This is the first time I received bird's nest as a gift. Never one to hanker after such 'delicacies', receiving it as a gift is a totally different story altogether! :)
Each tiny bottle contained barely a few pieces of bird's nest soaked in rock sugar solution. The bird's nest, alike shark's fin, doesn't taste much by itself. Once cooked, the texture strongly resembles that of agar agar, which is slightly harder than jelly.
Such delicacy is highly valued by the Chinese due to it's nutritional values, rarity, life endangering job of harvesting the nests from limestone caves and the arduous cleaning process before yielding pure bird's nest.
I have Jamie to thank for presenting me with the gift and certainly Philip too, for without whom such an opportunity would not have arised. :)