I’m back in Sibu for the weekend to attend my cousin’s wedding reception. Yih Wen is one of my closest cousins on my dad’s side. I used to hang out with her while waiting to go to school at my grandma’s place when I was younger. She just got married and we had the wedding dinner at Tanahmas Hotel in Sibu.
I’ve actually met Kian Mun (the groom) during my previous trip back to Sibu. We went out for dinner together with Yih Wen’s family, a pre-wedding get-together so to speak. I find him to be a nice guy, his family is from Ipoh.
Here’s my grandma! She’s the matriarch of the family, pictured here with me and my dad.
The wedding dinner was held last night on the 19th of December. I was seated with my cousin Calvin and Noble.
This is the wedding cake. I was pleasantly surprised to see that it had the proper marzipan covering instead of the usual icing. I believe this is the first time I’ve seen this in Sibu. It tasted good too.
Four Seasons Combination Platter
This is the first course. It has six (6) items instead of the usual four. I rather enjoyed the prawn cocktail in the middle. I have a weakness for sweet mayo covered shrimp. The pickled jellyfish was nice too.
Shark’s Fin Soup
A traditional soup course that’s eaten with vinegar. The server didn’t pour the vinegar into the soup though (coz not everyone likes it) so we helped ourselves.
Baked Fish Head with Cheese
I believe the fish was battered and deep fried first before being put into a salamander and grilled to melt the cheese. This is my favorite dish of the night – I find that I like fish more and more as I get older. This wasn’t the case in the past, actually I don’t think I’ve eaten fish willingly before my mid-20’s (except for stuff like smoked salmon). The fish goes well with the cheese, the latter imparts a pleasant umami component.
Duck Two Ways
The right side is a classic Chinese roast duck and the left side is a braised duck. I thought the duck should have been rendered a bit more but the plum sauce was good.
Braised Sea Cucumber
This medley contains sea cucumber, Pacific clams and razor clams arranged over fu chuk (tofu skin) and broccoli bordering the side. It’s another established dish in the Chinese wedding dinner repertoire. I’m quite fond of stuff like this – anything from the sea would catch my fancy nowadays.
Deep Fried Prawns
This is a huge prawn but unfortunately I was quite full at this point so I only had one. I was very impressed with the size of the jumbo shrimp.
Red Bean Pastries Two Ways
I thought this was a very clever implementation – both the desserts are made using red beans but one of them is deep fried into thin pancakes and the other has a mung bean filling and is stuffed into a mochi-type casing. The former is a traditional Chinese festive dessert.
Fresh Fruits Platter
Oh, how I’ve missed eating plum powder! Haha. This is the stuff we used to get with sliced guava and it always seemed to be in short supply when I was a kid. It’s very more-ish and goes very well with all sorts of fruits.
I managed to take a photo with my dad and the bride and groom after the dinner. Thanks for having us Yih Wen and Kian Mun! :)
My better half and I actually went really early coz she had to do registration and I had to help her with the corsages and ang pow collection (sounds more glamorous than it is, I was little more than a glorified bodyguard at a place which didn’t really require it ).
Seriously though, I didn’t know there was actually a “money room” at the restaurant where you count ang pows.
There’s actually a very good reason for this – bigger cities like KL has a larger element of crime, so the point is to tabulate the money quickly and pay immediately so you don’t leave with the cash. There has been robberies in the past so people just settle the bill with the ang pows on the spot. Learn something new every day.
The 9-course dinner at Jaya Palace was quite impressive:
Palace Four Season Combination Platter
There’s actually four (4) items in this classic starter despite the five (5) indentations in the platter. It came out with all the bells and whistles which is becoming standard nowadays – the dimming of the lights, the procession of waitresses etc. The sweet and sour pork was nice, as well as the fishballs flanking it. I also liked the fu chuk (beancurd skin) in the middle, but the most popular item was the baby octopus – it was yum!
Double Boiled Soup with Cordyceps Flower, Scallop & Fish Maw
I loved the large dried scallop inside. You don’t usually get ones as big as this from retail shops unless you’re willing to pay a hefty price tag. There were also two pieces of fish maw inside, a classic Cantonese double boiled soup with premium non-controversial ingredients. The broth is based on chicken, I was pleased to see it was dark meat from the thigh.
