Banquet Recs for Birthday

Hey Team! I’m coordinating a birthday dinner for a dear friend and fellow eater, and would like some recs. I did a banquet menu at Royal Feast in Milbrae for myself last year for those of you familiar, and looking for something similar. Not necessarily Sichuan, or even a Chinese cuisine. Will consider any and everything! But, what I am looking for is something region-specific, family style, special/celebratory dishes offered, perhaps a private room. Could even be something like a whole lamb roast for a Middle Eastern spot.

I know at least pre-covid a lot of you would put together things like this for each other - so would love someone to chime in who could call out some highlights? Will dig in with the search function, too. And either way, if something comes to mind please call it out!

Most of Bay Area will also be considered, but we live in Oakland. We are ~8-10 people.

Cheers, and thanks in advance!

Kokkari roast whole lambs. The space is certainly fit for celebratory occasions.

Some of the Middle Eastern spots like Holyland in Santa Clara roast whole lambs I believe for catering orders. Their space is pretty utilitarian, however. May have to bring it home to celebrate.

Maybe easier to just pick your favorite Middle Eastern spots and call them up and see if they can roast a lamb / goat for you.

If you don’t mind other animals, Cantonese banquet restaurants do roasted whole piglets if you reserve ahead of time.

Filipino restaurants also do roast pigs. Generalizing here but their spaces are also mostly utilitarian.

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My family likes doing group dinners at Khan Toke. Some tables are big enough for 8 people, not sure about 10. Could call and ask if it looks like an option.

Eater’s EBay private dining guide is from 2018 so a bit out of date, I know a few of the restaurants have closed, but there are a # of others to contact.

Also, if you have your own DR (or can borrow a friend’s), Venga Paella Catering is based in Oakland but travels all over the SFBA. The owner used to have a restaurant in Oakland and the food was authentic and delicious. He actually started with the catering business, but went back to doing it rather than hassling with the dining-in restaurant scene.

Don’t ignore the tapas, they are marvelous! Grab some good sherries from a knowledgeable wine shop and do some tasting flights; it is a lot of fun for people to discover a world beyond beer and Zinfandel.

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