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Melanie Wong | Dec 24, 201910:35 PM     4

Last year our family celebrated Jewish-Christmas at Peony with a traditional Cantonese banquet. Previously I’ve had yum cha here, and this was my first time for dinner. Though the restaurant was full, the place was not as noisy and hectic as lunch service. In fact this was a leisurely three-hour pacing.

Every dish was good or better actually, no weaknesses.Service was quite good by Chinese restaurant standards, including two change of plates. It was pretty impressive on one of the busiest nights of the year.

Appetizer plate: Seaweed salad, 5-spice braised beef shank, crispy skinned roast pig, barbecue pork, mock goose.

Mixed seafood and birds nest soup. It needed addition of salt and white pepper, then more flavors popped out.

Walnut prawns and deep-fried shrimp forcemeat.

Steak cubes, sea scallops, mixed mushrooms and green beans stir-fry.

Braised fresh abalone, black mushrooms (nearly 1" thick!), and baby mustard green hearts. This was my dish of the night.

Double Maine lobsters steamed with garlic on a bed of vermicelli. Preserving all the natural sweetness and delicacy.

Peking duck with steamed buns.

Dried scallop, egg white and tobiko fried rice. Stellar with fluffy separate grains, not oily, perfectly seasoned.

Smoked char siu style seabass.

Mango pudding.

Complimentary corkage on two bottles was included in the banquet price. The lightness of Heidrun mead worked well with the delicate dishes and cold plate. The 2009 Joseph Swan Trenton Estate Russian River Valley Syrah stunned me with the weight and concentration it has taken on. The Syrah was my pick to handle the hoisin sauce and Peking duck. I also glanced at the restaurant's wine fridges in the walkway and saw Shafer, Kistler PN, Phelps Insignia, 2005 Cheval Blanc.

Peony Restaurant
388 9th St.
Oakland, CA
(510) 286-8866

Peony Seafood Restaurant Order Online Oakland, CA 94607 Chinese

www.peonyseafood.com
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