Feasts and other Antics

The Mariners Museum in Newport News had a banquet that served a recreation of the 1st Class menu of the last meal on the Titanic for the large donors to the museum on the 11th of April 1998. (not a 100% sure of the year.)


This is the last first class dinner menu.


There also was a Private menu.

No idea how you manage to consume 10 courses…

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Ten courses are standard Chines banquet dinner. You just have to adjust your intake of each dish to get through it all. Remember you have to try each dish to be polite.

It takes a few wedding banquets etc. to get it right. It can be difficult with regular cries of “Yum Seng” (bottoms up) throughout the dinner, especially in China when the standard drink is Mao Tai and your glass gets filled to the brim all the time.

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The ones I went to in Kowloon the beverage was Brandy or single malt. The Peking duck head was shaken inside two dishes and when revealed whoever the duck’s bill was pointing at had “yam sing”.
You’re right you had to pace yourself.

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Yes in HK the beverage was mostly XO Cognac, as in Singapore, but with beer usually allowed as a substitute.
The duck head game I have never heard of, as the Yum Seng toast is usually communal:

I used to be good at that, with a very distinctive baritone voice and good lung capacity. (Out of training now)

PS> Suckling Pig used to be a popular dish at weddings, as it signifies that the bride was, or at least had been virgin to the groom, but there hasn’t been much of that dish to be seen at weddings lately.

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I had dinner a couple of times at the Jumbo restaurant at Aberdeen harbour in Hong Kong. You were shuttled back and forth to the Jumbo by boat. It was not exactly my restaurant of choice but then I was invited so I must not complain. There were an unbelievable number of diners at these round tables with rotating top but everything was served in good time like clockwork. Impressive.

As in Japan it was most of the times easy to outdrink the Chinese hosts. Once my host, when late at night we left a bar, hailed a cab but then collapsed. There I was with a totally drunk Chinese on the sidewalk. No idea were he lived so with the help of the taxi driver we loaded him on board the cab and then to my hotel. There the amused hotel personnel, grinning and with big smiles, carried him to a room. These things happen there and the Chinese have a strong tendency to enjoy the other man’s misery.

Next morning at breakfast he was not ashamed at all, like I would have been, but said that we had a wonderful evening. As it turned out business wise this was a smart move because after that I was his friend forever…

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Our navy had maintained a presence in Singapore since the Korean War with a ship being stationed there for a year at a time. We carried a team of HongKong Chinese laundrymen, tailors and a boot maker.
The officers were always entertained at a banquet towards the end of the deployment. Over the years the night out became less of a business meal and more of just a great night out to the extent that their wives used to attend as well. Perhaps it moderated the carnage.

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The Kiwi soldiers and navy boys were popular in Bugis Street, performing the “Flaming Ass*ole Dance” on top of the toilet block, or on the building on the corner beside:

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