A Wedding Feast at The Grand Salon, Grand Hyatt Hotel

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On Saturday evening, I attended a good friend’s wedding dinner at The Grand Hyatt and it was an unforgettable evening. Aside from the traditional Chinese eight-course feast that contained a little twist, there was a Martini Bar before dinner, and after, Whiskey and Cheese with a dancefloor to burn off the calories.  My friend really knew how to throw a party! I’m also pretty sure it was not GH’s standard wedding package and my friend must have definitely paid more for the extra frills. And I was only too delighted and lucky to be invited to her celebration.

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The wedding began at 7pm at the Bar just outside the Grand Salon Ballroom with an open kitchen. A couple of mocktails for the teetolers and three types of Martinis were on offer: Passion fruit, Lychee and Espresso. I found the Passion Fruit Martinis especially refreshing and in all, I had six glasses even before dinner had began…

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At the same time, canapes were served to whet our appetites; Peking Duck Pancakes and mini Truffle Risotto Balls. The Peking Duck Pancakes with it’s thin duck filling and doughy pancake was forgettable but the Truffle Risotto Balls served in little cupcake liners were a different story. They were delicious! Served piping hot, the little gems were crisp on the outside and inside tender with the al dente risotto generously filled with mushrooms and cheese. The thick truffle cream on top was truffly-rich and especially addictive – my friends and I could not get enough. Each tray was quickly emptied even before half the waiter could reach length of the bar was reached.

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For the dinner feast, it was supposed to be a typical eight course dinner. However for that evening the seven savoury course were Chinese but the dessert option was a unexpected Pistachio Panna Cotta! I was so excited. And could not wish for dessert to come quickly enough so as to get my hands on them but first I had to conquer seven courses…

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For the appetizers, each waiter carried out a huge silver tray with five big plates and placed it on a rack near to each table. They painstakingly portioned out into ten plates. When all ten plates were portioned out, they were served together per table. This process took a while but the risotto balls and martinis before had filled us all very nicely so no one minded. Appetizers consisted of five elements: spicy marinated jellyfish, broiled prawns, prawn balls rolled in thin roasted almonds, chicken strips in a spicy appetizing peanut sauce and a sweet beancurd roll filled with an assortment of vegetables. The chicken strips in peanut sauce were the best on the plate for I especially love peanut-based sauces.

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For the soup course, a large lobster piece swam in a thick well-seasoned stock filled with crab meat.

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The first protein was the Crispy Chicken. The thin brittle skin was crisp but it was the large piece of prawn cracker that accompanied the chicken that reallly shone. It was piping hot and I got the impression it was freshly fried. I quickly finished the cracker and my guy friend was only too happy for the extra chicken.

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For the seafood course, a little claypot on a little burner was served to each of us. It was unusual and looked inviting. It could have been a little theatrical but the flavours within were anything but. It was extremely appetizing and the huge abalone was fresh and juicy.

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I did not try this steamed fish and the scallops dish because I was waiting for…

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THIS! Black Pepper Wagyu Beef with Crystal Noodles (cellophane noodles). My friend loves wagyu beef and this dish had her name written all over it! Generous cubes of wagyu beef fried with mushrooms in a thick and dark peppery-soy-laden sauce and the chewy crystal noodles were gleefully swimming in the appetizing sauce. I mixed in the surprisingly spicy Hae Bee Hiam (dried shrimp sambal)  condiment and sheer delight ensued which caused me to happily lap it up and the flavours lingered on to the next day.

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And finally the dessert, Italian Pistachio Panna Cotta! I was so looking forward to this but it was a tad disappointing. The berries compote overwhelmed any pistachio flavour but the custard below was thick smooth and rich – it reminded me of a soy beancurd pudding and I could not detect the italian flavours. Still this little twist to the traditional Chinese dinner was well worth the wait.

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After dinner, guests were usherred to the dancefloor across the hall. For the next few hours, popular hits were played non-stop. This caused us to break out some serious dance moves.

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When we needed to refuel (for strange reasons unbeknownst to mankind…), one would simply walk to the next room and be greeted with this!

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The huge cheese table featured an impressive spread of cheese and the wedding cake. The cheese were displayed on wooden chopping boards and there were more than seven variety on offer. Each were also thoughtfully labelled. Also on offer were trays of crackers and ryvitas as well as baskets of three types of sliced bread; wholegrain, sesame and white. As if it wasnt enough food already, six little mason jars of assorted nuts, dried apricots and figs were provided for us to pair with the cheese.

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The wedding cake was surprisingly good! A simple moist and sweet Vanilla Chiffon Cake was layered with fresh tart raspberries encased in whipped fresh cream. The lightness of the cake was appreciated given the rich cheese surrounding it.

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What a splendid evening and I was sad when it all ended and good times stopped.

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