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Posted November 23, 2011 by Jennifer Lam (Jenius) in Chinese
 
 

Chanthu & Jerome’s Wedding

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There’s so much to love about Chinese wedding banquets – the extravagent sequence of dishes, the abundance of seafood, the overly loud bands and the absurd amount of hard liquor drunk!

I have really fond childhood memories of attending weddings as my parent’s plus
one. If it was with Dad, then Mum would be at home with my siblings and
vice versa. Us kids took turns. We dreaded the boredom of adult
conversations but absolutely loved the food. The thin glossy crackling on the common first course of suckling pig was always the focus of jealousy for us.

I especially loved
the fact that the waiters always serve guests individual portions of
food at the table, so as a kid, I’d get to eat as much as the adults.

And
after every wedding, I’d return home feeling slightly deafened by the
music. But I’d always be prepared to share a detailed recount of what
we’d eaten.

Most modern day Chinese weddings nowadays omit the live band. In fact, out of all the Chinese wedding banquets I’ve attended where the newly weds have been friends, it was only the most recent wedding I attended, that had one! The band performed in Cambodian rather than Chinese or Vietnamese, but oh, the memories.

Chanthu and Jerome’s wedding (alas it was two months ago) was held at Golden Star Palace Restaurant in Sunnybrook Hotel. Unaware of the surrounds, I was initially confused by why the wedding ceremony was being held at the same location as the reception. But when I arrived, I was blown away by how pretty the adjacent garden was. Gorgeous white pedals trickled down from the trees every time the spring breeze blew over. The unlikelihood of such a garden sitting behind a South-Western Sydney Chinese restaurant added a magical note.

Here’s one of my favourite shots I took of the newly weds:

Chanthu and Jerome - wedding day

Fast-forwarding to the dinner now –

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet -  hard liquor

We start with a vibrant jellyfish and prawn salad – strands of crisp and crunchy jellyfish tossed with shredded carrot, daikon and thin slices of prawns. I love the tangyness of the vinegar, soya sauce and sesame oil dressing.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - jellyfish salad

Next are steamed baby abalones served on the shell. The contrast of the pearly shells on the dark dressing is just gorgeous. The abalones are sweet and tender, a true delicacy.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - steamed baby abalone

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - crab claws

A dish which I’ve always enjoyed at every traditional Asian wedding banquet is the deep-fried crab claw. It’s the notion of eating crab that has been picked by somebody else. No shells, no messy picking, just mouthfuls of flaky crab with a light crust, dipped in a sweet and sour sauce.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - flaky crab inside the crab claws

As a kid, I used to be so fascinated by how the chefs prepared these perfect noodle baskets. My mother revealed the secret to me many years ago but I still appreciate how scrumptious anything served in a noodle basket looks. In this case, there are braised snowpeas with scallops, prawns, baby corn and cashew nuts. Shards of the broken noodle basket soaked in a bit of the sauce is obviously the part that is worth fighting over for.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - prawn and scallop stir fry on noodle basket

Hmm, sharkfin soup. I have no idea if what’s served is ethically sourced sharks fin. I sure hope so but I don’t ask questions and just drink what is served.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - shark fin soup

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - braised lobster with ginger and shallots and efu noodles

When you see lobster, it’s time to get your hands dirty. Meaty pieces of lobster braised with ginger, garlic and green shallots. The e-fu noodles have absorbed all the wonderful juices, they have a nice bite and are so flavourful.

I just love the sight of people dressed up, devouring lobster with all their fingers.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - serving lobster

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - live band and packed dance floor

And while many hit the dance floor, our table is laden with even more food. The steamed fish is served whole and the bone is quickly removed by the waiter. There’s also crispy quail which is dipped in a salt & pepper mix with some lemon juice, fried rice, a sweet red bean dessert soup and some fresh fruit.

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - steamed fish, quail and fried rice

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - crispy skin quail

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - red bean dessert soup and fresh fruits

With entire bottles of Hennessy and Johnnie Walker demolished by half
our table, the night turned into a very long and entertaining one. I’m
glad this photo was taken before all the drunken shenanigans!

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel, Cabramatta East - Chinese wedding banquet - group photo of the table

Lucky me, I’ve got another two weddings to attend on this coming Saturday!

Chanthu and Jerome, wishing you both a world of deliciousness, happiness, love and joy! Congratulations again! xx

Golden Star Palace

Sunnybrook Hotel & Function Centre

355 Hume Highway, Cabramatta East, NSW

Golden Star Palace at Sunnybrook Hotel on Urbanspoon


Jennifer Lam (Jenius)

 
Jennifer is the founding blogger of I Ate My Way Through (originally, Jenius.com.au). Having grown up in a family where food was always at the centre of all celebrations, family events and milestones, Jen is obsessed with capturing irresistible flavours and stories from myriad cultures. A lover of the finer things in life, as well as cheap eats, her blogging ethos is all about empowering people to have good food and invigorating adventures - because life is too short for mediocre meals or dull travel. Her hobbies are breakfast, lunch and dinner. She's globally curious, passionate about female entrepreneurship, is a soy chai latte fanatic, and loves vintage, dressmaking and photography.