Malaysian Monday 38: Chinese wedding banquet

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hi everyone, the next few Malaysian Mondays will be based on our recent holiday. To kick-start, here’s a peek into a wedding feast.

First, here’s a pic of my new sister-in-law. Isn’t she gorgeous?

And so he doesn’t feel left out, here’s a photo of my bro as well.

As I looked through my photos, I’ve come to realise that sadly I have quite terrible images of my family and better photos of the food. In my defense, food doesn’t move very much, especially in low light.

After the wedding ceremony, it is customary to have a bit of a feast, in our case, we ended up having two dinners - one for the bride’s side of the family and one for the groom.

Wedding dinners are long drawn out affairs involving many courses. Here’s the menu to the first dinner.

You may have noticed the contentious shark’s fin soup on the menu. Actually, my (new) sister-in-law had requested NO shark’s fin soup for the dinner but when we turned up, the restaurant had gone ahead and merrily served it anyway. Unfortunately, the older generation views this soup as a sign of prestige, and when someone gets married, to serve this soup is saying “here’s our very best for you”.  Hopefully this view will change.

I would be hopelessly hypocritical if I didn’t admit to eating a bit of this soup (since it had been served anyway), but I won’t post any pics of it here. For those who are wondering what the big fuss is all about, here’s a link that explains it.

Anyway, back to the dinner – all eight/nine courses of it.

First course: Prawn Salad with Deep fried beancurd
This dish came with some tiny octopus in a sweet sauce. The bean curd was fantastic.

Second course: the aforementioned soup

Third course: Whole suckling pig

Part 1 of this dish involves eating just the skin, sandwiched between these sweet steamed buns - a little like Peking duck pancakes.

Fourth course: Fried grouper medallions with mushroom
Tasty but not the most photogenic of dishes.
Fifth course: Salt and pepper piglet
Part 2 of the piglet dish. The meat was taken away and fried. As you can see, I had a few cheeky helpers for this shot.

Sixth course: Braised abalone with dried scallops
I honestly don't get the appeal of abalone, but the scallops were pretty yum. Both MC's loved the abalone which is worrying Mr. Kitchen Hand a bit (they are hideously expensive).
Seventh course: Aberdeen sizzling fried rice
Not sure what Scotland has to do with this dish, but it was an interesting mix of venison, rice and shrimp paste.

Eight/Ninth course: Dessert

We were intrigued as to what chilled aloe - vera was going to taste like. It turned out to be a cold, sweet soup very similar to Leng Chee Kang and contained dried longans, "sea-coconut" and the aloe vera jelly from inside the leaves.

I think this was the aloe-vera:

These glutinous rice dumplings were so amazingly good.


Then the next night, we went to a different restaurant and did it all over again. This time the menu was in Chinese and since I don’t read the language, I’m not quite sure what each of these dishes were called, but here’s a pictorial summary.

Clockwise from top left: Five treasures (?) appetizers including a deep fried yam ring which I love, roast chicken and duck, mushrooms , dessert : chilled longan and agar-agar with red bean paste filling, assam prawns, steamed pomfret fish.

Oh, and if you've ever been to a Chinese wedding banquet, you'll know that one of the most important parts is the raising of glasses for a toast. Everyone yells out "yum seng"  at the top of their voices to wish the bride and groom well. Here's MC Senior giving it all she was worth :)

Have a great start to the week.


3 hungry tummies said...

I just sent you an email about Malaysian Monday :)
The food looks amazing especially the suckling pig. I was a little upset when I saw the sharks fin on the menu but as you said, hopefully this will change.
Love your baby skewer doing the yum seng :)

trissa said...

I love Chinese banquets - they are so generous with the portions, the ingredients - you can tell that food is such an important part of their culture.

Juliana said...

Oh! The pictures are gorgeous...what a cute couple...and the food look so yummie! Nice! Love reading your post :-)

Marcellina said...

Great recount of the banquets. I love hearing about how other nationalities eat.

grace said...

this is one party i would've loved to attend--what a great spread! i won't lie--whole pigs freak me out (and why must they be called 'suckling'? it seems so tragic), but i could just stay away from that table. i like to hover near the desserts anyway. :)

Hungry Dog said...

Fun! I love weddings. And, don't feel bad about the's much easier to take good photos of food than people!

shaz said...

3 hungry tummies - thanks! Both the kids loved the yum seng part the most I think.

trissa- you're right about the generous portions! We couldn't finish the shared dishes but not much went to waste because a lot of folks "doggy-bagged" the food home.

Juliana - thank you :)

Marcellina - me too, I enjoy hearing how everyone else relates to food.

grace - I know what you mean. It's also a bit confronting to have the meal stare right at you. But spin it around and the other end isn't that appealing either (tail and all)

Hungry Dog - if only people didn't move around so much.

Jen said...

I can't express how much I love Asian wedding banquets! Everything looks so delicious!

Barbara said...

Marvelous, Shaz! I don't know how your little tummy got through all that food! Two nights in a row, too.
As far as people photos vs food photos: we all do the same thing! I laughed when I read that.

Congrats to your brother and lovely new sister in law!

Anonymous said...

Hi Sharon
I got the link to your blog from Adriene's post in FB. I'm Juna (mom to the howling ring bearer at the wedding!). Thanks for sharing your cakes and how you make them. They are beautiful! Especially liked your autumn cake. You are really good!

Wished you could have done the wedding cake. Love looking at others' cakes - am sure I can learn from it.

Take care


shaz said...

Cheers Jen

Thanks you very much for the well wishes Barbara

Thank you for the kind comments Juna! :)