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    The Top 100 Chinese Restaurants (Really the top 1,000, but who’s counting) annual awards banquet

    By Jennifer 8. Lee | November 13, 2007

    This past Sunday I attended Chinese Restaurant News 4th Annual Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Awards Banquet, which was held at the New Yorker Hotel in New York City.

    Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Banquet 2007 Ballroom Shot

    I attended with my friends Nolan and Mike. Most of it was in Chinese, so it was like “white noise” (or “yellow noise” as one of them put it) to their ears but very enjoyable in that random ethnic way.

    One of the more interesting aspects is what do you serve at a Chinese banquet at a Western hotel? This is has been a concern for many of my Chinese American friends who want to get married yet serve Chinese food. Some things worked better than others… So first. They had random baskets of lettuce on the baquet tables. Not salad. No dressing. No croutons. Just …lettuce. No one ate it. And in the end, the servers just took them away.

    Random lettuce at Chinese Restaurant News 2007 100 Top Chinese Restaurant Banquet

    Then they had this weird hybrid of where the dishes were served family style, but were plated like a Western individual serving (note the cauliflower, the brown sauce was vaguely Hoisinish). See beef below, and also similar things with asparagus (not a common Chinese vegetable)

    Hybrid Chinese beef dish at Chinese Restaurant News Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Banquet


    Then they had dumplings, which made everyone happy, from Wei Chuan. And fried rice and a steamed fish dish (in pieces, no eyeballs or bones here).

    The dessert was a bit more creative. Apple pie wontons! (They had chocolate wontons too). Sadly, they were a bit lukewarm.

    Apple Wontons at Top Chinese Restaurant Banquet

    In the end they took a huge group photo of all the winners.

    Top 100 Chinese Restaurants Banquet 2007 Group Shot


    So the special event awarded the Top 100 restaurants in 10 categories — overall excellence, regional cuisine, take-out, buffets, best value, signature dish, rising stars, nutrition-friendly menus, asian fusion and metro favorites — which really makes it the top 1,000 restaurants (minus any duplicates). But who’s counting?

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