If you’ve ever been invited to a Chinese wedding, birthday or an event where you partake of a traditional Chinese banquet, consider yourself lucky—you’re in for a sumptuous feast. Steeped in symbolism, the banquet provides attendees with a chance to sample a host of native cuisine, family style.
When it comes to food, a banquet often comprises of eight to 10 different courses, which vary depending on the type of event. The Chinese word for the number eight sounds like “good luck” and thus, the number is considered auspicious.
Seated at round tables for 10 to 12 guests, enjoy typical courses—cold appetizers, soups, various meat and vegetable dishes, seafood, fowl, noodles, fruit and sweets.
Fresh fruits—such as tangerines (luck) or oranges (wealth), plus hot sweet red bean soup with lotus seeds (good luck colour and seeds, which signify many kids) may also be served. And of course, enjoy your warm tea, which symbolizes respect.
Tips & Etiquette:
- When attending a Chinese banquet, leave your diet at home because guests are encouraged to eat heartily.
- However, don’t forget that you’ll be sampling anywhere from eight to 10 courses, so you need to reserve some room for the other goodies.
- Plus, you want to make sure everyone at your table gets to sample each course, so small portions are good, too.
- But, keep in mind there are more courses to be served, so wait as the hostess will leave the platters for a bit of time, but will take them away sooner than you may think.
- Although the order in which the courses are served may vary, depending on the event, they’ll still be offered in the venue’s predetermined format.
- And as with any host, yours will be happy to know that you and your fellow guests had an ample amount of dishes at their occasion, which signify prosperity and abundance.
To make everybody happy, banquet food follows a script right from the opening round. The restaurant lights dim, and a squadron of waiters’ bursts through the kitchen doors balancing platters heavy with a variety of food. This performance piece has become the standard kickoff for Chinese banquets around the globe.
Course after course, then follows, usually eight, since eight is considered the luckiest number in Chinese culture. Starting with a big soup of chicken or shark’s fin with an herbal, faintly medicinal fragrance. A giant fish, steamed. A smattering of other dishes. Then, finally, little bowls of noodles and fried rice, which signal the meal’s end—a polite touch of traditional Chinese culture indicating that the host saved the starchy staples until the last course to aid digestion and enable guests to get their fill of the more expensive foods, especially the meats and fish.
From start to finish, the most important element at a Chinese banquet is the taste of abundance. Come and taste this abundance of taste with Big Onion Chinese Banquet. We are very sure that it would meet your needs.