full-service vietnamese wedding caterer?
hi all. wondering if anyone knew of any full-service vietnamese wedding caterers in southern california. i already have a ceremony & reception location in mind (located in pasadena, ca) & need to find a caterer since this is not a restaurant location. planning on having the full 9-course traditional sit-down vietnamese meal so i needed to find a professional catering service that would be able to do such an authentic meal, but still provide a professional wait staff, etc. (that's why i can't just call any restaurant to have the food made & delivered ... the wait staff/caterers would need to know how to plate the food & serve everything). also, it would be great if the vietnamese caterer could also provide some "westernized" foods like a pasta bar and appetizers. we want to have a pasta bar for those guests who are not able to eat meat or are just not used to having vietnamese food. if the vietnamese caterer can't do all the food, then we can defnitely get a different caterer for the "westernized" stuff. thanks ahead of time for any advice. :o)
Traditional Viet wedding food usually does not consist of "Vietnamese" cuisine, per se. Formal Vietnamese wedding food has a strong Chinese bent and this is why most weddings use the services of Chinese caterers. Most (if not all) formal Vietnamese occasions have a strong Chinese bent because this is where the traditions originated. Many of the formal catered Vietnamese occasions I've been to used Seafood Palace or Grand Garden in OC/Little Saigon. I also had a dinner at 888 Restaurant in San Gabriel that I thought was really delicious. All the guests that night at 888 were Vietnamese.
Whoever you choose, I would definitely recommend getting a separate caterer for the "westernized" stuff or you risk being very disappointed. After all, you wouldn't hire a "western" caterer for your Viet/Chinese dishes.
My brother and his wife used Furiwa. I was a bit suspicious at first but it wasn't bad. They had their wedding at a Newport Beach Hotel and Furiwa were one of the few caterers that were able to accommodate them.
Because it was multi-cultural, they went with a milder menu but did the full 9 courses. The few things that were enjoyed across the board by everyone were: Roasted Chicken and Shrimp salad (versus the other cold salad served at Chinese banquet receptions), Candied Walnut Shrimp and Shrimp Balls (yeah, sounds kind of weird), Hot & Sour Fish Fillet (vs. a whole fish in bone), Pan Fried Scallops. The service was excellent but I don't know if they were Furiwa or hotel staff (a mix, I believe). Each table had two servers who served and poured wine/beer. Cocktails were served by separate cocktail waiter/tresses and at a full bar. I have to say those who weren't used to the 9 course Vietnamese wedding meal were highly impressed. I'd forgo the pasta bar and order some "vegetarian meals" for those who need the option. I think the 9 course menu can be picked just right for everyone to enjoy it. As for appetizers, I think they had a selection of 9 or so and they ranged from chicken satay to eggrolls, kobe wrapped asparagus, creamcheese and crab wontons, etc.
The one request my brother had was for everything to served off the bone including the roasted chicken/duck and fish. It does vary the flavors (and not as tasty in my personal opinion) but made it easier for all guests to enjoy the meal. Good luck!!