Roast Whole Suckling Pig
The best dish of the night! This is a *whole suckling pig*, but you only eat the crackling and a little bit of the meat underneath. The skin of a suckling pig is deep fried to perfection and re-arranged in the general shape of a porcine being on the plate. I picked up a piece with my chopsticks and dipped it into the plum sauce – crispy, crunchy and full of flavour. I wanted to have another but by then it was gone. Seriously, that was how good this was. I did get to eat the face of the pig though (it’s quite delicacy in my hometown, not so much here).
Steamed Estuary Grouper Fish w/ Fungus
One of my favorite fishes for steaming. I’ll order RM 22 bowls of estuary grouper fish noodles when I’m craving for some. Estuary grouper (loong tan) is a very nice fish for eating – no bones to content with and a thick layer of collagen between the skin and the flesh. Jaya Palace slightly overcooked the fish but it was still a great dish.
Pepper & Salt Fresh Prawn
The obligatory prawns after the fish dish. I didn’t get to eat this as I was walking around taking photos for the groom and although a table-mate saved one for me, I unwittingly changed my plates for the next course (each course comes with new plates) so I didn’t know what it tasted like. I would have liked prawn.
Braised Sea Cucumber with Pork Knuckles & Mushroom
Lovely! People say sea cucumber don’t have a taste of its own, it absorbs the flavour of the gravy. This is partially true, but I know people who can tell where a sea cucumber comes from (Indonesia etc) so there’s gotta be a taste element in there as well. I’m quite partial to sea cucumber and they do it very well at Jaya Palace.
Steamed Glutinous Rice with Chicken & Mushroom
This is lor mai gai – a rice dish to fill you up if you’re still hungry. It’s individually portioned and tasted pretty good to me although I noticed a lot of people didn’t touch theirs coz they were quite full from the previous dishes. It was also quite late at this point and one table beside us just tapau their food with them.
Special Fancy Pastries
These are nostalgia inducing edibles – I remember dessert being a foreign concept in Chinese restaurants back in the day, this was all we had. It’s sweet red bean paste encased in flaky pastry and deep fried for a satisfying and sentimental course. There was also a kuih made with the squiggly green bits you see in cendol.
Sweetened Soya Bean with Gingko & White Fungus
I liked this one too, probably coz I didn’t eat much during the previous courses. I ended up drinking more than my fair share since most of my table mates have left and it was just the 3 of us at the table. The white fungus works very well in this sweet tong sui style dessert. It’s very Cantonese to have something like this to mark the end of dinner.
Congratulations to Yee Leng and Wing Fei on their wedding! We managed to take a photo with them after everyone had left and we had settled everything. :)
I was part of Wing Fei’s heng tai entourage for the day. Being a heng tai (the term means brother) involves having the groom’s side get his bride from her parents’ home. There will be ji mui (literally sisters, but more like bridesmaids) blocking the way and presenting challenges.
This is all done in good fun. Chinese wedding door games is a Cantonese tradition and since the groom is Cantonese, it’s as essential a part of the wedding as the tea ceremony.
We woke up bright and early and got into costume. The theme is Triumph in the Skies – a Hong Kong drama series and involves us wearing pilot uniforms. Unfortunately, one of my buttons came off and my better half had to sew it on before we left.
There was also a large roasted pig (which I promptly dubbed the wedding pig) that we had to carry to Yee Leng’s (the bride) house. I thought that was hilarious – we actually ate the pork belly from this very pig during lunch. I think the middle part goes to the bride while the head and tail is taken back to the groom’s family.
They even hired a Master of Ceremonies (don’t know what else to call her) for the day. She’s in charge of etiquette and all things wedding related, and we have to defer to her for everything. She’s also a very good singer – we called her tai ka che (big sister).
Here’s the show of respect to the parents of the groom in a tea drinking ceremony. This is done before we all departed for the bride’s place. The bride’s family does not follow in this entourage.
This is the group of heng tai flanking the groom Wing Fei before we hit the road. There is also one female brother in our group, it’s not usual nowadays to have mixed groups. The bride’s ji mui team also had two male sisters.
Here’s us arriving at Yee Leng’s place. The bride’s house has been setup with firecrackers and the ji muis were all waiting for us inside.
