Anita Yuen celebrated her birthday earlier this month, but instead of a huge star-studded bash, the Hong Kong actress opted for a simple, low-key meal with her loved ones.

“I don’t know if it’s because I’m getting older, but I feel like it’s no longer necessary to throw a big party,” the 48-year-old said during a public appearance at a Mid-Autumn Festival event in Hong Kong last Friday (Sep 6). “So there weren’t any special celebrations, just a dinner with friends who prepared a cake and flowers for me, which was very heart-warming.”

Anita had also posted a photo of her birthday present from husband Julian Cheung: a realistic-looking painting of goldfish in a plastic bag. Revealing the story behind the unusual gift, she said, “During a trip to Japan, I saw a pot that looked like it contained a fish, but the fish turned out to be a painting! So perhaps he took note of my amazement and ordered the painting for me. I’m very happy because he finally remembered something I like!”

However, when it comes to Julian’s own wish to have a pet cat, Anita strongly disapproves of it. “He has a sensitive nose - what if he suffers a severe allergic reaction? What would become of the cat? You can’t just bring a pet home in a moment of happiness; you have to take complete responsibility for it, so that’s why I had to say no,” she explained.

When asked if Julian was disappointed by the rejection, Anita said, “No, he makes the same request every year, and I say no to him every year!”

Photos: TPG, Instagram/Anita Yuen