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Our Cantonese "banquet" at Wings Chinese Fast Food (Southbay)

Alice Patis | Mar 29, 2006 08:11 PM

This steam-table shop in suburbia Campbell makes a great lunch banquet. I swear. I have the pictures to prove it (see link to album). Okay not a wedding banquet or a “my son just got admitted to MIT” banquet. I’m totally misusing the word ‘banquet’ but I don’t know how to call it when you arrange the menu ahead of time, show up with 10 people, and eat a Cantonese feast of many dishes served in sequence. But that’s what you can get here. The trick is to call to arrange the menu with the cook/owner ahead of time. Oh and you have to know Cantonese.

I know someone at work who does, and he takes our requests for dishes and arranges the menu with the cook a couple days before our lunch. Since there’s no menu to choose from, you have to come up with ideas for dishes yourself and how much you want to pay per person, and ask the cook what he thinks. For example, we wanted ong choy (rau muong in Vietnamese) but he said it’s not in season, so we changed it to pea shoots. Here’s what we had last time for 9 people:

Steamed Prawns
Gai Lan (Chinese broccoli)
Braised tofu with Chinese mushroom in oyster sauce (2 orders)
King To Boneless Ribs
Pea shoots with garlic (2 orders)
Mushrooms & Broccoli
Salt and Pepper Squid
Beef chow fun (dry style)

The food is freshly prepared with good ingredients, and cooked with attention; unlike the steam table slop they have to have, in order to stay in business. The only thing above I didn’t like were the King To ribs, which were like the scary red sweet & sour pork, only with a fancy name. But it was a request from one of us in our group. The beef chow fun had only a slight wok hay charred flavor; it’s not the best around, but generous with the meat and sprouts.

The total came to $11 per person, including drink, tax and a good tip (even though it’s pretty bare service; you get your own soda from the fountain, and help clear the table). Atmosphere is really bare bones, and our group of 9 took up all but 2 of the tables there. And you’re eating from foam plates with disposable chosticks. But they served the food in real plates, unlike previous times when the food was served in a mix of foam plates & mini catering trays.

If you decide to do this, call the Campbell Wings and ask for Paul (the cook/owner); none of the other Wings locations will do this, that I know of. 8 people is the best number (10 is ok, but try to avoid peak lunch hour). When you come in, don’t be scared off by the lemon chicken, orange chicken, sweet & sour pork, and mushy beef & broccoli in the steam tables. Unless you like that stuff.

Wings Chinese Fast Food
3617 Union Ave, Campbell, CA 95008
(408) 879-9578

Link: http://www.kodakgallery.com/Slideshow...

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