Chinese Wedding Banquets?
- Carolyn Yang
I'm fairly new to the Chowhound world but I enjoy reading the posts and find it all very helpful. I'm currently living in NYC and am getting into the nitty gritty now of planning my wedding (next July). I'd love to have a chinese wedding banquet and haven't had much luck in finding information on the web that is really useful. Can anyone suggest a reputable (read: authentic food that doesn't empty your wallet) restaurant in or around San Francisco? Any suggestions or advice is welcome and much appreciated. Thanks in advance!
I had my wedding banquet at the Empress of China in Grant Avenue..35 guests came to $1200 in a private room. There were peking potstickers, peking duck, sizzling rice soup, empress chicken salad, hunan beef, sesame prawns, sauteed chicken and snow peas, plum sauce pork plus tea and fried rice. The reason I chose this location was that unlike many Chinese restaurants it has privacy and a great deal of ambience: the Empress room easily seated up to 40 guests and was decorated with tasteful Ming reproduction lamps and furniture.The restaurant also has a nice little bar ante room where guests can wait to be seated and have a drink before the banquet begins.The food is not five star but would rate about 3.5 on the older style Hong Kong cuisine.And you can negotiate with the Owner to produce particular dishes for your banquet menu if you dont like whats on offer. A word of warning though these guys have two banquet pamplets, one for Chinese and one for western people...and the prices appear to be somewhat different for the same food.make sure you ask for the Chinese banquet menu as I believe it is cheaper..
Congratulations on your engagement! I got married a little over a year ago, so I know this is probably a very exciting and stressful time for you. I hope my info will help.
We had our Chinese wedding banquet at Harbor Village Restaurant in the Embarcadero. Most of our guests thought it was the best wedding banquet food in the City. And about 95 percent of them were typical San Francisco Chinese. I can't remember the whole menu off the top of my head, but we had a typical jellyfish with barbecued meat appetizer, shark fin soup, honey walnut prawns, peking duck, some kind of beef dish, roasted chicken, a black mushroom with choy dish, a noodle dish...and I can't remember all of them. My husband and I didn't get to eat everything our guests ate, but what we did get to try was very delicious! They have several different menus to choose from and ours was about $370 for a table of 10. They say their corkage fee is $25 a bottle, but we talked them down to $12.
Harbor Village can accommodate up to about 250 people with a small dance floor. More if you choose not to have the dance floor. There are also small private rooms that hold about 20 to 30 people or so. When my husband and I checked out the other restaurant sites in town, this was definitely the cleanest and the tables were set up a little fancier than most of the other restaurants. The service was also good, except for a couple of slip-ups here and there. But what wedding doesn't have a couple of those!
FYI, we also checked out or have been to banquets at: Hong Kong East Ocean in Emeryville (nice view but extremely cramped space), Gold Mountain (went there a couple of weeks ago...decent food, but decor is a little cheesy, sound system was so bad we couldn't hear any of the toasts), Empress of China (been there several times over the past couple of years...good place to accommodate lots of people, but the quality of food is not what it used to be), Meriwa (don't do it, filthy!).
Good luck in your planning!
I also had a good experience at Harbor Village. I was a guest at a wedding banquet there a few months ago, and they did a great job. The wedding filled it to maximum capacity- around 300 people, and I was so impressed at the coordinated service of such a large party with so many courses. Oh, yes- the food was beautiful too.
thanks for this message. i have been desperately looking for a decent place to have a chinese banquet. during your search did you find places for receptions sites where the chinese banquet could cater to? Or is that not even a possibility? I would like to have a chinese banquet not necessarily in a chinese rest. thanks
There are a handful of restaurants that do wedding banquets:
Harbor Village - Probably the most expensive. Nice setting and generally pretty good food. Can accomodate 330 guests.
New Asia - Cheesy setting. Reasonable prices. Can accomodate 500-600 guests. Parking is a pain.
Gold Mountaim - Not bad, but parking is a pain too. Can also accomodate 500-600 guests. Food is better than New Asia.
Meriwa - Service is slow and the food is mediocre. Can accomodate 300-400 guests.
Empress of China - Can accomodate 500-600 guests, but I never liked the food and feel like I've stepped back into the 70s. Great location - right at Portsmouth Square so parking isn't an issue.
Canton House - YUCK!
Yank Sing - In the Rincon center. Nice, but can get very dark. The food is great, but you have to pay $3000 to rent the center.
4 Seas - Never been there, but hear it's ok?
Koi Palace - In Daly City. Can accomodate 400 guests. Good food, but the pilars block some guests' view.
East Ocean - In Emeryville. Can accomodate 400 guests. Food is good and the view is great before the sun goes down.
These are guesstimates on my part. I've been to many wedding banquets and the menus are generally the same. Sometimes the restaurants are inconsistent, but that is common I suppose.
Look into Joy Luck Place in Cupertino or Ming's in Palo Alto. The Fairmont Hotel in San Jose will also do a Chinese wedding, but don't know about it first hand. It has lovely private rooms though.
I noticed that Mayflower restaurant in Milpitas had lots of weddings going on in weekends - a large place. Food is good - the usual chinese dishes/seafood, fish type dishes.
I had my wedding several years ago at North China Sea Restaurant in Sausalito area facing the water. It was OK, not spectacular place - amazingly fits 200 people. Kind of small. There was a crab dish that made people sick. It was about $20-25 per person including drinks, etc. 9 course dinner.