Chinese catering in your home and traditional dining in Oranmore

Last week, I was at the launch of a great idea by The Three Gorges Oriental Restaurant in Abbey Trinity, Tuam. Their idea is to bring authentic Chinese restaurant food to your home if you are having an event such as a 21st party or indeed any birthday, anniversary, confirmation, Communion, a wedding with a difference, or perhaps the afters of a wedding party. Traditionally there have been other options available such as cold meat platters, cold fish platters, beef stroganoff, chicken curry, and I am sure most readers have had these types of dishes at many functions. The possibility of having your favourite Chinese food at an event will, I believe, appeal to many.

To make people aware of what level of quality they would bring to your home the owners of the Three Gorges, Kee and Cindy, invited about 250 people to the biggest Chinese banquet I have seen since I was at the Chinese New Year’s celebration in Kings Inns many years ago. In fact, comparing this event to the one in Dublin, there was a much bigger variety of food in Tuam. I counted at least 25 main courses, all served in big warming dishes, and which the team of chefs in the kitchen replenished as needed. My favourite dishes were the salt and chilli king prawns, the udon noodles, and the incredible Peking duck which was the meatiest I have ever eaten. The people around me were mopping up plates of General Tso’s chicken, spare ribs, spring rolls, sliced beef in Cantonese sauce, and for those who prefer the more traditional fare, they had a beautifully decorated and presented poached whole salmon with all the usual salads.

If you think this is a winner for your party but are worried about some guests not liking Chinese food, then Kee and Cindy can supply any cold meats or cold fish platters and salads that you require.

Earlier this year Kee and Cindy decided to move their business up a notch and the new outside catering is one element. They also entered a float in the St Patrick’s Day parade and won first prize for their entry. They launched a Facebook page and revamped the look of their takeaway The Emperor’s Palace in High Street, Tuam (telephone 093 60558 ). So hearty congratulations and it could be a lesson to other types of businesses or restaurants that are feeling the pinch right now.

The party was helped along by speeches from the Mayor and the president of the Chamber of Commerce, a disco, and a seemingly unending supply of excellent house red and white wine. If you want to see who was at the party log on to The Three Gorges’ Facebook page where there are about 50 pictures of the party. Their telephone number is (093 ) 52269/(093 ) 52270/(087 ) 6662038, www.threegorges.ie During the week I also visited the Oranmore Lodge Hotel and had a meal in the dining room. My memory of this dining room goes back a few years when in spring time the chef prepared special ‘game’ menus, they were wonderful and contained every type of wild game available in the country. The dining room has not changed in the meantime and it features what is perhaps the finest antique carved white marble fireplace in the county. It is very much a traditional type of dining room and features a menu that I think would appeal to most people. It is very wide ranging and must be a difficult one for the chef to keep on top of. I had a homemade rabbit terrine that was excellent and my companion had the seafood and potato cake with chilli dressing, also very good. The star of the night for me was a fillet of turbot in a buerre blanc sauce, a large portion and cooked perfectly. My companion had that wonderful traditional dish of prawns neuburg, large local prawns with a lovely brandy flavoured sauce. If you or your partner has a big appetite I guarantee that you will not have to ask for second helpings here, the accompanying vegetables were steamed new potatoes, a top class gratin of potatoes, chips, a really good ratatouille, and puree of carrots. I finished up with a dessert of strawberry and rhubarb crumble which was also delicious; this was served with warm crème anglaise and with a little cream. The staff were very professional in their service and the food was all served very promptly with no delay between courses. The hotel was extremely busy the night I called and does a great business locally with First Communions, confirmations, weddings, and anniversary parties. They also serve an extensive bar menu throughout the day. Avail of their superb daily lunch specials from €10.50 per person and join their lunch loyalty club.

For bookings call (091 ) 794400. www.oranmorelodgehotel.ie As always, thank you for your comments and please continue to email me on [email protected]

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