Let the (wedding door) games begin!
The first game involved all the heng tai putting on disposable underwear while the groom wrote “I <3 Yee Leng” on our rear-ends.
It’s a classic Chinese wedding door game. I’ve seen this one (and variations thereof) many times before, it’s become a bit of a standard.
The second game was eating a wasabi laced sandwich. I had two coz I was so hungry and I didn’t mind the spiciness at all. I thought it was a pretty good sandwich, which defeated the purpose of the Chinese wedding door game (it’s meant to be a challenge).
I’m glad I didn’t do the third one coz I did the first two. Three guys were blindfolded and a ji mui is assigned to each one and they’re supposed to guess who kissed them.
Or something like that, I totally lost the plot coz it was so funny. It turns out that there were TWO male ji muis (which we haven’t seen to this point – they were hiding in the house) and they only came out to kiss the heng tais.
The fourth Chinese wedding door game had us drawing lots. I got one that said “TONGUE” with a drawing of a tongue. That didn’t bode very well.
I also saw armpit, stomach and sifatt (technically asshole but we’ll use buttocks for the sake of propriety).
The person who drew the lot had to put whipped cream on that particular part of their anatomy while another heng tailicked it off.
Our hero female heng tai did the stomach one…
…while one of the heng tais did my tongue. The ji muis made sure there was enough so no contact will be made. Haha. I spat out the remaining whipped cream.
The fifth game had the ji muisdrawing on our faces with make-up.
I was transformed into a very old man.
The sixth game had the groom using a cucumber held between his legs to pop (crotch shaped) balloons we held between our thighs. It had to be done within a minute.
Me and our only female heng tai.
Some ang pow was also given to forgo the more extreme ones – you can buy a pass if you don’t want to participate in a game but it comes out of the groom’s petty cash.
Thus, with the games done, we went into the bride’s house!
Wing Fei had one last challenge to go through before the door to the bride’s room was opened – he sang a song, and the obstacles were all finally overcome.
This is the bride and the groom in their room.
I thought it was very sweet that Wing Fei and Yee Leng has been together for so many years. They’re childhood sweethearts and I believe this is the only relationship they’ve ever been in, and now they’re married.
Demystification: The bride is called Yee Leng while my better half is called Yee Ling. Wing Fei is the younger brother of my partner. I felt like I had to clarify due to the similarities in the names.
In a lot of ways, I am a “brother” in the truest sense of the term to the groom. Perhaps “future brother-in-law” would be a more appropriate term, since Yee Ling is his older sister. I’m glad Wing Fei gave me the honor of being one of his heng tais. I even wore his personal pilot uniform! I had a lot of fun on that day, not just at the door games but helping out at the wedding with my dear.
Congratulations to Wing Fei and Yee Leng on their wedding! :)
It is customary for some Cantonese families to have a pre-wedding dinner at the groom’s side. This is done one (1) day before the actual wedding dinner banquet. Wing Fei’s pre-wedding dinner had 6+1 outdoor canopies equipped with fans and lights (the +1 is the mobile kitchen) and it’s quite common over here in West Malaysia. I’ve been to one in Tangkak, Johor 4 years ago too.
This dinner buffet had 24 tables in total. It actually spans from two of their houses and blocks the (public) street and 18 houses but it’s generally accepted and you don’t need a permit to do this. It’s based on the understanding of neighbors.
Buffet spread. The food is replenished from the…
…mobile kitchen at the back with the chef pumping out platter after platter of chow.
The most in-demand item is the fried tiger prawns. :D
They had lots of desserts like watermelon and cempedak as well as jellies for kids and the young at heart.
My plate of food.
I also had several helpings of the Jello desserts.
Here’s a photo with the aunties of the groom. One of them came back from Canada!
The traditional Chinese wedding bed. The items here are to be brought over to the bride’s house the next day. You can’t sleep on it the night before and there’s a custom where you get 1 boy and 1 girl to jump on the bed to kickstart the family, so to speak.
