Saturday, July 21, 2007

Two weddings and one full belly

How much wedding food can this girl handle? Apparently A LOT!

The wedding tour began with an elaborate northern Indian celebration at the Ritz. As soon as we stepped into the great hall, energetic costumed bongo dancers greeted us with songs while servers passed around mango lassies and Indian snacks. Our late arrival scored me a prime spot near the elevator bay when the most decked out bride I've ever seen emerged to meet her groom. The bride had so much gold and gem draped all over, around, and behind her, I was surprised that she could move at all. Once I got pass the sparkles, it was obvious that our friend's wife was quite the beauty with or without the blings.
Her grand entrance was followed by a slew of complicated wedding rituals involving both families and a spiritual man under a flower-covered tent in the ballroom. We couldn't understand much of it, but could still gather that some sort of negotiation took place between the families for the hand of the bride. Once a "deal" was struck, yards of threads were tied around the new couple, who were made to circle a fire pit quite a few times. This was no easy task, I assure you. Both the bride and groom were draped in so much fabric and jewelry, one misstep could start a fire in the Ritz ballroom that I am sure cost an arm and a leg to secure.
The most exciting portion of the wedding began soon after more rings were exchanged between the newly wed couple. The couple already had so many on, the poor justice of the peace even got confused as to where the new additions should go and said something to the effect of "please put the ring on the third finger of the left finger"??? No one minded the little mistake though as the couple looked head over heels in love with each other and we could smell the buffet in the adjacent banquet hall.
Wedding food was definitely not bad food at this wedding. The Ritz chefs set out arrangements of enormous buffets on each side of the large banquet room and a long table of desserts at the center. The buffets were divided multi-culturally into Chinese dim sum, Indian curries, and tempura. How cool is it to have a made-on-the-spot tempura station at a wedding buffet - too cool! I passed on all the Chinese offerings, thinking that I'd be getting my share at the other wedding that we were to attend in a few hours, and went straight for the curries. Everything was tasty, especially the spinach and Indian cheese combo. The only disappointment was the nann. This usual favorite of mine was lifeless and rubbery thanks to the long hours spent on the steam table. Desserts were hit or miss, which was fine by me since I got one of everything to try in my usual style. The mango pudding was way too watery while the white chocolate cake failed in the way that most Asian cakes do - it simply lacked the butteriness of. . . well . . . butter. The creme brulee had a very flavorful custard portion with a hint of orange essence, but the sugar crust was pitiful. All in all, the best desserts were the exotic fruits that included J's favorite jackfruit. A little tart, a little sweet, and very crunchy, it provided a very refreshing ending to a spice heavy meal.

We left the wedding party at around 4 pm, enough time to do a bit of quick shopping before having to get ready for the next big bash in the evening.

To be continued.

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