Friday, August 29, 2008

The biggest Chinese dinner I've ever had

Nearly two years after we began planning, our wedding weekend finally arrived, and with it came massive, massive amounts of food. The night before our wedding, the Kina and Moy families along with the wedding parties got together for a giant post rehearsal dinner at Evergreen Chinese Restaurant in Chicago. This place was a bit of a last second choice. We were trying to find the winning combination of someplace that was affordable (we were feeding 70+ people), clean, close to the church, and had good food, and Abby's mom was able to strike a deal with this place the week before the wedding. It was awesome. Unfortunately, I didn't get many pictures of the food itself, so you'll just have to take my word for it. Here are a couple of table shots though. As you can see, they are pretty crowded.
Normally, Chinese banquets feature a lot of dishes and piles upon piles of leftovers are the norm, but at Evergreen, they went completely overboard (in the best way possible). Abby's mom and I went to the restaurant a few days beforehand to put down a deposit and go over the menu. I didn't want shark's fin soup, which was one of the dishes on the banquet menu we selected, so they gave us three to four different dishes in its place (I guess shark's fin soup is pretty expensive). I don't remember how many dishes we had, but there must have been at least 15, including Peking dusk, spicy whole shrimp, shrimp with candied walnuts and mayonaise sauce, stir fried lobster, fried rice steamed in lotus lead, crispy Jon Dory (a really nice white fish), beef with broccoli, crispy chicken, stir fried green beans, tofu with chinese brocoli, at least one kind of soup...the list goes on.

In addition to eating tons of food, Abby and I also performed a tea ceremony at the rehearsal dinner. Tradittionally, the bride serves tea to the groom's married relative before the wedding, starting with the parents
and then proceeding to aunts and uncles in order of age. In exchange, we get marital advice and red envelopes stuffed with money. By drinking the tea, the relatives signal that they are welcoming the future bride into the family. I am happy to say, all my aunts and uncles drank their tea.

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