I expected the food to be okay, but not as good as it turned out to be. The couple swapped white gloved service for big sharing platters. We hardly had a miss in eight courses (Chinese lucky number). The braised abalone was tender, not chewy. The pickled jelly fish supplied a great dose of flavor without being laden with MSG. Not being a fan of the dirty bird (chicken), I almost didn't try the Chinese fried chicken in a sticky hoisen-based sauce until my neighbor served me a piece, which forced me to eat it out of proper Chinese etiquette. It was awesome. The crispy skin perfectly set off the tenderness of the au point meat underneath. I almost went for another piece, almost. That's saying a lot.
I also wasn't attracted to the homely looking scallops. But a surprising wonderful bite absent mindedly ingested while watching the hilarious baby picture slide show changed my mind. Maybe laughing enhanced the taste because I was doing a great deal of it. The too cute photos included captions such as "chicks dig it" accompanying photos of the groom wearing the most dorky black-rimmed glasses in primary school. The artfully edited slide show sent the room into fits of laughter.
Many more dishes flowed out of the kitchen as the night progressed. We wrapped Peking duck in fluffy bun pillows and tangled our chopsticks in yards of tender fried Cantonese noodles. My taste buds worked into frenzies while my stomach steadily expanded. Many times through the night, I patted myself on the back for having had the good sense to pick an empire waisted dress that left plenty of room in the middle section for spontaneous growth.
My favorite of the night, "taro mud," rounded out a terrific meal. The purple taro mush coated the mouth in a silky and fragrant layer. The nuggets of ginkgo nuts studded throughout the mush provided pleasant textual contrast. Pools of sweet coconut milk added the quintessential southeast Asian flare and contributed to the sticky mouth feel. I loved this stuff and this intimate wedding.