I was given a pilot’s uniform by Wing Fei (the groom) as part of his heng tai entourage the next day. It was a lot of fun! :)
This is the first wedding we attended this year! I had missed a friend (and co-worker) wedding in December 2014 due to prior commitments, so this is the first wedding of 2015. It’s a bit unusual as the traditional Chinese wedding banquet dinner was held on a Sunday night and the restaurant was quite far in Putrajaya Marriott Hotel so we got home quite late yesterday.
The bride and groom had a ceremony earlier in the day which culminated in this wedding dinner. I knew the couple from a previous trip to Bangkok and the 9-course banquet was held at Summer Palace – the Chinese restaurant at Marriott in Putrajaya.
It’s a very nice place for a wedding – I’ve eaten here before at a company dinner and the food wasn’t too bad but the scenery and service is the main selling points. The servers are very conscientious about changing your plates after every course and I had a glass of The Macallan 12 year old for my drink.
Deluxe Five Happiness Combination Platter
This is the first course and instead of the traditional “Four Seasons” plate with four food items this has five different hot and cold elements. There’s also the increasingly common theatre that goes with the first course, with the servers getting in line and doing a performance before grandly putting the first plate on your table.
I first saw this at my sister’s wedding in Sibu but it wasn’t present at her wedding in KL. We thought the cold pork belly/duck breast slices were the best part of the dish – it was lying on a bed of pickled jellyfish which provided a wonderful acidic element. We also loved the boiled and deep fried salted egg.
Double-boiled Chicken Soup with Baby Abalone, Top Shell & Chinese Herbs
Shark’s Fin Soup has gone out of vogue since the environmentalist types and the wannabes/sheep started a crusade against it. I’m personally ambivalent about the issue, as most people who really understand the issue, with the entire hypocrisy (and racism) of Sea Shepard and other militant environmental organizations on one side and the heritage of Icelandic culture (hákarl – fermented Greenland shark), Canadian legal seal meat and Japanese/French proudly unapologetic cuisine on the other.
However, I think the substitution of shark’s fin soup with a clear soup with premium ingredients like abalone, fish maw, top shell (magpie shell) and such is a good thing too and it tastes better and there was been a spate of fake shark’s fin going around in the few years before it became the “S-word”.
This is a good example of a nice clear soup which highlights the abalone, top shell, chicken and fish maw and it’s individually portioned beforehand.
Roasted Sesame Chicken & Roasted Chicken
The chicken done two ways is a nice twist on the traditional roasted chicken. However, I’m not a huge fan of chicken done this way – there’s no sea salt or plum sauce for the slightly overcooked and dry roasted chicken and the roasted sesame chicken wasn’t much better.
Steamed Mandarin Fish “Unicorn” Style
This seems to be the latest trend in serving fish at Chinese banquets! The fish is totally de-boned and filleted. The fillets of fish is then wrapped around a long, tubular “fish ball” and presented on the carcass of the fish so it looks like rolled up fish flesh.
I’m a purist so I still prefer steamed fish served whole but I have to admit, this “unicorn style” platters of fish is very easy to eat, and the fish ball inside makes it taste artificially good with lots of MSG!
Chilled ‘Ming’ Prawns with Mayo & Stir-fried Prawn Balls with Butter Cream
This is the best dish that we had the entire night! There’s huge prawns done two ways, and they’re all de-shelled and de-veined. One is cooked in a sweet and wet butter/mayo sauce and the other is deep fried in butter. It’s very creamy and I love the huge, juicy prawns – I had three and my better half had two.
Braised Assorted Dried Seafood with Broccoli
I love the texture of sea cucumber! I’ll actually order this if I see it around. There was a RM 60 PNG (Papua New Guinea) sea cucumber promotion at Glory Cafe in Sarikei when we went but I was too full to order it. The sea cucumber here is done well, thickly sliced and full of slippery and chewy collagen. I also liked the mushrooms – very flavorful, especially with the bits of dried and rehydrated scallops in the reduced sauce.
Special Three Layered Fried Rice
There’s nothing special about this dish – it’s just rice done three ways. There’s plain fried rice on top, rice fried with light soy sauce in the middle and cooking caramel (dark soy sauce) fried rice at the bottom. That’s what causes the layered coloration and it was very oily – this is a dish for people who’re still hungry to fill up before dessert is served.
