The whole object of travel is not to set foot on foreign land; it is at last to set foot on one’s own country as a foreign land.” – G.K. Chesterton

Friday, 29 May 2009

Wedding feast in Ontario

I don't usually blog about wedding food unless it's good, and the Chinese banquet we had at the reception dinner for my friend's wedding during our short trip to Toronto was very nice, especially considering that it was held in a hotel (the Hilton Suites in Markham). I suppose that good Chinese food is to be expected in Markham (a town about 30 minutes out of downtown Toronto), because its population is dominated by a rather large number of Chinese Canadians. Dinner was an extravagant 12-course affair, and the waiters would bring out each dish in a large platter/bowl and serve everyone a portion of the course. One of the waiters assigned to our table would actually show the table each dish before serving the food, which I thought was a nice service because these were expensive stuff and it was nice to be able to appreciate each course in all its glory before being decimated into individual servings. All courses were good quality and tasty, but the following were the the ones that stood out.

Hilton Royale Suckling Pig Platter with Jelly Fish - the tender meat, crispy skin and gelatinous jelly fish were a textural delight on the palate
Golden Crispy Eel Roll - unagi (freshwater eel) wrapped with nori (seaweed) then lightly deepfried. Yummy and not greasy at all.

Braised Shark's Fin Soup with Crab Meat - excellent seafood marriage of fish and crustacean - not very ethical to eat, but delicious nonetheless.
Braised Whole Fresh Abalone with Supreme Sauce - this was surprisingly good! The abalone was very tender - in fact, the most tender abalone I've ever had. For some reason abalone is a tough meat, which I thought was due to overcooking, but I've had sashimi (raw) abalone and it's also pretty tough. The 'Supreme' sauce was very umami.

Wok-baked Lobster with Sake - how good does that look? I don't even need to write anything here because the photo says it all!

Dessert time! I love Asian desserts because they're light enough to enjoy after a huge meal. The Chilled Fresh Strawberry Puree with Sago Cream was really refreshing and not too sweet, and the Chinese Petit Four Platter was lovely with apricot glutinous balls and fruity jellies.

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