat."

Photos of the outing were posted on Weibo by Filmko Entertainment boss Alex Wong, and shared by netizens marvelling at Chow's low-key, frugal celebration.