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Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yang's wedding



A traditional Chinese wedding with a twist. Instead of the hotel ballroom, we had it in the Hotel restaurant Hai Tien Lo. The circular 37th floor location with breath-taking views that the staff utilized to maximum effect by drawing the blinds only after all the guests had seated. So we could take in the sumptuous skyline.



The Chinese wedding dinner has a certain order. There is the Cold dish or the appetizer platter followed by Soup, usually Shark's fin. Then a meat, a vegetable, a seafood dish, a fish, carbohydrates then dessert. Out of sentimentality or ostentation's, there may be 1 or 2 more dishes added to this fixed menu. My sister's wedding had an additional roast suckling pig served before the cold dish, imagine 50 piglets culled for just 1 wedding.



True to the restaurant's reputation, the Cantonese cuisine had touches of western influences that added to it's finesse. The first course of Beijing duck with pan fried Foie Gras was a crowd pleaser even with the old folks. Followed by Shark's fin soup, an essential wedding dish known for being rich in collagen. Hai Tien Lo's version isn't so much soup as chunks of shark's fin in a reduction.



Oh, did I mention free flow of alcohol (spirits, wine and hard liquors), Chinese tea and soft drinks are a must as well. Chinese are known to be hard drinkers. Picture above shows a deep fried lobster coated with butter, milk and lemon.

Then there is the fish. It is an understatement that your entire dinner will be judged by this one dish. It will be remembered by all your guests for years to come. It has to be fresh, firm and perfectly cooked (not over, not under) in a clear & light sauce so the fish isn't overpowered. I remember for my Brother's wedding, the chef served the fish separate from the sauce. Pouring in the hot liquid on the fish only at the table. Thereby ensuring the fish was perfectly cooked and pleasantly warm. They did this for all 78 tables.



The evening ended on a cool note with Coconut ice-cream in a pool of avocado cream.

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