I started a string regarding places for Chinese Wedding banquets in Toronto and I figured I should do a follow up. I got married about two weeks ago and after looking and getting my fellow chowhound's advice, we my now-hubby and I decided to have our wedding banquet at the Metropolitan Hotel, catered by Lai Wah Heen. We had about 80 guests, and the menu we chose came to just under $130/pp. This is not the most inexpensive place to have a banquet, but I felt like it was all money well spent.
Our menu actually was very nice in that it included dim sum for canapes during our cocktail hour, a full 8 course dinner and a dessert table. It was a lot of food of course, but what was nice was that we had the option of doing away the sharkfin - which we REALLY felt like was a waste of money - and the whole steamed fish- which might have scared some of our guests. The proper alternatives were offered, no questions asked, and the changes was made to the menu. We also had some guests that had dietary restrictions, and again, changes were made for those guests- even our Buddhist vegetarian was accommodated for with minimal effort on our part.. The food was superb and our guests are still ranting about that, two weeks on.
But what we found most impressive was really the service the hotel provided - namely Wendy in the catering department. She was friendly, knowledgeable and most importantly (and I am SO not kidding about this), she knew how to deal with my mom. My mom is a fairly picky individual who knew what she was looking for and what she wanted. Wendy patiently dealt with her, listened, made suggestions and made my mom feel like she was an integral part of the wedding (and she was!!) over Dim Sum in (and On!) Lai Wah Heen... twice. The process made my mom comfortable and for a bride who was planning this wedding by herself (the bridesmaid is in Hong Kong and in fact, so is the mom) this is a huge weight off my shoulders. Wendy was also knowledgeable enough to conduct the Tea Ceremony, help us out with the rundowns and kept me informed about what's going on throughout the whole process and the evening of the banquet. Her estimates when it came to the alcohol and the total cost was almost dead on. She's worth her weight in gold, and she came with the hotel for free!!!
Also included in the banquet was the use of one of their suites on the day of the wedding and the wedding night. It solved many logistical problems and provided a great place for the post party!
So, if anyone's considering Lai Wah Heen for a banquet - I would recommend looking at other places first and seeing if they suit your needs, but for what we paid, the Metropolitan and Lai Wah Heen is a great value if you are looking for amazing food and stellar service that only a hotel could provide.
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