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Oct 7, 2000 06:19 AM

Long Life Noodles at the end of a banquet

  • j

A chinese banquet was a part of every special event when I was growing up. My parents always ordered the last dish to be mein of some sort, telling us it was for "long life." I have noticed as an adult that most of the banquets I've attended don't seem to do that. Even when we ordered chow mein be served last at my daughter's first birthday party, the restaurant neglected to do that, (although the service that night was generally poor).
What gives? Mom was born in Canton, but moved to H.K. after the revolution. Was this point of view unique to her region/family? Just wondering...

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  1. Maybe the general level of prosperity here makes some Chinese feel that noodles are too humble (or old fashoined) for banquets nowadays. When we got married, our banquet ended with a fancy rice and Yi Mien, in fact, the manager (with whom we were somewhat friendly) wouldn't let us get away without the noodles. we were deliberately trying to get away from the set wedding-symbolism foods with our choices, but he absolutely insisted we get the noodles for the long-life symbolism (What?! No noodles?! NO,no, you HAVE to have that...). Too bad about your daughter's birthday party. Where was it held?

    4 Replies
    1. re: Maria Eng
      judy leibovtich

      Thanks Maria and Melanie,

      My daughter's party was held at the Hong Kong East Ocean Restaurant in Emeryville, CA, (right on the Bay near Berkeley.) The plusses were free, available parking and Bay views. I think the big problem was that there were two big weddings going on at the same time, and Madeleine's party was just two tables, so we got short shrift. One of the attendees who was from H.K. said he thought the restaurant was part of a H.K. chain(?) Anyway, I was glad to here I wasn't hallucinating about what mom said about noodles.


      1. re: judy leibovtich

        It's been a couple years since I've been to East Ocean but I've always liked the restaurant. Have been there for banquets, family dinners and dim sum.

        Jim said he wasn't that impressed by the dim sum in June. Wonder if this is a downhill signal.

        It is a branch of a Hong Kong chain. I've been to the one in Vancouver which has very good dim sum, but haven't been to the HK restaurants.

        1. re: Melanie Wong

          Not impressed at ALL. Nice view, though.

          ...but why on earth are we discussing this on "General Topics"? As we speak, there are people combing the SF/East Bay board for info, and they're missing this!

    2. m
      Melanie Wong

      Odd, long life noodles are still very much a part of the birthday banquets I've been attending.