Living in San Francisco, we’re surrounded by excellent Asian restaurants. And where there are Asian restaurants, there are Asian restaurant supply stores. There’s one in particular that I love foraging in. It’s a veritable treasure trove. There are literally hundreds of diminutive bowls, multi-colored dishes, china tea glasses, lacquered boxes, silk-embroidered napkins, chopstick holders…. If I’m planning a party I’ll go there and stock up on plates, knives, forks and glasses for next to nothing.

On my last trip there (for a pre-Memorial Day BBQ party) I picked up a few pieces – the most expensive of which was less than $5. They make a rather attractive display so I thought I’d show you.

Green tea cups

These little cups are for green tea, I think. They are chocolate brown on the bottom and the palest pink lustreware on the top. They remind me of shells. No idea what I’ll use them for (serving mini chocolate mousses, perhaps?) but they look nice and, at $1 each, I couldn’t resist! The square plates were $1.50 so I bought 16 of them. I know – when will I ever need 16 little square plates – but they’re perfect as cake plates at a birthday party.

Bud vases

The two bud vases are actually meant for soy sauce. But I think they work really well for single flowers. Each was less than $2 so you could have a whole row of them for an unusual Asian-themed centrepiece. The bowl was $4.50 and has little black flowers all over the inside.

I could fill a whole kitchen with these but I tore myself away eventually. Now I just need to throw another party so I can go back…

Oh, and if you like pretty Asian-inspired designs, check out Chinoiserie Chic – it even has a post about setting the Chinoiserie table.