I know people who eat this way – main dishes only (fish, chicken, pork etc) with no accompanying rice in a multiple course banquet where they fill up on fried noodles or rice as the last course, it’s a different style of eating but we were too full at this point to eat more than a spoonful of the rice to taste it.
Special Dessert Combination
This is actually pretty decent! They made the crushed peanut covered mochi to be flavorless (except for the smoky and nutty accents from the peanuts) so the sweet component comes from the mung bean shaped and moulded into a cartoonish ear of corn.
It’s meant to be eaten together and it’s a good pairing.
The Chinese characters makes a lot more sense than the English translation though. Haha.
Chilled Mixed Fruits with Avocado Cream
This is the highlight of the dish and it was what we had saved up space for. We both thought an avocado based dessert sounded delicious and we’re glad we waited for this even though a lot of people were leaving at this point to beat the traffic and try to get home before a work day. It has a wonderfully rich mouthfeel and a nutty flavor that’s very morish. Delectable!
That is the first dish that came out, complete with a rather dramatic presentation. It’s visually appealing and delicious to boot. You just can’t argue with lobster…and scallops…and abalone…well, you get the idea. Heh.
Anyway, I was at Jisan and Kwan Yeow’s wedding which occupied a couple of ballrooms at the 15th floor of Sunway Resort Hotel. I’ve been there for the second time in as many weeks. The cocktail reception was at 6 pm but I only managed to get there slightly past 7 pm – and even then, I had to rush from church.
I didn’t realize that my face was sunburnt and peeling too – been swimming a lot lately but it’s always at night so how I got that is a mystery…but it’s not my wedding so here’s one of the best themed weddings I had the pleasure to attend this year.
The wedding invitation came in an old school record (as LPs – the CDs before cassettes). Dress code is Retro Glam but I decided to wear the bespoke suit (new word from Shah) that I got in Phuket, during the Club Med Phuket trip that Jisan took us on.
The cocktail reception area had wine, beer and a variety of sodas. I haven’t had much to eat so I went with the latter.
There’s also a cotton candy stand (that really works!) and a woman twisting balloons for kids (and kids at heart). It’s a precursor to what lies inside.
When the doors to the ballroom opened I don’t think anyone went straight to their seats – there’s just too much to absorb at once!
There’s a place for you to write well wishes to the bride and groom on a record (the very same one that came in the wedding invite but with different words) and clip it using a tiny red wooden peg.
Next to it is a kiosk called Pop Drinks which had mini soda bottles as well as Tora and Ding Dang!
I heard a lot of entranced mutterings – these are the toy boxes we played with as kids! I was heartened when someone told me to help myself and I got a box. Heh.
I guess everything changes over time – Tora is now filled with individually wrapped candy instead of the chocolate balls that all 80’s babies remember (I barely scrape by – born in 1981). There’s also the stuff that you can blow into balloons – exactly the same brand as the ones I played with during primary school.
There’s also marshmallows (which were fluffy and delicious – ruined a bit of my appetite, this jar), rock candy and lollipops which you can indulge in at Candy Bites while waiting for the photo booth.
Now, this photo wall is something that’s worth a bit of your time lining up for. There’s plenty of vintage items like scooters and props for you to fluff up before taking a shot.
Each item has a story behind it. This luggage bag is exactly the same one Jisan’s mom used when she studied in Australia way back in the days.
It even has Qantas tags still on it!
We took a group photo here – there’s two photo booths actually.
You can also opt for their photographer to take a photo of you, which gets printed out instantly to the side. There’s a copy for you to take back and even an envelope to keep it in.
It’s little touches like this that elevates a standard wedding into something really quite memorable!
I like how the theme is consistent too – it’s always been a theatre production starring Jisan and Kwan Yeow – the movies of the ROM (Registration of Marriage) and the hilarious slides with speech bubbles of their childhood to adult photos inter-spaced throughout the banquet dishes makes it into a cohesive theme.
(BTW, her name is actually spelled Ji San, I just concatenate the two words into one coz that’s how I was introduced when we met each other years ago while working at different agencies in the same building on the same account – long story, I digress)
Back to the banquet, it must seem like a copywriter wrote the names of the dishes coz it was really fanciful and we were trying to work out what the dishes actually were. Heh.
