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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

A Foochow Table






This is what I call a Foochow Table with legs which could be folded and a top that 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 fold able legs were ubiquitous. And when banqueting staff started to roll out the table tops to the five foot ways bystanders would know that definitely there would be a huge banquet that day.

The Banqueting 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.)

4 memories:

Superman said...

I used to eat at this type of table for many many years last time. I think really hard to find now. youngsters now prefer IKEA.

sarawakiana said...

Yeah You are right there.
In Sibu this was the only know type of dining table for families. I get very nostalgic seeing one like this today...
Nowadays young people like eight seaters or twelve seaters of different shapes - round or oval - or rectangle...and of course the very expensive Rosewood from China....
I hope my son would like to inherit this table from me collection of Foochowiana.

kamleng said...

i got very nostalgic too,seeing those marble-top tables at kopitiam around my place,Kuching.hope they retain these "relics".i found Sibu kopitiam very crowded,especially those near the wharf .it seems,the more dirty the more crowded -for some

sarawakiana said...

The rule of the thumb....the more crowded a kopitiam the better the food....
If you go to Kapit - which is a really good experience - it is hard to go from one table to another...sardine packed coffee shops!!
In Sibu - the shops facing the river have the best feng shui - best food and best business. So hopping from the express into the kopitiam is easier too...no petrol wasted...

 

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