Small Chinese Banquet Advice Wanted
I want to put together a party of about 12 people in a private room in a Chinese restaurant for my birthday in June. Having lived in Hong Kong for 11 years and traveled extensively in China, I know something about Chinese food and am happy to eat anything and everything. My guests are, for the most part, somewhat less adventurous but still game. I'd like to go to the restaurant in advance to work out a menu, rather than rely on its existing, set price banquet menus.
I'm trying to decide between Sea Harbour, Elite or Newport Seafood (which I know is popular with my friends, but I'd prefer Cantonese seafood - with some roasted meats thrown in for good measure. (Pigeon would be nice so that I can cruelly enjoy the looks of horror that I know whole roasted pigeons will elicit from a couple of my friends. And then enjoy their changed expressions when I convince them to try it.) Price is pretty much no object in this instance - well, within reason, I don't think shark's fin or birds nest are going to be on the menu.
I've liked the dim sum at Shanghai #1 Seafood but on my two visits for dinner I have been less than wowed by the food and downright annoyed by the service. (Although I suppose a party in a private room could be a different matter.)
So, whaddaya think? Are Sea Harbour and Elite my two best bets? Any other place that I ought to consider?
Yep, I'm leaning toward Sea Harbour. Money is something of an issue, but not enough of one that Sea Harbour is out of the running. I enjoy Newport but it doesn't seem particularly banquet-worthy to me, either. And it's my birthday, so I plan to please myself first of all. I haven't been to Lunasia since it became Lunasia - having been I can't recall the name of it before that. One of their set banquet menus online does look pretty good though.
Something to consider: minimum "booked" private room ranges from $350-425 per table, seats between 10-12 people.
Newport is much too "Chiu Chao"/Sino-Vietnamese for me. I just did half a room at Seafood Village (RH) and they didn't have squab that weekend, but can be pre-ordered. Sea Harbor & Elite are 2 solid bets, but I prefer Lunasia's dinner menu over Elite.