One side has the beverages list and says: Wine + Hard Liquor + Beer + Soft Drinks + Chinese Tea
…which was easy enough to decipher. No mystery there – I kept to my 3 drink limit (of whisky) which Aza had a hard time believing (most of the people I know here knew me when I was very much the raging alcoholic). The food menu is where it gets interesting.
Chariot of Fire
This is a wonderful dish which actually deserves its name – there’s even a complicated rein made of links of carrots that’s a work of art in its own right. There’s also a dragon fruit that’s hollowed out and inserted with a candle precariously balanced on the tip. The traditional first dish at a Chinese banquet, this one is full of premium items – lobster chunks, juicy scallops, slices of abalone and a fruit salad with sunflower seeds.
Combination of Love and Blessings
Dried scallops, shiitake mushrooms, kampong (free range) chicken, ginseng and fish maw double boiled into a wonderful clear soup. It seems to be the trend to go this route instead of the traditional shark’s fin soup which gets some PETA/Greenpeace types all worked up and I think it’s a good thing. It tastes even better and it’s good to have a nice double boiled Cantonese clear soup for a change.
Ocean of Love and Passion
This is an entire fish and my favorite dish in wedding banquets. I just love fish cooked in this way – simple, with soy sauce and lots of spring onions on top. It’s delicious, usually my favorite dish but Jisan’s first dish just takes the cake – it blew everything else away. I refer to everything as Jisan coz you know how there’s always a “groom’s side” and a “bride’s side”? I only know the bride and was introduced to the groom today. :)
Hearts United in Love
Medallions of tender de-boned chicken served with a sweet and spicy sauce and a side of crackers folded like warm bread. The crackers are warm and meant to be eaten with the chicken medallions like so:
It tastes good but I was really full at this point so I really can’t comment. I was stuffed silly by the good food.
Romance and Bloom
A dish of flavorful Shiitake mushrooms pregnant with juices that practically bursts in your mouth combined with fu chok (a soy bean byproduct). You know how I feel about soy products but the mushrooms were awesome! I had several with the broccoli even though I was so full at this point I had to loosen my belt.
The carved dragon is made of flour. Our table had got into the discussion of what it was made of and I took the head up – it’s really heavy – and tried to get a piece off (salty).
Unity and Commitment
This is a package of glutinous rice mixed with spring onions, salted egg, lap cheong (waxed sausage) and various other goodies in a wrapped leaf. I found myself eating more and more of it despite being full several dishes back. It’s really good and the presentation of every dish is impeccable – either with nice plating or individually served like this one…
…with a thoughtful orchid by the side of the plate.
The menu also had an aside that went: Stay tuned for the Celebration of Love “The Sweetness of Marriage”
It is a veritable buffet of desserts!
A smorgasbord of delights sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth.
Again, I found myself overeating but I couldn’t resist the strawberry mousse and the creamy chocolates.
I really liked how they did the traditional yum seng (toast to the couple) in one half of the ballroom. The wedding reception has tables on one side and the other side can be made into anything, depending on the occasion.
Jisan and Kwan Yeow got everyone to wear the sunglasses provided as a wedding favor on each table and get to the side to toast the bride and groom. See what I mean by a consistent theme from the movie style invites to the sunnies?
I really enjoyed myself at the wedding – it was a lot of fun I met a lot of old friends too.
My warmest regards to the newly-weds Chan Ji San and Teh Kwan Yeow!
I managed to get a photo with Jisan, the new Mrs Teh, too!
It was a great evening and I wish you both matrimonial bliss and happy endings! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Teh! :)
The first thing I noticed was the K&G for Kimberly and Gareth ice sculptures which dominates the entrance to the ballroom where the wedding was held. There’s also an archway above with roses – nice touch, that.
This is my favorite bit – there’s lots of nostalgic candy with witty place cards at the lounge where wedding guests can help themselves to.
I haven’t had some of these since I was in primary school! It certainly brings back fond memories.
…so much so I had a brain fart while writing the guest book. Lives, not lifes. -_-
Kim and Gareth’s wedding was held at The Saujana Hotel last Saturday on the 27th October. I was there at 6:30 pm for the cocktail reception.
Vintage Coke bottles from Thailand.
Here’s Yee Hau with Yee Haw! That’s the tag for the haw flakes of our childhood.
