06 Jan2008


No, it isn’t a strange camera trick or a potter gone wild. The red plates are purpose made for serving a half dozen oysters on the half shell. Yup, single use implement in ceramic rather than silver… sister acquired them in Paris somewhere and carted them back home to New York… aren’t they stunning? I thought so. But I would worry about storage space when they are not in use… At any rate, dinner started off with six fresh oysters already plated and placed at each setting, with more on platters if desired…


The oysters were a mixture of wellfleet (U.S. east coast) and possibly malpeque (Canadian), Belon (Maine) or Blue Points, I am not certain. Already shucked oysters (sister has a suki at the fish store who does this tedious and difficult task for her, and delivers them on ice) in the middle of winter are just gorgeous. They had no fishy taste at all, instead a wonder of texture and briny flavor that could become addictive. After my recent nasty clam experiences, I am wary of shellfish, but these were excellent. Served simply with a wedge of lemon and a vinegary mignonette sauce of shallots and vinegar and salt and pepper, this was a real treat! The oysters on a half shell nestled beautifully into the plates and it was a really festive way to start the meal. Oh and take note of the oyster forks on the right of the place setting, as well… :)




  1. jeff says:

    how i wish, philippine oysters would look that big.. i dont know why are oysters are puny, i mean the meat is puny compared to the shell..

    Jan 6, 2008 | 11:07 am


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  3. Maria says:

    The silverware are just stunning!

    Jan 6, 2008 | 12:43 pm

  4. elaine says:

    The oyster plates are stunning, although I worry more on breakage…I can eat a plateful of oysters in seconds! Anyways, the table napkin kinda caught my eye..the design is pretty which I believe is embroidered…it matches with the red plate:)

    Jan 6, 2008 | 12:43 pm

  5. Artisan Chocolatier says:

    They look sooooooo delicioso!!!!!

    Jan 6, 2008 | 12:44 pm

  6. ThePedanticPrick says:

    Had some rather bland oysters at a west-village spot called Philippe Marie on New Year’s Day. The crowning grace, and I’m not making this up, was wasabi caviar. Don’t know how they made it, but I’ll never be able to eat my oysters with horseradish again.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 1:36 pm

  7. Mangaranon says:

    Fabulous! Your sister has quite a collection — bravo!

    Jan 6, 2008 | 1:37 pm

  8. maddie says:

    jeff, we do have oysters like the one in the pics! they culture semi-fresh/salt water oysters nowadays. where i come from (negros occidental), i’ve tried gigantic oysters that were so creamy and had no fishy taste as well. they don’t sell these in the markets though. I’m not sure if these are for the domestic (restaurants, hotels) or international market.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 2:11 pm

  9. sam says:


    How appropriate! I slept in and woke up rather late today. Breakfast was out of the question, and thought of a lighter fare for lunch (no more Korean BBQ and Japanese izakaya forays in the next few days). I ended up in a seafood place right in the port district, and feasted on what else? freshly shucked oysters! Love them ,would always drive wherever it takes me to get my bivalve fix! A simple mignonette of chopped shallots and vinegar is good, but I usually kick it up a bit by bringing my own chopped ginger and hot peppers, topped with coarse sea salt and cracked peppers, bliss in a half-shell! Great series of holiday posts, BTW!

    Jan 6, 2008 | 2:26 pm

  10. kulasa says:

    Geez, I really do learn something from you every time. Never thought there was a plate for oysters. Always thought they were served on a plate with salt. I love oysters but I like them a bit well cooked though. Love them done over hot coals and enjoy the thrill of opening the shells myself.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 7:54 pm

  11. brightlite says:

    Try the oysters from Sapian,Capiz–simply delicious–we get a sack of them on the way to Boracay.Too bad oysters abroad are atrociously priced– here-for maybe 200 pesos you have a sack full.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 8:21 pm

  12. sister says:

    Everything I buy for the table is used, no cabinet plates for me. Don’t worry about breakage, always buy extra. The oyster plates were purchased at a brocante for 20 euro for 12 pcs. They are old, not antique, Quimper ware. I also have a 13 pcs. Vallauris in miele for more. There are collectible oyster plates in bizarre patterns costing hundreds of dollars but those are of no interest to me.
    Wasabi caviar is available at Russ and daughters on Houston Street, on the LES. It’s a pretty green translucent color and you reminded me I forgot to serve my stash last Christmas along with the flying fish roe that is coal black.

