Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums

Discuss Cooking - Cooking Forums (https://www.discusscooking.com/forums/)
-   Special Events Planning & Holiday Cooking (https://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f115/)
-   -   Chinese Theme Party (https://www.discusscooking.com/forums/f115/chinese-theme-party-18993.html)

hhaarrlleeyy 02-06-2006 02:26 PM

Chinese Theme Party
Hey everyone. I'm planning a surprise party for my mom's 70th. We are having Chinese food. We haven't decided on having a full dinner or just appies. I'm looking from some creative decorating ideas. My tables will be covered in black tablecloths with red table runners. I have some paper lanterns, but that's about it. The party is 3/18 so I'm not sure whether or not it will be outside, although that's what I am hoping for. Any ideas would be wonderful. Oh yeah, I have custom fortune cookies, we well. Thank you everybody. Have a good day:stuart:

mish 02-06-2006 02:57 PM

I have deleted my post, as I don't want to be culturally, ethenically, technically incorrect, or step on any one's toes etc. with party decoration suggestions. Too many problems arising, and I may decide to leave this site. Hope your party is a big success.

pdswife 02-06-2006 03:15 PM

Wow Mish. Those are some great ideas. Have you done this before?

mish 02-06-2006 03:38 PM


Originally Posted by pdswife
Wow Mish. Those are some great ideas. Have you done this before?

Thank you, pds.

hhaarrlleeyy 02-06-2006 07:54 PM

Thanks for the great suggestions. I did get chop sticks as well as Chinese Yo-Yo's. I'm trying to bamboo soba plates (small) to use for my centerpieces. I was going to put a candle on it with some stones and an Orchid. I just don't know what to with my patio area, where the party will be held. I'm going to put the small white lights everywhere and the lanterns, but other than that, I'm stuck. I appreciate your ideas.

Chopstix 02-08-2006 09:28 AM

I’m sorry if I have to get technical here. I am of Chinese descent and some of the suggestions made were actually Japanese in origin (kimono, bamboo mats, Sayonara). If by a ‘Chinese’ theme, hhaarrlleeyy means ‘Oriental’, then all the above suggestions are actually very good and appropriate.

I can see how it’s easy for westerners to confuse the many different Asian cultures. (There are long-standing historical issues between the Japanese and Chinese which have recently been rekindled so please forgive me if I find it necessary to make these cultural distinctions.)

Anyway, if hhaarrlleeyy prefers a strictly Chinese theme, here are some ideas:

Black tablecloth is a no-no. Solid black is considered bad luck and only worn at funerals. Red for parties is always good as it’s a lucky color. Have everyone come in red. It’s expected of guests to wear red at the birthday celebration of the patriarch or matriarch where all the tablecloths are also solid red. This is to wish the celebrant good luck though may look strange to the uninitiated. Place Fortune plants (or tiny green bamboo plants or small leafy plants) tied with bright red ribbons on the tables (Mish’s Chinese takeout box is a great idea). Hang red lanterns. For placemats, you can put plain white paper with some calligraphy on them – just use black ink with paintbrush and copy a Chinese character, preferably the word for luck (even if not correctly), or even just a few brush strokes (to imitate minimalist Chinese paintings). Have jasmine tea served from a teapot in little Chinese tea cups throughout the meal. Chopsticks are good. Serving chowmein noodles at birthday parties is a must because noodles symbolize long life which you are also wishing upon the celebrant. Other typical décorative accents/Chinese icons are: oriental fans, dragons, fish such as carp and goldfish, jade figurines, Buddha figure, incense (Mish’s idea), fret design, paper scrolls, oriental vases, the Great Wall, the octagonal bagua symbol in feng shui (search this online), Chinese characters, Bruce Lee, oriental shirts/blouses fastened in front by oriental buttons.

Good luck with your party!

hhaarrlleeyy 02-08-2006 10:26 AM

Hi Chopstix (cute name, by the way). It's actually Oriental in nature, not necessarily Chinese. I like the bamboo idea in the take out containers. I was thinking of using soba trays as candle trays with some stones and a lilly arranged nicely on the trays as my centerpieces. I thought about tea, as well. I need to buy teapots and lots of small tea cups. Luckily, I have plenty of time. I ordered the fortune cookies, however they won't be delivered until a few days before the event. Is black a no-no as far as all decor goes? Do you know of any websites that sells teapots cheap? Or any websites for asian party stuff? I appreciate your help. Thank you.

Chopstix 02-08-2006 05:15 PM

Hi H,

If you want just Oriental theme. then black is okay. Just use lots of red accents. Gold accents are good too. I'm not familiar with websites that sell Oriental party stuff. Also you can serve Chinese dumplings/potstickers/siumai, preferably in small bamboo steamers. You might want to serve rice in little bowls too. I forgot to suggest to hang Chinese paintings on the wall, or wear outfits with a chinese collar and buttons.