Rabbit Candy! Anyone remember these? I still love them.
I think this was a really great idea too – having photo cutouts to take photos with while the bride and groom were busy, very tongue-in-cheek. Heh.
The wedding favors on the table were hugely popular too – we had an impromptu game of volleyball while waiting for it to start, made by Nicholas with the goo you can blow up into a balloon (also an artifact of 80’s babies – we had them in school).
Kim and Gareth both had speeches going and I thought it was really nice, what they said, weddings always makes me feel good.
There’s also an 8 course dinner, with the soup dish called “Save the Sharks Seafood Soup” – obviously no fins in there but it tastes surprisingly good with the mini abalone and other seafood inside and it’s a great departure from traditional wedding soups by being clear, yet flavorful.
A lot of us at the table went for second helpings, myself included…and I’m not even a fan of soup.
I love the single malt whisky that was offered too – had a dram each of Yamazaki 12 y/o and a The Glenrothers Select Reserve. I preferred the latter, despite the novelty of drinking a Japanese single malt whisky – it had more character and complexity.
Here’s the obligatory table-to-table yam seng session!
…and a photo with the (real) bride and groom at the end. Hope you have a wonderful life ahead together, Kim and Gareth! :)
I just came back from Penang! Tim and Aud had their Up themed wedding last night, on the 28th of July 2012 – a date I’m sure will be plenty significant to them for the rest of their lives. :)
The wedding was held at Straits Quay Convention Center and the place was done up really nicely according to the theme. I really liked the floating house held up by balloons.
It’s actually pretty cool to have a theme like that – there were helium balloons everywhere like in the animated film Up.
The food was catered from E&O Hotel and I found the first dish with the ostrich meat really good. Also on the wedding dinner menu is the signature E&O Pe Pa Duck. Gotta love the wedding favors – it’s a mini jar of honey that says “Meant to Bee Together”.
I really liked how the couple looks so happy in this photo while pouring champagne.
It’s pretty much like a fairytale wedding in that everything was fascinating and wondrous to behold, since there were bright colors everywhere.
Congratulations Mr and Mrs Tiah! Here’s to an adventure of a lifetime and may you both grow old loving each other for a thousand years! ;)
Polly had her wedding last Sunday and I drove 1 ½ hours (yes, it really is that near) down from KL with my girlfriend, Cherry and Susan in tow to get to Tangkak, Johor on Saturday to attend the festivities.
My girlfriend was one of the sisters (ji mui) and after a night’s rest at a guesthouse the bride was kind enough to arrange for us, we arrived at Polly’s place at around 7 am to eat breakfast and start the preparations.
There was chicken rice, buns and other stuff and we had to eat rather quickly since the groom’s delegation was due to arrive soon.
Padlocks galore to prevent entry.
There was also this drink of prayer paper being burnt into water – it’s supposed to bring peace and harmony and I took a sip, despite being agnostic in my beliefs. It’s a Buddhist custom.
As tradition goes, the groom and his entourage of cars came amidst a lot of honking to announce their presence.
They disembarked at the front gate for the “sisters” (female friends of the bride) to grill the “brothers” (male friends of the groom) – this usually involves various stages which the brothers will have to go through in order for the groom to get to the bride.
The sisters act as a gatekeeper of sorts – asking the brothers to perform a multitude of tasks before being allowed deeper and deeper into the house.
This is a Hong Kong custom and I’m told it’s supposed to make the groom more appreciative of the bride due to the obstacles he has to go through to get her.
I remember faces being painted with makeup, drinks of Guinness with a raw egg inside (which is pretty delicious actually), and panties being put on by the groom’s band of brothers before they get into the house.
It was all in good fun…
…for all parties involved.
There was also a lot of interesting yoga poses that they have to perform before being allowed entry.
The brothers got back at the sisters after that by hiding all their shoes.
The groom finally gets to the bride! *applause
Anyway, the customary tea giving ceremony to the elders were performed at the bride’s place and at the groom’s place.
This took quite a while and sent us to three different places and we convened back at the groom’s place where the bride throws the flowers.
The bouquet of flowers somehow landed in Cherry’s hands.
I also appropriated the flowers for a bit of camwhoring.
