Some more photos of Chinese banquet food. I didn’t photograph the whole thing this time. The food I’ll be posting here is more typical than the food in my last post on Chinese banquets, because I wasn’t doing the ordering.
The fancier restaurants will have more involved place settings. Here we have two plates. You are not supposed to eat off the bottom plate – when your top plate gets dirty, a server will bring you a new one.
The first course of cold dishes included vegetables and braised gluten.
Minced greens with pressed tofu (the white bits) is a very common dish at Chinese multi-course meals. I was mainly interested in the bunny tomato 🙂
More greens, this time wrapped in chewy sheets of bean curd.
Gluten braised in soy sauce and sugar with peanuts, shiitake mushrooms, edible flowers, and bamboo shoot.
Moving to the hot dishes. The three dishes in the picture above (shrimp, some sort of meat, kung pao chicken) are all prepared in a syrupy sauce. This is characteristic of Shanghai cuisine, which is known for being sweet.
More Chinese food. I didn’t try all of it.
We ended with a bowl of tangyuan/yuanxiao, sweet, chewy rice balls. These were filled with sweet black sesame paste. (Other common tangyuan/yuanxiao fillings include red bean, sweet peanut paste, taro, and lotus seed paste.) The soup is sweet and has fermented rice, egg whites, and osmanthus blossoms mixed in.
Eating tangyuan/yuanxiao represents family in Chinese culture so it was fitting that I was eating these with family.
Read my first post on Chinese banquets for information on etiquette, service, and why rice comes last.