A few weeks after my third-cousin got married at Regent West Restaurant - Santa Ana, another third-cousin (the groom, who's first-cousins with the previous bride) got married at Prince Seafood Restaurant in Cerritos. Are you confused? The groom's paternal grandfather was first-cousins with my ba noi (Vietnamese paternal grandmother). So his dad and my dad are second-cousins. Hence, the groom and I are third-cousins.
The groom's father is also one of the siblings of the mother of the Regent West bride. My cousins and I, though, are closer to this set of third-cousins. Their father (my dad's second-cousin) lived with my grandmother for a while after his father passed away. Plus, they lived closer to us than the other cousins, so we saw them more growing up. Which really makes little difference to you, but to me, meant that I attended this wedding with a bunch of the cousins, as opposed to sitting at a table with just my aunts and uncles. More fun!
In fact, the groom and my brother were born on the exact same day.
Another random anecdote. A decade ago, I attended a wedding reception at this same restaurant with my grandmother. The wedding was on Halloween. They had a live band with a Vietnamese guy dressed up as Zorro. (The Mask of Zorro had just come out that year.) "We don't have Antonio Banderas here tonight but we have Antonio...
I think there was a Pocahontas costume too. Haha.
Anyway, the interior of Prince Seafood Restaurant was quite elegant. There's actually a second story with another wedding held the same night. I think there were 25 tables.
The flowers are pens. The wedding favors doubled as the centerpieces.
My aunts' and uncles' table had gigantic chocolate bars.
Chocolates in mugs. Perhaps chocolate-covered espresso beans since those are espresso cups?
Candles. Pretty nice huh? One table even had watches! I have no idea what brand of watches, but still... I thought the different centerpieces were a unique touch.
We arrived a little bit late so the appetizers were sparse. Miscommunication. I was waiting for the oldest '87 and her middle sister to come down to my house. They were waiting for me to go to their house.
I snagged the last shrimp cocktail. There was pate too.
Here comes the bride and groom.
Ready to eat?
We started with the cold cut platter of barbecued pork, braised pork, jelly fish, and seaweed. I liked the seaweed and jelly fish, but thought the clams and squid at the recent banquet at Regent West were tastier.
Honey walnut shrimp. Mmm. One of my favorite dishes. Almost everyone's favorite dish. Except cousin Q, he hates seafood.
Pan-fried whole scallops. The scallops had a nice crisp edge and the sauce was delectable. It tasted like crab and mushroom soup. We wanted to spoon up the sauce. It's hard to tell by my photos but the scallops were all very large too.
Braised shark fin soup with crab meat. Surprisingly, I liked the Regent West version more.
French-style beef. The beef was so incredibly tender. You know the trick right? Dust with baking soda to soften the beef. Just make sure you rinse the beef really well before cooking. One of my cousins bit into a piece of beef that was very bitter because it hadn't been rinsed properly. The snow peas were also fresh and crispy.
The pretty "rose" garnish.
Ooh, real Peking duck! Not breaded and fried duck like at Regent West.
Crispy and light. The steamed buns weren't too thick.
Lobster with ginger and scallions. As I said, can't go wrong with lobster.
Instead of the whole steamed fish that was on the menu, we got two large crab that were lightly breaded, seasoned, and fried. The crab was also pre-cracked for easier eating. So fancy! Lobster and crab! I've only been to one other wedding that served both.
Fried rice. Too full at this point. Although it looks really good right now. Was it crab fried rice I wonder? Must ask my cousin. We packed the rest to-go for the oldest '87's little brother since he didn't go.
Mango pudding. It was actually a large heart-shaped mango pudding, the size of the plate, surrounded by fruit cocktail. The waiter started scooping it out before I could even get in a photo. A little too efficient huh? I'm not so quick on the draw.
And can't miss out on the wedding cake. Those are real ribbons. They were taken off before cutting.
Just a basic light sponge cake with strawberries and custard filling.
No, I didn't catch the bouquet. I have before. When a bouquet fell directly on top of me. And umm, that friend is now divorced, so I don't think that's a good sign.
What else? We went through three bottles of wine since we were taste-testing them for yet another wedding! I know! My cousins getting married within a few weeks of each other. Also, a bottle of champagne. And the groom's younger brother bought the table a round of shots.
I liked the DJ's music. So we all danced a bit after the food was cleared.
The setting was rather elegant since the restaurant's interior was already nice. While I liked some dishes more than others, there were no misses for me. I liked everything.
And of course, weddings are always way more fun with a table of my cousins and three bottles of wine, a bottle of champagne, and a round of shots. Not that that had any bearing on my enjoyment. ;)
My other wedding banquet posts:
Capital Seafood Chinese Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Empress Harbor Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Monterey Park
Hong Kong East Ocean Seafood Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Emeryville
Pearl Chinese Cuisine (Wedding Banquet) - San Diego
Regent West Restaurant (Wedding Banquet) - Santa Ana (Little Saigon)
Prince Seafood Restaurant
11828 South St.
Cerritos, CA 90703
Monday to Friday 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and 5 p.m. to 10 p.m.
Sakura Paper Co.
(Invitations and menu cards)
1 year ago today, soon dubu kimchi chigae (Korean soft tofu and pickled napa cabbage stew).