I like this mish mash of Eastern and Western traditions though when it comes to my wedding, I think I’ll forgo most of it in lieu of a more private ceremony at a beach or the highlands with an outdoor wedding ceremony.
There was a break after that before the lunch wedding reception so we took the opportunity to go back and take a 1 hour nap before showering and heading out again.
I was quite sleep deprived and needed the shut eye since we’re driving down straight after the wedding reception.
The lunch wedding reception was held at Bangunan Persatuan Eng Choon – a meeting halls of sorts. There’s a lack of restaurants with the capacity to fit the people invited in Tangkak since it’s a small town.
The bride and groom already had another wedding in Penang prior to this. It’s not uncommon to have multiple weddings due to relatives – my sister had 3 – one in New Zealand, one in KL and one in Sibu.
We were seated at a table labelled “Diploma Friends”. I don’t know Polly personally, she’s Jeanie’s friend and I guess that makes me the chauffeur cum +1 in this entire shebang. ;)
The first dish was refreshingly different. I mean that literally. It was a hot afternoon and the lychee, grapes and pineapple chunks on a bed of ice inside a hollowed out pineapple really did the trick.
There is also the more traditional “sampler” first dish. I think there’s a name to it, usually “Four Seasons” or something to that effect but I like to call it a sampler dish coz it comes in a smorgasbord of small servings. I like the unorthodox century eggs and peanuts in this dish. The satay was good and so was the cuttlefish.
The next dish is a combination of pork, yam and sea cucumber braised in dark sauce. It’s really good as well.
Of course, there’s the customary shark fin’s soup after that. I like the generous servings of shark’s fin inside – you can literally see the huge chunks in each bowl.
Here you go! I know a lot of people are against shark’s fin, but I’m neither a tree hugger or an environmentalist wannabe, I eat just about anything – my previous culinary adventures can be a testament to that. ;)
Polly works at a records company and she got this famous local singer to come and perform at the wedding reception. I don’t know his name but my girlfriend told me he’s the one who sang the Hokkien song “If I had a billion dollars”. No, not the “I wanna be a billionaire” song currently on the airwaves, this is old skool stuff.
He did a parody of other well known Chinese artists and I can’t get most of his references coz I don’t listen to that genre of music but it was quite entertaining.
During the interlude, there came a dish of prawns – it’s done in a yin yang presentation, with half of it being deep fried butter prawns topped with mayo and the other fried in hot sauce.
I preferred the butter prawns and it was so crunchy that you can eat the entire thing, head and tail. At least that’s how I eat my prawns. A lot of people are surprised that I can eat the entire thing without shelling. I guess it’s equal part laziness and having a taste for the shell – I think it tastes better whole.
Another must have dish during weddings is fish – this is a steamed fish which I can’t identify. However, I really liked the soft texture and the sauce that it was done with. I like this kind of fish, I don’t know when I started liking fish, since I never used to as a kid, same with vegetables.
…then came the best dish of the wedding reception. This is hands down is the most delicious thing that I had that day. It’s roasted suckling pig.
I like the thinly sliced crispy skin and the BBQ sauce served under it. The presentation is really awesome too – you can clearly see that the entire pig has been served.
The tongue of the sucking pig was something I had to work very hard to get. I like the taste of tongue – you can find canned versions of it but the best thing is to eat it fresh in England or Australia.
There were a lot of dishes that day – this is paper wrapped chicken. It’s cooked inside wrapping to produce meat that literally melts in your mouth. It’s tender and all the flavors are preserved due to the cooking method.
I couldn’t eat very much after that but there was a serving of sliced abalone, ham, broccoli, mushrooms and a rare (and expensive) type of seafood that I don’t know the name of. It’s chewy and it tastes like clams.
The final dish was rather unique as well – it’s ice cream! I found that it suits the weather rather well. We saw one person eating it with chopsticks and another eating it with a soup spoon at another table. Jeanie thought it was pretty funny and I took several photos of me doing it as well.
When in Tangkak…
…do as the Tangkak-ians do.
Cheers to the newlyweds!
All the best in all your future endeavors! :)
I really enjoyed this experience and though I was just about nodding off on the drive back, a quick pit stop and an energy drink resolved that.
It was a really fun weekend and a good opportunity to meet the girlfriend’s friends. :D