Thursday, April 14, 2011

Wedding bells and sea cucumbers

On Monday Kelly and I attended our first Chinese wedding. In many aspects it was similar to American weddings - the church, the dress, the reception. In others, it was quite different - the fake wedding cake, the start time of 2 p.m. and end time of 12:30 a.m., the fish head with fangs...

But let's start from the beginning.

Kelly and I got all cleaned up...

... and headed to St. Margaret's Church in Happy Valley.

It was a Catholic service, so there was lots of standing up, sitting down, standing up, praying, sitting down, communion, standing up, etc. But a very touching ceremony.

Next was a reception at the Hong Kong Cricket Club, with pâté, gravelox, crab samosas, mango cheesecake, sangria, and other goodies.

The next scheduled event was mahjong and cards at the Peninsula, which a few of us skipped. We went to The Pawn instead - an excellent bar in Causeway Bay.

And on to the Peninsula for the wedding banquet. The place was gorgeous:

The wedding cake, which was fake but still beautiful:

And now to the 12-course banquet...
Course one - barbecued suckling pig:

Course two - sauteed sea cucumber with vegetables and sweetened walnuts:

Course three - deep-fried crab patties with conpoy and jellyfish:

Course four - stewed green vegetables with bamboo pith and Yunnan ham:

Course five - bird's nest soup with seafood and fungus:

Course six - braised sliced abalone with cloud fungus and vegetables:

Course seven - steamed spotted garoupa:

(and the garoupa's head, which was placed on our table, and whose cheeks I ate):

Course eight - Cantonese-style deep-fried chicken:

Course nine - fried rice with diced roasted duck and taro:

Course ten - braised e-fu noodles with black mushrooms:

Course eleven - sweetened chestnut cream with rice dumplings:

And course twelve - Chinese petits fours:

We got home around 2 a.m. I think. It's a bit of a blur.


  1. Oh god ... the same menu as the Chinese wedding I went to last year. Except I only got to course 3 because it was approaching midnight and I had to get the ferry home ...
    How do you know those stinking rich people???

  2. All Hong Kong philosophers are stinking rich - didn't you know that?

  3. why on earth did you skip mahjong and cards at the Peninsula? too rich for your blood?

  4. What a neat post! Looking forward for more post from you. Thank you for sharing!

  5. Jonathan - we skipped mahjong &n cards because sometimes, beer is just more important.

    Barak - the Peninsula provided Kelly with a 12-course vegetarian meal. Lots of "soy goose" and "braised bean sausage."

    Cart - thanks!

  6. Wow that is a lot of food. I have never eaten hardly any of that. Was it delicious, have you eaten those things over there? I have never seen so many courses. What a great evening!

  7. The food was great! And the dishes that weren't great were good. And the ones that weren't good were definitely... interesting. So it was a win all around!