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Any restaurants serving Chinese Banquet Cuisine Outside of China?

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4 replies to this topic

#1 Shalmanese

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 10:47 PM

Chinese Banquet Cuisine seems to be an entirely separate genre of cooking, with it's own dishes, techniques and traditions. It seems hard to find even information about Chinese Banquet Cuisine outside of China. I was wondering if there are restaurants outside of China serving this cuisine?
PS: I am a guy.

#2 liuzhou

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Posted 29 June 2012 - 11:26 PM

I'm not so convinced that it is a separate genre. Most dishes I am served at banquets, and I attend a lot, are the same as, or similar to, dishes you would expect find on menus in reasonably higher end Chinese restaurants elsewhere - or at least in London. And the same is true in China. The banquet menu has the same dishes as the rest of the restaurant. The only difference is that a few dishes are clearly more suited to large groups.

More of a problem outside China is getting the restaurant to serve the dishes banquet style. They seem to always want to serve dishes in a western way, rather than communally.

That said, I have attended banquets in London, but some years ago. They were comparable to banquets here in China.

However, to be honest, I think eating banquets in China is one of the worst ways to discover Chinese food. As I said, I am obliged to attend a lot. They are almost always repetitive, often unimpressive hotel catering, and are more concerned with appearance than taste and almost everyone is more concerned with getting drunk than actually eating. Banquets are not about high quality dining. Give me a small family run restaurant any time.

Half the time, after banquets,I have to stop off at the local noodle shop on the way home and just last week I heard two foreigners leave a banquet, one saying to the other "I'm starving. Let's go to McDonalds!"

Edited by liuzhou, 29 June 2012 - 11:27 PM.

#3 annachan

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Posted 30 June 2012 - 01:12 AM

Chinese banquet cuisine? I really don't know what that is. I've had many banquets. Most of them in Hong Kong, some in various parts of China and the US. The food is different depending on the region or what the restaurants specialize in. Other than them all having multiple courses, there aren't really other things I can think of that define them all.

#4 huiray

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 09:17 AM

As others have said here there is some doubt about whether there is really a separate "banquet cuisine". Perhaps if one thought of it as more fancy, elaborate dishes that a home cook or even restaurant would not normally do - perhaps that is a better approach? Would you regard "Special Occasion" (Big Birthday Bash, say) or even a super nice meal (just for the hell of it) that is prearranged with a restaurant to be "Banquet Cuisine"? If so I've certainly had those at many Chinese restaurants outside of China - in SE Asia, for example, at least in the past, and excellent meals they were too. In the West/USA, one can pre-arrange elaborate dishes with the chef or even get the more special ones from the menu at high-end places - I would consider such nice meals to be "banquets" in my book.

As for the "getting drunk" aspect that Liuzhou refers to - IMO that depends. Certainly I have been to "banquets" in the past (someone's Tai Sang Yat", e.g.) where there was vast amounts of premium Johnny Walker being consumed - mixed with Fanta orange juice or Seven-Up (another favorite), of course. :-) In those cases there wasn't much appreciation for the subtleties of the whiskey and the provision of premium grades of firewater was largely a status symbol thing, except for a few folks who were appalled at the waste of good stuff. Heh.

#5 Dejah

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Posted 19 December 2012 - 10:42 AM

Have a look back at some of the dishes member Prawcracker has cooked for family and friends...They are fancy enough to be considered "banquet fare"!

I don't think Johnny Walker whiskey is consumed for quality...It's a show of "prosperity and the best" served for guests.