Chinese New Year Dinner

I had the pleasure of joining some of my Chinese friends in celebrating the Chinese New Year at a restaurant close to Baker Street called Phoenix Palace. Our table was booked for 8.30pm but they had lion dancers booked to do a show there at 7.30pm and we were welcome to come and watch before our meal.ย 

IMG_8093It was an experience and a half for me as I have never seen or heard of this before and I thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this community for this special event. Enter the dragons… or lions!

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The performers in the lion costumes were energetic and entertaining and the adults seemed even more excited than the kids! Personally if I was a young child watching this for the first time, I would be really scared. But the kids seemed to love it.IMG_8102

I especially loved learning the custom where they reach up to grab the lettuce and the red money envelope to the beat of the drums and symbols.ย IMG_8106

Then the tempo increases and they shred and throw pieces of lettuce out towards the crowd. Some people were trying to catch it, some even picked pieces off the ground and took it to their table – maybe for good luck!

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Everyone in the restaurant was excited and loving the atmosphere.

People were also ‘feeding’ the lions with red money envelopes themselves which I suppose they also believe will bring them luck in the coming year.IMG_8149

IMG_8124I don’t know about you, but watching a little man/child walking around as Buddha in that mask was a little creepy – but he was a good sport and posed for photos with the diners.

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Now onto the food! We had pre-ordered our food the week before to speed up the process, but due to how busy the restaurant was on the evening, there was a bit of a delay in us receiving it. But the food was tasty nevertheless.IMG_8131

To start, I had yummy vegetable dumplings which tasted even better dipped in chilli sauce.
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For my main I had delicious braised tofu with egg fried rice which is one of the best I’ve ever had. I was so full and content that I couldn’t even finish my meal off – now that’s a first!IMG_8143

I don’t believe in horoscopes but this is what was written under my zodiac sign in their booklet (they have a typo in the list of years at the bottom – it should read 2012, not 2013).

Apparently belonging to the year of the Dragon is very good. But I thought the phrase ‘Thoughtful & fond of freedom’ described me very well – to the tee some may even say!

The prospect of the year on theย other hand… well we will see! ๐Ÿ˜‰IMG_8133

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