One of the tips we got about organising a wedding was “spend more on food”.
We interpreted that as “focus on the food”. Certainly this was especially true in “foodie” Singapore.
For the church reception, we decided to go with Neo Garden’s 18-course “Lavish Fare”. We paid extra to have a “Live station” (for the mee siam station). That is, there would be a “chef” to prepare mee siam for the guests on demand.
My colleague who was helping with the coordination was impressed by the decor and preparation. They took two hours to prep the buffet line, before the food was delivered.
The food looked very tempting. But… I had no appetite that morning.
After the wedding mass, there was still the tea ceremony to complete and I was feeling very uncomfortable in my suit.
So, no appetite. But I knew I needed to get some food in me, so I forced myself to eat a little. A small bowl of Mee Siam, some Yakitori chicken, and the rest is a blank in my mind.
But I did notice that the set-up was very nice. There’s even green apples in the flower arrangement. In fact, I think the reception’s floral arrangement were nicer than the church decoration! 🙂
However we did over-cater. We provided for 80 people, but I believe there were less than 50. There were a lot of leftovers and my cousins wanted to “ta pow” but Neo Gardens does not provide containers for that. I believe it is because of NEA rules on consuming prepared food within 3 hours.
So my cousins bought some containers from the shops nearby and helped themselves.
Glad that the food did not all go to waste.
For dinner, the feedback was that everyone enjoyed the food very much.
That really affirms our decision on the choice of restaurant. Boon Lay Raja really lived up to its reputation.
One guest told me that he had never heard of guests at a wedding dinner “ta powing” food.
But they did!
Many stayed for the last course even though they were full. By the second last course (lotus leaf rice) many guests were full and they asked to take away the lotus leaf rice.
Then when the “Onee” dessert was served, that too was requested for take-away.
PL’s father said her uncle was one of those who asked for the lotus leaf rice for take-away. This was the uncle that had arranged the wedding dinner for his daughter and was very picky about finding the very best restaurant. He booked the restaurant months in advance.
However, unbeknownst to him, the restaurant got into financial difficulties and had to close down. They soldiered on to meet their last obligation – the wedding dinner booked by PL’s uncle – but the result was disappointing. Without any future or a need to live up to their reputation, the food and service were dismal.
The uncle was disappointed and devastated.
And the story of that wedding dinner became the funny story to be told at every family gathering.
So knowing the back story, when PL’s father narrated how that uncle ta pow the lotus leaf rice, I could not be sure if I were imagining a smug tone to PL’s father’s voice. 🙂
But even if he were not being smug about it, I think he was at least relieved that there would be NO stories about the disaster that was his daughter’s wedding, and if the family were to compare stories, his daughter’s wedding dinner would be juxtaposed against the uncle’s daughter’s wedding and be seen in a good light.
The other good thing about Boon Lay Raja was that the cost was not high.
Sure, the venue was not swanky. There were too many pillars, the ceiling was too low and that meant the place was noisy, And the sound system wasn’t great.
Moreover, because we only had 28 tables (the restaurant can hold 60 tables), Boon Lay Raja had already warned us that they would still be open to take in walk-in customers. So we did not have exclusive use of the restaurant, but it was fine.
The restaurant was focused on the most important thing: the food.
And from the stories about the food, we’re glad we focused on the food.