My cousin hosted a banquet at “Gingeri” (in Lansdowne Center) to celebrate the birth of his son.
This was the second banquet I’ve attended at Gingeri in the last few months, but I failed to capture any photographs the first time around.
As somewhat typical for a chinese banquet, this was an eleven course meal, served over 3 hours.
First course was
a “combination platter”. Typically a selection of slices of chinese barbecue meats, this one consisted of roast duck, pork hock, jellyfish, deep-fried honey garlic pork and a “buddhist” roll (consisting of sautéed marinated vegetables in a pressed tofu wrap). All of which were served cold expect for the deep-fried honey garlic pork. The duck was quite nice, and the honey garlic pork was very good. I’m not a huge fan of pork hock.
a crab claw in a deep-fried “prawn ball”. This was served to us individually, so I couldn’t get a photo of the whole dish. The prawn ball was nice, however the crab claw had a distinct “fishy” smell, which suggests that it was probably frozen before hand.
Third course was
sautéed scallops vegetables (snap peas, wood ear mushrooms, carrots). This was pretty good. The scallops were tender and delicate.
Fourth course was
birds nest soup with crab meat and fish maw. Again, this was pretty good, but not remarkable. (I’ll confess, over the years, I’ve been to a lot of chinese banquets, so for me, it takes something pretty special to stand out). That said, “pretty good” is nothing to be ashamed of, since that also means it’s meeting my admitting high standards).
Fifth course was
braised whole abalone with chinese mushroom and vegetables. This was served with a knife and fork so that we might slice it into manageable pieces. The seasoning on this dish was a little off, it could use a dash of salt. But the abalone and mushroom were nice and tender.
The sixth course was stir fried lobster with e-fu noodles in supreme sauce. When this is well prepared, it’s a luxurious dish. The lobster seemed to be just a little over cooked. Otherwise, the taste of the lobster and the sauce was sumptuous.
Seventh course was
marinated free range chicken. We were half way through this dish when the server noted that the kitchen forgot the dried shrimp and fried garlic that was supposed to garnish the dish. Actually, I liked this just as it was served to us. It didn’t need the dried shrimp and garlic.
As a side note: mistakes in chinese restaurants are remarkably common. I would estimate about one in every ten large meals (i.e. dining with the family) the restaurant will make some kind of error in the order. They will either serve us something that we did not order, or they will deliver a dish that was meant for another table. By comparison, this is extremely rare in “north american” restaurants. Excluding chinese restaurants, I can recall this happening only once.
The eighth course was steamed rock cod. Actually, according to the printed menu on the table, this was supposed to be rock cod. But it was absolutely black cod. Now it’s not a total loss, since I like them both and tasted alright. And moreover, the cod appeared to have been frozen at one time.
Our ninth course was
was braised scallops, shrimp and chicken served over fried rice. This was okay, but at this point I was getting pretty full.
The last two dishes were dessert, consisting of
and logan, red date and water chestnut soup.
By now, I was just too full to really eat any more.
All things considered, the meal on this occasion was a little hit & miss. I liked the chicken, and scallops with veg, and the fried rice the most. But was notably disappointed with the crab claw and steamed fish (because they were apparently frozen instead of fresh).