Jisan and Kwan Yeow’s themed wedding

Chariot of Fire

wedding banquet

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.

wedding reception

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.

bride groom table

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.

jisan wedding

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.

beer wine

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.

candy floss

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.

directions

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!

writing wishes

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.

wedding wishes

Next to it is a kiosk called Pop Drinks which had mini soda bottles as well as Tora and Ding Dang!

tora 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.

pop drinks stand

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.

ding dang

Sweet nostalgia.

marshmellows

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.

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.

props

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.

jisan mom luggage

It even has Qantas tags still on it!

group picture

We took a group photo here – there’s two photo booths actually.

retro props

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.

wedding photo

It’s little touches like this that elevates a standard wedding into something really quite memorable!

wedding photos

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.

cake cutting

(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)

wedding hall

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

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

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

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

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:

chicken medallions crackers

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

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

glutinous rice

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…

unity and commitment

…with a thoughtful orchid by the side of the plate.

cheesecake

The menu also had an aside that went: Stay tuned for the Celebration of Love “The Sweetness of Marriage”

the sweetness of marriage

It is a veritable buffet of desserts!

chocolate mousse

A smorgasbord of delights sure to please anyone with a sweet tooth.

desserts

Again, I found myself overeating but I couldn’t resist the strawberry mousse and the creamy chocolates.

yum seng

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.

table

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?

chan wedding

I really enjoyed myself at the wedding – it was a lot of fun I met a lot of old friends too.

jisan kwan yeow

My warmest regards to the newly-weds Chan Ji San and Teh Kwan Yeow!

hb jisan

I managed to get a photo with Jisan, the new Mrs Teh, too!

wedding pavilion

It was a great evening and I wish you both matrimonial bliss and happy endings! Congratulations Mr and Mrs Teh! :)

Chef Martin Yan Chinese food wine pairing banquet @ Mandarin Oriental

jacobs creek martin yan wine pairing dinner

I went to Chef Martin Yan‘s wine pairing banquet dinner at Mandarin Oriental a couple of weeks ago. It is actually quite intriguing for two reasons – I was a huge fan of his popular Yan Can Cook TV show as a kid and getting to meet the man and taste his cuisine in real life really appealed to me.

chef martin yan

He’s now doing a show called True Passion with Martin Yan on AFC where he pairs wine with Chinese food so I couldn’t pass up the opportunity when the invite came along.

martin yan dinner mandarin oriental

The dinner started with a cocktail reception where Jacob’s Creek served wine with various hors d’oeuvre before the six-course banquet dinner:

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

Chilled Scallop with Jellyfish and Marinated Cherry Tomatoes

This is the first dish that came out. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling and resembles the traditional cold appetizers in Chinese banquet dinners. There are four delicious items in this starter which includes a surprisingly tasty salad arranged on a soup spoon but the one I loved the most is the namesake.

scallops martin yan

The scallop is huge and pan-seared to perfection. It’s topped with scallions (spring onions), shallots (red onion) and carrot shavings but it is the pomelo citrus bits at the bed of the oyster shell it’s served in that makes this an orgasmic combination.

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

Oven Baked Sea Treasure Broth Served in Coconut with Puff Pastry

This Cantonese style double boiled soup is paired with Jacob’s Creek Reeves Point Chardonnay has treasures galore – there’s dried scallop, fish maw, shitake mushrooms, crab meat and even even abalone.

abalone martin yan

It tastes sweet due to the coconut flesh that’s infused into the broth. It goes very well with the buttery puff pastry crust that tops the young coconut shell that it comes served in. I’m not usually a huge fan of soups but this one is deliciously decadent – I even ended up scooping the succulent coconut flesh to eat.

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

Cantonese Style Steamed Cod Fish with Superior Soya Sauce and Baby Cabbage

This is the obligatory fish dish and it’s no secret that I have a weakness for steamed fish. I love the subtle flavors and fresh and tender cod. The fish almost falls apart when you spear it, and has a melt-in-your-mouth texture. Mmm…my favorite dish of the night.

jacobs creek

All the dishes are paired with a Jacob’s Creek wine and I’ve written about the wine pairings in Lifestyle Asia – Celebrity Chef Martin Yan Heats Up KL – and included two recipes from the night by Chef Martin Yan from AFC kindly provided by Joey.

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

Peking Sweet and Sour Prawns

I totally loved this dish. The prawns are really fresh and the sweet and sour sauce is delicious. Chef Yan gets this one done to perfection – there is a thin crunchy crust from the batter which seals in the tender and juicy prawn flesh. It’s paired with Jacob’s Creek Steingarten Riesling 2007.

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

Australian Lamb Cutlets in 3 Chilli Sauce with Jasmine Fried Rice

This is the main dish for the night, paired with a robust Shiraz. The lamb is amazingly rich and almost falls of the bone and the gravy goes well with the small portion of fried rice on the side. It’s one of the two dishes Chef Martin Yan cooked on stage and the lamb cutlets has a really great sauce made with ketchup, balsamic vinegar, chilli sauce and sugar. I preferred the sweet and sour prawns though.

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

Sweet Temptations of Chocolate and Mango and Lychee Jelly and Raspberry Coulis

This is the dessert after a wonderful and satisfying meal. The rich chocolate and mango cake/mousse is topped with an edible slice of chocolate with Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur printed on it. The lychee jelly and raspberry coulis at the side goes very well with it as it cleanses your palate after each bite of the rich dessert.

martin yan dinner group photo

This is our table at the dinner – got this photo from Wilson. Wei Zhi, Evelyn and Suanie was there too. I didn’t get the name of the other but the one in the Mandarin Oriental outfit is Bel.

martin yan

I also got to meet Chef Martin Yan, one of my childhood heroes. I can still remember the refrain “Yan can cook, so can you!” that he does and he hasn’t lost as bit of his stage presence. The guy has a great sense of humor and is very friendly in real life too. You’ve got to see him in action, the thing he does on stage is exactly like his cooking show.

mandarin oriental chocolates

There was also a selection of chocolates and candy from Mandarin Oriental to end the night. I was totally stuffed when I got home. It’s one of the best dinners I’ve had recently.

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