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Restaurant ready for New Year
Call it fate or pure coincidence, but the Mandarin language lesson on back of the fortune cookie message couldnt have summed up the New Years dinner at Don Mees Restaurant better: hao-chi or delicious.
Don Mees Restaurant is not only the largest restaurant in Chinatown, its one of the oldest.
Despite changing ownership four times in its 85-year history, the restaurant has consistently been one of the citys favourite hotspots. But the restaurants giant neon lantern (in all its nostaligic kitsch) seems to shine just a little bit brighter at Chinese New Years.
The Chinese New Years dinner menu changes from year to year, but customers can guarantee their favourite Cantonese and Szechaun dishes are included in the 2007 line-up.
In the Year of the Boar, the menu boasts eight dishes for parties of four, including: appetizer platter, choice of soup, pan-fried prawns in tomato sauce, sauteed scallops and chicken with vegetables, Szechaun beef, sweet n sour pork, fried rice and Chinese pastries.
While its a predictable menu selection for the western palate, the quality of food and flavours beats expectations.
For parties of five to seven people, lemon chicken is also served and for parties of eight or more people the menu also includes five-spice squid and Don Mee Chow Mein.
For diners who like a little heat in their hot and sour soup, you might consider asking the kitchen to tune it up a bit. Same goes for the Szechaun beef.
And if spice is your thing, the five-spice squid will not disappoint. Deep-fried in a light batter and tossed with Chinese spice, this simple dish is a favourite on the New Years menu.
At $19.95 per person, the dinner is an excellent value.
But for those looking for a more traditional dining experience, consider ordering the Peking Duck or the whole squab. Traditionally, duck is served with the skin and meat together, but diners can request it be separated. Wraps with hoisin sauce are good starters.
The squab is served whole with head and feet intact. And unlike its western counterpart, Chinese New Years last one month, so if you cant get a reservation on the night of Feb. 18, dont fret, the menu will be available until Feb. 28.