Let’s get down to business with an Asian inspired menu!
Mulan is my all-time favorite Disney movie. Bold statement, I know. If you haven’t seen it, spoiler alert: Mulan is the best. She goes against everything that’s culturally acceptable in order to save her father and she ends up saving all of China. Mulan’s love interest Shang also happens to be my Disney man of choice. Plus Mulan’s horse Khan reminds me so much of my Wendy. Honor is everything in Mulan and I can’t watch the scene where her father straightens up, drops his cane, and proudly walks to accept his fate without choking up.
My love of Mulan aside, I wasn’t originally going to include Mulan in my Disney Dinners series because I’m no expert on Chinese food. I do however make a mean stir fry so I decided on an Asian inspired menu to celebrate one of of Disney’s most underrated films. Here’s how I hosted my Mulan dinner party, recipes and all!
Watch the Mulan episode of The Rose Table:
The Rose Table is in no way affiliated with The Walt Disney Company.
Photography by My Curly Adventures. Go follow her on Instagram @mycurlyadventures!
When my friends saw my dining room, they said that it looked the most transformed of any Disney Dinner yet. I pulled things from other rooms in my house to create the oriental look. The only thing I really bought for Mulan was the paper fans, which I used instead of my regular French art. I also replaced my Eiffel tower picture with this giant pagoda print, which once hung in my old apartment dining room and now usually resides in the guest room.
My mom had the great idea to write, “Honor to us all” on the chalkboard with some fireworks and a dragon. This was a nod to the song lyric in Mulan, “You’ll bring honor to us all.” I also covered up some of the teacups in my china cabinet with fans.
I pulled my orchid stems from the guest room into the dining room for the side table and swapped out my New Orleans slate for a rose painting. I borrowed this beautiful silk fan from my mom. I used my smallest lantern and scented the room with this delightful bamboo candles by a local candlemaker in my lakeside town, Candles by Carol. The lilies were also incredibly fragrant. The room smelled the best of any Disney Dinner yet!
“I’m making this up as I go.” – Mushu (and also me, every day)
Fun fact: my college apartment dining room was Asian themed so I pulled out some old table decor for Mulan. I borrowed my friend’s gong for the perfect centerpiece. After all, Mushu tries to wake up – and accidentally decapitates – the family’s dragon with a gong. I used a bamboo leaf runner with red tones, long enough to act as a placemat for the two end places. I used just a pair of unscented votive candles amongst the flowers on the runner.
“What beautiful blossoms we have this year. But look! This one’s late. But I bet that when it blooms, it will be the most beautiful of all.” – Fa Zhou
I wanted the flowers to be exotic so I arranged two kinds of oriental lilies with red tulips and mixed greenery. I loved the strong colors and think Mulan would have approved! I used two small glass vases and two bud vases, which could barely fit the stems. Between the flowers and the side table, the dining room looked so lush!
The Place Settings
I used my ten-year-old bamboo placemats, square white plates, old napkins in two shades of brown, bamboo napkin rings, and chopsticks for the place settings. Most notably I had a sandalwood fan at each place as a take home gift for my guests to remember the evening. Fans play a big roll in Mulan, particularly in the opening scenes where she’s trying to impress the matchmaker and in the end when she uses her fan skills to get Shan-Yu’s sword away from him. Go Mulan! The fans were a huge hit and looked so pretty on the table.
“A single grain of rice can tip the scale. One man may be the difference between victory and defeat.” – The Emperor
I played a beautiful CD by the one and only Chee-Yun Kim, one of my favorite violinists! I was lucky enough to cook for her several years ago (see the party here) and she gave me this CD as a hostess gift, which is only available in Asia. What a special gift! Everyone commented on the lovely music.
My friends really brought their A-game to Mulan! I was blown away by the gorgeous outfits. Becca wore an attention-grabbing off the shoulder yellow number and hot pink heels, Candy wore a little black dress fit for a warrior, Rebecca wore an off-the-shoulder floral maxi, Jason wore a paisley shirt and khakis, and Tara donned a one-shoulder pink jump suit.
For my Disney bounding, I chose a red off-the-shoulder cherry blossom maxi paired with silver eye shadow, silver nail polish and silver heels as a nod to Mulan’s armor. My friends gifted me with this beautiful comb for my hair, which I wore straight like Mulan’s, which Disney fans will immediately recognize from the movie. Mulan wears a comb in multiple scenes and leaves the comb for her father to let her family know that she’s left in his stead.
“How about a girl who’s got a brain, who always speaks her mind?” – Mulan
I served the Honor to Us All, a simple gin and pineapple cocktail with a splash of cherry brandy, angostura bitters, and bubbly ginger ale. Most often served with a pineapple wedge, I served mine with tiny fans as an homage to the opening matchmaker scene in Mulan.
Get the recipe here.
I went way back to my college days for Mulan’s menu and served up some of my favorite dishes for an Asian fusion menu. This was the simplest Disney Dinner menu to date. You should have seen the look on my friends’ faces when they walked in half an hour before the party to find me casually enjoying a cocktail with my photographer. They were stunned! This menu is that easy, trust me.
Multiple guest admitted that they don’t even like cucumbers and LOVED this simple salad. Get the recipe here.
Spring rolls are so fun to make. Once you start rolling them, you won’t want to stop! You can fill them with whatever you’d like but I highly recommend shrimp and veggies smothered with homemade peanut sauce. Yes please! Get the recipe here.
This fast and easy entree is a great way to feed a crowd! Get the recipe here.
An epic dark chocolate opera cake with chocolate whipped cream cheese filling and chocolate ganache topped with sparklers, an homage to Mulan saving China with fireworks. Get the recipe here.
So what do you think, would you like to stay for dinner? Stay tuned because next month is Disney Dinners: Alice in Wonderland!