Saturday, April 18, 2009

A Foochow Table made in Miri

This is what I call a Foochow Table with legs which could be folded and a top taht could be taken off when not in use.

Another table top which can be larger for twelve people can be placed on top. With a table cloth no one would know any difference.

Most restaurants in the past like Hock Cheu Lou and Yen Ching had these kinds of t ables. The foldable legs were ubiquitous. And when banquetting staff started to roll out the table tops to the five foot ways bystanders would know that definitely there would be a huge banquet tht day.

The Banquetting staff long ago would be strong men and their attire was simple - Pagoda or Chili brand singlets.

There were many occasions when one single banquet staff could carry a wooden tray with five dishes for five different tables. I used to be amazed how a man could carry five bowls of sharks' fin soup on a single wooden tray on his head!! And then like an acrobat he would bring the tray down to one of the tables and place the bowl nicely at the centre of the table.

There wasn't any food presentation at the beginning of the feast like today. And music which usually comes with the food presentation like Star Wars Theme was entirely different.

It could be "Today I am not coming home" playing at full volume when the first dish came out!!

(I had this table personally made for me recently as my own retirement gift for myself...for old time's sake...It is a disappearing style. According to the craftsman he is too old and no one can make this style any more. The younger generation prefers imported tables from China or West Malaysia.)

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