Spring Chinese Banquet, Friday 22nd April 2005For years, I have been trying to negotiate a good deal at the best Chinese restaurant in Berlin (in my opinion). And for years they just told me to sod off. Well, thanks to the German economy, my favourite Chinese restaurant in Berlin has just agreed to offer us a really special menu, which is still been thrashed out, but it will be bloody good because I am sticking in there some of my personal favourite Cantonese dishes. The current menu is set at 22 Euros and is as follows:
- *Sheuy Kow (wonton) soup
- Steamed scallop with ginger
- *3 assorted Tim Sums
- *Yok Pang (Steamed pork "biscuit" with duck eggs)
- Ching Yee (Steamed fish with spring onions and ginger)
- Roast Duck
- Chinese soya chicken
- Singapore fried noodles
- Chicken with vegetables
- Seafood stuffed in tofu
- Fried Beef in black bean sauce
- Spare ribs in sweet sour sauce
- All the rice you can eat
- Chinese tea
Quite simply, a banquet of 12 superb Chinese Cantonese dishes for a fraction of the normal cost. The ones I marked with '*' are some of my favourites.
I keep mentioning Cantonese food because this dinner is going to be substantially different from the Shanghai-style dinner we did November last year. I like both styles, with a preference for Cantonese as that's what I am. It is also the style of cooking that one would normally get at ordinary Chinese restaurants as well, so you can now appreciate the excellence of this restaurant because I guarantee that you already would have tasted the Division 3 version before. I can't claim that the Good Friends restaurant would win the Bundesliga of Chinese cookery in Germany but they would probably qualify to be in the semi-finals at least, especially if you don't order from the menu, which is more geared towards, er, "European expectations."
One major advantage of Cantonese food is that it is definitely OK to eat with your fingers and it really pleases the cook if you make a mess on the table as well, because that is a sign that you are definitely enjoying the food! Oh, and making a lot noise is just fine as well.
And another thing about Chinese food in general is that it is best eaten with a lot of company because, well, it just tastes better that way! And we need a minimum of 15-20 people anyway otherwise the whole deal is off, so I would strongly recommend that you stop reading now and start emailing to book your place for April's Chinese banquet!
The place is called the Good Friends, Kantstrasse 30 (ecke Schluterstrasse), Berlin and the date, again, is Friday, 22 April 2005. You won't get a better offer for top-class Chinese Cantonese food this year so send in your emails now to firstname.lastname@example.org else you will wish later you were there.
Important note: By the way, if you do book a place, you will HAVE to come otherwise it gets too expensive to subsidise your non-attendance. This is a one-time special offer with the restaurant which requires that everybody with a booking turns up and pays on the night, OK?
How it went on the night...
I guess I can safely say that, if someone pointed a gun at your head and forced you to have this dinner, well, you could have done a lot worse. It was great Cantonese food, even people who didn't like Chinese restaurants in Berlin said it was the best Cantonese food they have ever had here, so I guess the chef did something right. And to make it even nicer, the restaurant actually undercharged us by 10% for the menu, though we made it up in tips, so it was a really good night for everyone. There is a big risk that this place may become one of our regular events. At least, if someone twisted my arm, I could be easily persuaded to drag the club here again. We had some nice new members as well. The lovely Marija turned up wearing a sweet little Chinese tunic, with a matching China doll hairdo! Cool. There were some people who wanted the Dinner Club tiaras and maybe we should really order some in, so we will be having a collection soon for the diamonds.
After dinner, well, we were so stuffed that we did what stuffed people usually do after a big dinner: we went out drinking some more! To make things worse, well, have a look at the pictures!...
Anyway, that was our Spring Banquet night so spring is now officially here!
Food More food More food! Breathing More food!! Afterwards Resting Giddy Other table Dwinking Cool lights Huh? Oil change Hmm