From the Japanese, you can use Zen design ideas, like miniature bonsai trees, ikebana (minimalist flower arrangements), artfully-arranged pebbles and sand raked with distinct patterns. Other Japanese things are transluscent paper screens (light-colored wood and paper paneling), origami (folded paper art), sushi, cherry blossoms, tatami mats, noguchi paper lanterns.

I think you're on the right track as it is. You might want to watch Memoirs of a Geisha (Japanese) or Disney's Mulan (Chinese) to get more ideas ... Good luck!

hhaarrlleeyy 02-13-2006 12:54 PM

Asian theme
Any good ideas on how to display the chop sticks and yo-yos?

texasgirl 02-13-2006 04:26 PM


Originally Posted by mish
I have deleted my post, as I don't want to be culturally, ethenically, technically incorrect, or step on any one's toes etc. with party decoration suggestions. Too many problems arising, and I may decide to leave this site. Hope your party is a big success.

Mish, I sent you a pm. Please don't leave!!

hhaarrlleeyy 02-13-2006 08:14 PM

Wow, what happened? I'm sorry you don't feel comfortable sharing your suggestions with me. If you want, you can e-mail me. krigg01@msn.com.

jkath 02-13-2006 09:03 PM

Chopstix, your ideas are wonderful! I can just picture them! I especially love the ideas of asking the guests to wear red to wish Mom good luck!

Chopstix 02-20-2006 06:37 PM

Hi Mish! Please don't leave DC. I've sent you a PM.

Chopstix 02-20-2006 06:43 PM

Thanks Jkath! :smile:

H, Another idea is to serve Japanese seeweed snacks, peanuts, and other oriental munchies before dinner.

Claire 03-11-2006 09:38 AM

If you're going for an overal Asian influence (a la Hawaii, where all Asian cuisines mix), I can recommend nagi maki. Negi (I'm spelling it this way, but since it isn't done with our alphabet, you'll see it as nage, nagi, etc), if I remenber correctly, refers to green onions, and maki means to roll. At any rate, you take some beef and slice it as thin as you can. THEN you pound the living daylights out of it .

You cut it up into appropriate sizes, and wrap each piece around a scallion/green onion. In my family we also added a very thin slice of carrot.

You wrap it in these very thin slices of beef, and spear with a toothpick.

saute in a neutral oil and remove from the pan.

Deglaze the pan when you're through with one part sake (almost any fortified wine will do this -- if your friends like sweet foods use sweet vermouth, marsala, madiera, port or sherry, if not dry vermouth), one part soy sauce, and 1/2 part sugar.

A real recipe for this is on pgs 168-169 of the most recent edition of Joy of Cooking.

I've cheated and used jam, jellies, and syrups to replace the sugar. I use whatever cuts of beef I can get on sale (after all, I'm going to beat the living daylights out of it).

I like this one because I can make it a day or two in advance. It can be served at room temperature. It's a bit of work in advance, but it always a hit.

Constance 03-11-2006 10:18 AM

I buy a lot of party supplies from Oriental Trading. Here's the URL:


mish 03-13-2006 11:56 AM


Originally Posted by hhaarrlleeyy
It's actually Oriental in nature, not necessarily Chinese. I like the bamboo idea in the take out containers.

Glad you liked my suggestions :smile: Since it is not necessarily Chinese, here are some more ideas: (Btw, if there is something that appeals to you, you can use it as part of your permanent home decor and experiment with your own creativity.) These are merely decorating/party suggestions, that you can adapt as you wish to fit your theme.

For the outdoors you could line these up in rows on concrete with some pebbles or sand on the bottom, and sit a tea lite on top:


Or as part of an arranged table setting or use the take out containers to send out party invites.

Indoor/Outdoor Mobile:

Suspend little umbrellas/parasols on an embroidery hoop (can be purchased at a fabric/craft store).

Mobiles - if you have a Chinatown in your area - there used to be glass wind chimes that would look and sound festive outdoors or indoors - & are probably inexpensive.

Parasols - suspend from the ceiling, place on the table, in drinks or part of a centerpiece. A light behind them would set a nice mood.

Chinese fans - make them by hand with rice paper or whatever you have on hand to decorate the table, walls, etc.

Pebble Water Fountains: Make your own, or check around for low cost.

Incense - adds a nice aroma.

Dinner Napkins - Can be fan-folded with a decorative napkin and ring of choice.

Paper Dragons - Check around Chinatown - place on the wall, etc.

Oriental Dinner Trays - hang on the wall, or place tea pot and matching cups on the tray on the table.

I love Kimonos! I wear them often, and have been looking for a special one to hang on the wall as part of my decor. If it fits into your theme, go for it. You could also drape an Obi or two on the wall.

Also, check out Pier One.

I have some more ideas, but don't want to lose the post.

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 09:10 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.