Restaurant ready for New Year

Call it fate or pure coincidence, but the Mandarin language lesson on back of the fortune cookie message couldn’t have summed up the New Year’s dinner at Don Mee’s Restaurant better: hao-chi or delicious.

Don Mee’s Restaurant is not only the largest restaurant in Chinatown, it’s one of the oldest.

Despite changing ownership four times in it’s 85-year history, the restaurant has consistently been one of the city’s favourite hotspots. But the restaurant’s giant neon lantern (in all its nostaligic kitsch) seems to shine just a little bit brighter at Chinese New Year’s.

The Chinese New Year’s 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 it’s 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 Year’s 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 it’s western counterpart, Chinese New Year’s last one month, so if you can’t get a reservation on the night of Feb. 18, don’t fret, the menu will be available until Feb. 28.

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