The Dreaded Weiya!

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Food Photos by MJ Klein

At this time of year there are many articles about people in Taiwan attending their company weiya or banquet. I don’t know why but most people write badly about them, as if they hate them. Personally I like weiya banquets and Hui-chen and I were invited to one recently. I like these banquets because it gives me a chance to meet with workers and bosses in an informal manner, do some drinking with them and get a chance to rub shoulders without any pressure. I’ve seen a few bosses get drunk and let loose and even sing a little karaoke. This article will stick to the food though, because although some people hate the weiya, I like the weiya food!

Weiya Photos
First out of the chute was this appetizer dish, consisting of (clockwise from the bottom) imitation crab meat with a Hollandaise sauce, fish skin, sliced noodles, some kind of seafood skin stuff, and sliced duck meat plus beef.

Weiya Photos
Next out was this sashimi dish, featuring slices from the fish shown on the plate (sliced fish meat is on the bottom of the photo), lobster meat with roe, decorative displays of the lobster tail and fish carcass, and smoked preserved fish roe roll.

Weiya Photos
Next, it’s Black chicken soup, with that special “medicine” flavor that just cannot be avoided at any self-respecting weiya. Personally I could do without this one.

Weiya Photos
The presentation of this next dish was really cool. These are supposed to be little “goldfish” going around the outside.

Weiya Photos
Although it looks weird, the stuff in the middle tasted great. It was made from Chinese cabbage, mushrooms and other gelatinous substances that shall remain a mystery.

Weiya Photos
And so did the little goldfish, which were made out of dumpling flour with little pieces of reddish something-or-other to represent the eyes.

Weiya Photos
This next dish arrived at our table with such anticipation that one woman could not contain her anxiety and she ripped the leaf open to expose the pork ribs that were cooked inside.

Weiya Photos
These kinds of fatty pork meat dishes are what make life living! You could fling the meat right off those bones, which is just what I did, too!

Weiya Photos
Next up: crispy shrimp! I like to eat the shells too. These didn’t last very long!

Weiya Photos
I hate lamb. It stinks like beef that has gone bad, so many times I feel physically ill when I smell that crap. This was no exception. Fortunately the people who sat around me are not as discriminating as I and they ate it all before I had to move to another table. Did I mention that I hate lamb?

Weiya Photos
This was the tail of the sashimi fish, and some of the lobster meat from the same dish. By this time, everyone was pretty much in the bag so no one said “wtf? when this one came out.

Weiya Photos
Scallops, melon and squiggly seaweed thingies make up this strange looking dish. Don’t ask me though because I was too busy downing Thai rum to try it. Oh, did I mention that I brought 2 bottles of Sang Som with me?

Weiya Photos
Our second soup of the day was this very colorful crab and cuttlefish concoction you see here. It was good but I wasn’t expecting the miso flavoring.

There are a couple more photos of dishes that weren’t included in this article, on my flickr.com album if you would like to see them.

Now, as strange as it might sound, the staff came and took our karaoke machine away from our VIP room. There was a large crowd out in the main dining room and they were having a great time. I stuck my head out of our VIP room and saw:

Weiya Photos
The whole Taoyuan volunteer police force!

After we ate, we went to the boss’ home and sang on his NT$150,000 system with the 42″ LCD TV. Sweet!

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17 comments

  1. personally, i like going to our company weiya. gives me a chance to hang out and catch up with colleagues from other departments and sites that i don’t see often. i just hate not drawing any prizes and going home empty handed.

    andres’s last blog post..olivia in her crib

  2. I would love to go to a Weiya. That food looks incredible. Our company party was a buffet in an Italian restaurant. Bring on the Weiya. That dark chicken soup tastes good, but the one time I had it I ate so much I felt sick afterwards when the herbs kicked in.

    owshawng’s last blog post..No More Ads

  3. A good friend of mine opened Anthonys Cucina in Derry a couple of months ago, anthonyscucina.com with awesome home cooking at lower prices than anywhere else but the NH customers either don’t know enough about his and his sisters place or are set in their ways going to a couple of other established places close by. Do you have any suggestions on how to get the word out that Anthonys Cucina is definately the best in the area ?
    I am the founder and ownder of Paralegal Associates in East Boston MA and assist people in need of the best winning legal research and advice on the planet with complex legal matters at all times (and por bono = free weekends), so if you ever have an unusual business problem feel free to contact me and I shall return the favor for whatever advice you may be able to give on attracting people who want the tastiest dishes at the lowest prices !
    I greatly appreciate your kind consideration and expert opinion.