    Jan 6, 2008 | 10:18 pm

  13. Madeline says:

    Wow! Nice oyster plate, never seen one except today. It makes me crave for oysters which I usually eat at Via Mare.

    Just be careful when eating too much
    seafoods specially if you have history of allergies. My cousin from Imperial Valley, California was just on Christmas Holidays here in the Phil & just ate alot of seafoods/oysters/salmon and she developed Amoebiasis. She was hospitalized for almost 2 days. Her stools were really watery which was associated with several episodes of vomiting and urticaria ( large allergy rashes).

    Jan 6, 2008 | 10:55 pm

  14. allen says:

    your sister is si,plwy the best!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 12:13 am

  15. dhayL says:

    I love the colour, very festive and it’s a nice contrast to her woderful table setting!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 2:18 am

  16. Teresa says:

    Thanks for sharing your sister’s table setting. It’s fabulous! Too bad I stopped eating seafood and meat products since I became vegetarian. I would have loved to serve oysters in a plate like this. Your sis is awesome in finding unique pieces. Happy New Year MM and to the rest of your family!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 3:20 am

  17. Blaise says:

    Wonderful silverware and wonderful china.. And those oysters are big (not referring to the shell)! I haven’t seen oysters that big here in the Philippines..

    Jan 7, 2008 | 10:09 am

  18. lee says:

    haaayyyy daw manyaga ko sa talabahan sa tupad CENECO ah! Kun may plete masakay Ceres kag magkadto sa Ilog kay ang talaba daw tsinelas sang bata kadako!!!!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 11:23 am

  19. Faye says:

    this is sooo cute!!! how does sisgter manage to keep her silverware untarnished and sparkling?

    Jan 7, 2008 | 3:15 pm

  20. rocoi says:

    lee, a fellow ilonggo haha! nami man talaba sa roxas kag! :)
    MM, i wasn’t able to check your site the whole time i was in my hometown so now that i am back in manila, the first thing i did when i got to work was read them hehe this was some feast!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 3:21 pm

  21. CecileJ says:

    Lee, wow as big as kid’s slippers? Hindi ba mahirap lunukin yun? :-)

    Jan 7, 2008 | 4:36 pm

  22. zena says:

    I love oysters! And my best experience is in iloilo, but they weren’t the big kind. Plump, juicy, and tasty. I agree with CecileJ. Di kaya mabilaukan ako? Hehe. The oyster plate seems more practical for me than putting it on a bed of rock salt.

    Jan 7, 2008 | 7:37 pm

  23. sister says:

    Big oysters are not necessarily better. Freshness counts most and in the US you can ask to see the pack date on the bag, the store is required to show it if asked. I only serve oysters in the winter- December to March are the safest months, I would be worried about oysters from warm waters where they may be more likely to be contaminated (amoebic dysentery, hepatitis, etc.). Cook oysters from warm waters.

    Jan 7, 2008 | 10:33 pm

  24. sister says:

    FYI oyster plates come in 2 kinds- shallow wells for oyster out of the shell and deeper wells for oysters in the shell. They were pretty common in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

    Jan 7, 2008 | 10:35 pm

  25. Christer J says:

    I agree with Lee & Zena. Iloilo &/or Panay oysters are HUGE! When in Iloilo, we buy oysters from a suki in Oton who also provides talaba for some big restaus in Manila. They are truly delicious. You can buy them freshly cooked and already shucked. Namit gid!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 10:41 pm

  26. JM says:

    Lee, you bet…i bought Talaba (Oysters) near CENECO–yummy… when you get there a bit early, you really get the big ones and i think its on daily basis ha…aside from Oysters that were just submerged in boiling water..I did Baked Oysters w/ cheese and garlic and Deep Fried Oysters with Mango Salsa…I really wish that one day I can come across Oyster Plates..So Sosyal!

    Jan 7, 2008 | 10:47 pm

  27. The Steak Lady says:

    Sister, i am simply in awe. You are now officialy my idol! :D Thanks so much for sharing this MM! what a great holiday feast =)

    Jan 8, 2008 | 12:25 am

  28. Maria Clara says:

    I love the pattern of Sister’s Silverware! Great dinner starter.

    Jan 8, 2008 | 2:13 am

  29. sister says:

    Maria Clara, The silver pattern is Tiffany’s “Bamboo”, designed by Van Truex, Tiffany’s head designer in the 60’s. First produced in ’68 it has been copied extensively. It was my wedding silver and I still love the pattern.

    Jan 8, 2008 | 10:24 pm


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