Alan Hu's Wedding
Nelson @ Fung's Kitchen: In Houston for my cousin Alan's wedding and it was a chinese banquet. Ironically, I had already been to this restaurant on my last visit to Houston, when we picked this restaurant at random before flying out. I was fortunate to get to try a non-Toronto banquet and there were some differences as we'll explore in this post.
To begin, we had an Assorted Hot Appetizer plate of mostly deep fried foods which is unusual to see in Toronto. I generally never eat this deep fried stuff (shrimp rolls, dumplings and wontons) as I usually associate it with Americanized Chinese food, but gave it a try. I personally didn't like it too much, but I can see how it would appeal to some of the guests.
The "Treasure Seafood Soup" was next and I was glad to have this instead of the Shark Fin Soup because of my moral objections. I can't honestly say that shark fin soup tastes better than this, so I was perfectly happy with this dish. Some of the elders might have been hankering for Shark Fin Soup.
Fried Crispy Chicken, a very standard Chinese banquet item. It was slightly cold when it got to the table, but still tasted good. Pretty similar to what we get in TO.
Sauteed Mince Shrimp with Lettuce. This is a like a Peking Duck second course, but of course with Shrimp. I've never had this dish before and I enjoyed it. I always wondered if Peking Duck is such a classy item they don't serve that during weddings? I liked the inclusion of this dish.
This picture looks similar, but instead of chicken it is duck, a "Crispy Roast Duck". Seems to me to be a little redundant with the chicken, but I can't complain about more meat!
Double Lobster with Ginger and Green Onion, which is another standard dish. I don't recall how well this was cooked, but I think it was very similar to what you can get in Toronto. I wonder if it is more expensive in Texas, since they are farther away from lobster production areas of Maine/Maritimes.
Beef Fillet with Honey and Black Pepper. I've never seen a beef dish at a Chinese wedding, and it is something I've always wondered about. I liked this dish a lot since it was sweet and peppery. The large chunks of beef helped as well.
Seasonal Vegetable with Carrot Sauce. Another new dish for me, but this time, I didn't like this one too much. Carrot sauce is just not that good, but I suppose it is different from the usual dishes. The fact that it is a straight up vegetable dish was also new to me for a Chinese banquet.
The Fried Sole Fish was surprising to me because it was fried. This is a cantonese restaurant and their signature way of preparing fish is steamed topped with oil and soy sauce. This one was nicely fried though and is a very nice way of preparing sole. I love the soy sauce that complements the crispy fried exterior.
Last of the main courses is a house special fried rice. There is no noodles, which meant that we got an extra dish of non-filler. Interesting since I am used to having the E-fu noodles to end the meal.
This is a shot of the wedding cake, which is a butter cream instead of a fondant cake. Hopefully this lasted the next day for them! I don't remember the flavour unfortunately but I can see in the next picture that I finished it. That picture also has the Sweet Taro Tapioca Soup which is one of my favourites!
So this banquet is different from the typical Toronto banquets in that it had deep fried appetizers, beef, duck, vegetables, shrimp, instead of the Roast suckling pig, crab claw, shrimp/scallop/chicken, abalone/scallop, E-Fu noodles. I think the banquets in Toronto have a little more precision and delicacy to the preparation, but I liked the variety of the foods I ate here. I was stuffed!
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