Feb 22

XO Soused S2 E1 - The banquet experience...from the other side of the pass

Andrew Wong and Mukta Das
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A fortnightly chat about techniques and dishes from a professional Chinese kitchen, their history and their cultural setting
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We kick off season 2 of XO Soused with an update from Andrew about the swap he has made to his evening menu - from à la carte dining to a fixed banquet menu - at his restaurant A. Wong. This has meant changing from catering for a variety of guests who bring different appetites: ‘some people eat more, some people eat less, some people…. have five or six different dishes, others just want to have a duck in the middle’ to serving 19 different dishes to every guest across four or five courses.

What do these changes now demand from Andrew’s kitchen brigade and how has this changed Andrew’s role at the pass? Is this different from the organisation of banquets in Chinese history? Can Mukta’s analysis of Qing-era banqueting menus help Andrew with new ideas for preparation and for dishes that buy his kitchen the time and fluidity it needs? How will Andrew integrate Mukta’s analysis into his future banqueting menus?

A grid of nine images of dishes
Nine of the 18 dishes that were on a trial banqueting menu, tested out in January 2022, a week before the official launch on 1 Feb 2022. Andrew has since gone on to tweak, tinker with and replace some of these dishes. Source: Mukta Das

XO Soused has been a fortnightly audio newsletter. Intro and outro music: 遊子 [wanderer] by mafmadmaf.com

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