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State banquet cuisine is now served!!

On October 8, President Chen Shui-Bian (陳水扁) selected Evergreen Laurel Hotel (Keelung) to honor the president of Gambia with a banquet, and this hotel specially designed state banquet dishes.

The state banquet menu was carefully designed by the head chef, mainly based on famous seafood cuisine and exquisite Temple Gate street cuisine, mixing in local special feature dishes. The state banquet menu was discussed among all the chefs to confirm the mastery of every aspect of the cuisine before it was set.

The first course appetizer was the jin xiu fei cui platter made up of Cantonese-style cold chicken with healthy vegetables, plus a Western-style fresh tart fruit, salmon croquet, roast duck, and goose liver p?t?. The second course soup was ding bian cuo, a famous street cuisine of Keelung. The cuo refers to the circle of mi jiang made of ground rice that circles the boiling soup in the center of the pot. The mi jiang is baked and steamed at the same time, becoming a delicacy known as golden ding bian cuo formed by pieces that stick together. The head chef specially simmered chicken and scallops in a soup with special simmering pots, adding mushrooms, cabbage, and then ding bian cuo, making the rich soup stock even fresher and sweeter. The third course Laurel lamb chops and tian fu luo had lamb chops marinated in the chef’s special sauce accompanied by tian fu luo made of fish paste specially selected from Keelung fishing harbor, demonstrating that the dishes used local seafood ingredients. The fourth dish was crispy taro root chicken, with taro root mixed with chicken, mountain yam, and water chestnut all sliced into thin pieces, then breaded and fried into golden crispy taro root chicken pieces. The fifth course was orange sauce roasted bamboo which used local green bamboo with special orange sauce poured inside holes dug out of the bamboo pieces, releasing the subtle orange flavor. The sixth course was steamed eel, steaming out the fresh flavor of the eel with a light steaming method, giving it a thoroughly enjoyable texture that is soft on the outside and firm on the inside, smooth and creamy. It is accompanied by preserved potherb mustard in a soup seasoned with ginger and a layer of smooth and fine tofu on the bottom, presenting a unique texture. The seventh course was a fresh fruit platter. The eighth dish was a refined dessert, the award-winning mountain yam pudding created by the pastry chef. It is pudding with the health benefits of mountain yam, displaying the essence of Western and Chinese desserts, along with coconut cake. The ninth course was muskmelon gelatin. Keelung agar is cooked into gelatin and cut into pieces. Then it is mixed in with coconut flavored sago cream and poured into the cavity of the subtle and fresh muskmelon. This lightly sweet and delicious muskmelon gelatin was the period that perfectly ended this state banquet of gourmet dishes.

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