Chinese moon festival: A mid-autumn night’s feast

Fine dining experience marks an almost 3,000-year-old tradition.


Maryam Usman October 01, 2012

ISLAMABAD: It’s a lucky weekend, at least in the Chinese tradition. Families are rejoicing, lighting bright lanterns and devouring food in Chinese and Vietnamese countries.

That’s how they welcome the moon for a good harvest, a sort of thanksgiving. Back in Pakistan, some are enjoying similar delicacies at the Mid-Autumn Festival, or Moon Festival at Wild Rice, Serena Hotel. The festival began on Friday and ends on Monday (today).

“[The Chinese] believe that if you wish upon the moon and it comes true, then the moon (a deity in Chinese tradition) made it happen,” says Tania Arandia, the hotel spokesperson as she talks about the festival.

A seven-course meal awaits. Prepared by Chef Wayan Subrata, the dinner’s ingredients make it “authentic yet contemporary”. For starters, there are fish crackers and bread, followed by the Pu-Pu Mixed Meat Platter. Here we have honey-glazed Char Siu Lamb, Beijing Roasted Duck with Hoi Sin Sauce, sesame and ginger-flavoured prawns and crispy chicken. In the sidelines, the Autumn Salad boasts of cabbage, carrots and bean sprouts in a soy emulsion.

However, that’s just an appetising warm-up, if you will. The warm appetisers arrive as steamed pot stickers filled with black mushrooms and chicken vegetarian spring rolls. Next up, there is Wonton Chicken Soup and scallions. Light, filling and exotic.

Cut to the main course. Dry fried beef with chilli and broccoli, steamed fish on Asian vegetables and black bean sauce complemented by Szechuan-styled stir-fried eggplant and Young Chow fried rice.

Hold on to any food critique, for the dessert more than makes up for it. We are talking Hainanese mango pudding with coconut sago reduction (reminiscent of the continental kheer) and lychee ice-cream. Quite the sweet surrender. Finally the highlight of the evening, moon cakes are served with jasmine tea. Baked specially for the occasion, the chocolate-lined praline centres are easily any sweet-tooth’s delight.

The meal is served to a table of four people, at Rs2,200 per head plus tax.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 1st, 2012.

COMMENTS (1)

kerry | 8 years ago | Reply

happy mid-autumn day

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