    Michael DuPont

    1. Michael DuPont » i’m assuming that you don’t actually read our blog or else you’d know that i don’t live in New Hampshire anymore (or even in the US).
      but that being said, my advice about advertising is simple – advertise locally for local services. having a website is nice, but it’s not going to help much, as people will be reading about a place they can’t possibly visit because it’s too far away from them. i go though this with people often. they make a website, sit back and wonder why the customers aren’t flocking. websites are passive as they require people to go search for something. you have to put the word in front of the people as they go about their daily lives. for starters i’d go down to the Shaw’s parking lot and put an ad on windshields. a couple of telephone pole signs would help in a small town such as Derry. in this crappy economy, stores are struggling to stay in business and make money. i would offer cash to some of the local stores to put a sign in their window, or to rent space on one of those many outdoor lighted signs that you see everywhere. i have no idea how much it costs, but you can have the local paper stuff a flyer in their delivery papers, and those go directly to homes. you just have to get creative.
      4 or 5 years ago there wasn’t much in Derry and i’m sure this new place would be welcome. the best place that used to be in Derry was (i forget the name now) in the old railway station. expensive, but pretty good.

    1. Colby » allow me to explain to our readers: notice that Colby says “a lamb dish.” that’s right, a singular dish. that’s because Colby cooked it in a Dutch oven over an open wood fire in our yard back in New Hampshire. he also seasoned it exceptionally well and the other ingredients complimented it so well that it virtually killed the smell that i hate so much. i understand that lamb meat is good. i understand that many places prepare lamb and i also understand that many people appreciate those dishes prepared by skilled chefs. what i don’t understand is how/why people find that rotten smell/flavor to be appealing. it’s completely different than a fermented smell. i’ve eaten stinky tofu and i like it better than lamb! but Colby has the distinction of cooking a lamb dish that i actually ate. i tolerated the lamb flavor in order to enjoy the other ingredients. if i had my choice, that would have been a beef dish.

  4. I agree with your idea’s about advertising. It would seem that Dupont has wasted his time posting here. But I live right next to Derry and did not know about this restaurant. Maybe I will give it a try!

  5. MJ. The food looked great, and two bottles of Thai rum. For how many people/person?

    The pork ribs looked my favourite and I am sitting here drooling thinking about them. There were some strange looking dishes as you said.

    The scallops and melon looks like it was surrounded in hair. I love lamb, MJ and it was a big favourite back home for teh traditional Sunday roast dinner. One week beef the next lamb and so forth.

    I worked in an abattoir for a fair while and did my time on the mutton chain. There were two chains that killed 2,200 sheep a day 5 days a year.

    I eventual moved to the can-pack of beef chain and here we killed 220 head everyday. It was a lot easier job and we didn’t have as many stoppages and got home much earlier than the mutton boys. Also we could cut a little very fresh brisket off the cows and cook it in the boiling hot sterilizers full of water and add a little curry powder and man it was just delicious. Nowadays you couldn’t do it and those good old days in the meat works are well and truly gone. I would have stayed in this line of work if things didn’t change so much.

    Anyway great post MJ and it didn’t look like such a bad night and it sounds like the karaoke session would have been fun with everyone as full as a gumboot.

    Brunty’s last blog post..Thailand. Getting ready for the year’s biggest show. Family Night.

    1. Brunty » Brunty, i gave one of the bottles to the molding crew and the other bottle stayed on our table. the local people drank the white liquor and some of the blended whisky so it was mostly i who drank the Sang Som (but that wasn’t a problem!). you brought up an interesting point about how companies were run. i miss the days when you could take liberties, and the boss didn’t mind because you were doing your job well, and after all, happy people do better work. but these days the bloody lawyers run everything and all the fun has gone out of everything. btw, the Sunday dinner tradition sounds like a good thing for the family. i miss those myself. take care my friend.

  6. Hi Bushman

    I found your site through Entrecard. This article is very interesting and I think the dishes look wonderful. Actually I do not like weiya that much myself as our bosses never try to entertain us and the prizes are getting smaller each year.

    la.traducteuse’s last blog post..Pidgin in the Office

    1. la.traducteuse » welcome! i’ve never been to a weiya where there were prizes given out. i just enjoy the food, drinks and opportunity to meet business contacts :).

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