Sunday, January 23, 2011

Week 18_Let the CNY celebration begin!

This Friday was the beginning of Chinese New Year's festivities at our office. The actual Chinese New Year has not officially begun yet - but it is easy to see that people are in the holiday spirit (much like I was before the Christmas holiday!). The office enjoyed a tasty tea time Friday afternoon, followed by a celebratory company Chinese New Year dinner.

For tea time, the office enjoyed two different types of cake (picture below), as well as fruit that the company received as a CNY gift from a client. The cakes were wonderful! I have always enjoyed Taiwanese cakes, which seem very light and fluffy in comparison to typical Western cake. It leaves you wanting a second slice, and feeling less guilty, since they are so light - surely they can't be too bad for you, right? At first glance, I assumed the fruit was apples... but I quickly discovered I was wrong. After asking around, and finding that most people did not know the correct English name of the fruit - I got a few votes for plum, and one vote for pear - I decided pear would probably be my guess. A local variety? Your guess is as good as ours...
Fruit received as a gift from one of our clients.

Tea Time cakes! Left - "1000 layer cake," reminded me of pound cake.
Right - Turtle cheesecake w/caramel topping & toffee crunch crust, delicious!
Tea time was pretty late in the day this Friday, and it wasn't long until we all piled into taxis and headed to our dinner celebration. Dinner was held at a local Chinese restaurant, with traditional family style meals served on a round table and shared by all. (You'll have to forgive the lighting in my camera phone pictures...) The meal was many courses, including expensive seafood dishes and a famous soup that everyone seemed pretty excited about. Additionally, every table was stocked with a full bottle of whiskey in addition to a red bottle of wine - ready for the endless toasts that would be made throughout the meal & rest of the evening! Some tables finished off more than the one bottle of whiskey and wine as the night went on. Apparently, whiskey is commonly used for toasting here even though most Taiwanese are not regular/heavy drinkers. I stuck to the wine, just to be on the safe side...

Cheers! or ganbei! ("bottoms up")
1st course: Lettuce & lobster salad, topped with dressing
A few courses later: Chicken
They say whoever the chicken head faces is buying the meal...
In this case, the partners were not at our table, but they were in fact buying....
A vegetable course: centered with mushrooms.
Shrimp stuffing with lettuce on the side - wrap your own spring roll. Yum!
Fish. I have a particularly hard time with chopsticks & the bones,
but luckily one of the colleagues at our table de-boned the fish for us when it arrived :)
These were some, but not all of the many, many courses, and we also enjoyed a light coconut cake and fresh fruit for dessert. Our tables were separated from the main dining room by temporary partitions. Throughout the evening there were speeches, beer drinking competitions (for both the men & the women!) and karaoke was going on - sort of in the background. After the meal, I was a little bit startled to be informed that I was "on the singing list," and I'd "better pick out a song"..... I will have to post more about my karaoke performance soon when I have access to the party pictures....!

1 comment:

  1. Did they serve this family style? They did fix a lot of food. It really looks good.

    Be sure to write in detail about the karoke, your fans will want to know...

    what about pictures too?