December 26, 2000
For those of us used to tacky decoration in Chinese restaurants, the Chinatown Sun Sui Wah is a pleasant surprise. A grand circular staircase takes you to the top, upon which you enter a dining room of multiple sails. Imagine multiple vaulted ceilings, all painted white and brushed metal. In fact, for some reason Sun Sui Wah reminded me a little of the Sydney Opera House—it just has that kind of charm.
We were invited to Sun Sui Wah for a wedding banquet. If any of you have been to a Chinese banquet before, you know that a wedding banquet generally requires that the banquet organizer orders up very expensive ingredients, in the order of $400 or more per table of 8 or 10. So you typically get shark fin soup, braised abalone, lobsters and crab, all exotic and incredibly expensive ingredients. However, due to the large numbers of tables, typically 20+, it is very difficult to keep all nine food courses cooked to the chef’s satisfaction and the diners’ expectations. Sun Sui Wah managed to come close. The food comes out a bit slower than most Chinese restaurants in the States, so I think that helps. But from the soup, to crab-and-shrimp claws, lobsters, fried squid, braised abalone to fried rice, the food was again spiced just right, and served piping hot. I can just imagine how much better if we come outside of the banquet, when food is cooked to order, in smaller quantity, and served immediately. I can’t wait to go back.
From journal Hong Kong in America