East Manor

When J was invited to a traditional Chinese wedding, I overcame my usual aversion to all things Queens and pleaded to be added to the invitation list, which was 300 and counting.

We arrived fashionably late, only to wait another hour before anything resembling food was brought out, mostly so that the lovely bride and groom could take pictures with everyone.  And I mean everyone!  I knew we would be treated to 13 courses and that it would be a long night, but I had no idea how long we would be there.  I’m definitely not complaining, since every aspect of the wedding was fun and beyond our limited comprehension of what a wedding “should” be.  Oh also, only about 10% of spoken words were in English, and most of those were words like “wow” and “hi.”  Still, I give them credit for having two emcees, each of which seemed to speak at least some English.

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There were no menus, and though J and I consider ourselves experienced eaters (or at least very vocal ones), I had a hard time identifying each course.  Certainly you can make out the cheese and spinach stuffed into the lobsters, the scallops with some kind of brown sauce, the noodles, some kind of soup (shark fin and crab?), a rice dish (which was sweet and definitely had beans, thank you very much, Danika), honey walnut shrimp (ala, Chinese takeout), and a cold cuts tray of mysterious origin.

The cold cuts, or antipasti for lack of a better word, were hilariously the first course brought to a table of mostly non-Asian people who were already 1) adequately confused, and 2) slightly inebriated.  I could be totally wrong, but I believe two of the sliced meats were duck skin and cured beef, and that red thing is definitely a barbecue-like octopus.  There were maybe three or four others.  You could say we were hesitant after that point.

After the second or third course came the elaborate computer-generated slide show, filled with lots of dancing lucky numbers (I’m assuming) and images of the couple.  After course four or five, numerous groups of people (who were apparently more important than some percentage of the guests and obviously us) sat at chairs on the stage and presented gold bracelet after gold bracelet to the happy couple, who at this point didn’t seem to have eaten anything.  I really felt bad for them, but they seemed to be having fun.  After a brief lull and talks of leaving early, our lazy susan was utterly barraged with course after course of dubiously identified seafood dishes.  Abalone?  Squid?  Scallop?  Yes and no.  Keep em coming!

Finally, I would just like to point out the requisite ice sculptures, which were curiously not a phoenix and a dragon fighting, as I would expect.  What gives?  I’ll let you hypothesize what this creature resembles.  The other sculpture (not pictured) was definitely a rooster, if that helps.  I told J I thought it was a hippo with wings.


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