When it’s Chinese New Year – you ought to eat Chinese !!

Growing up in Calcutta was fun , especially because that made me the person I am .The way we rejoiced at all celebrations in the city, be it Ramzan, Christmas, New Year and obviously Durga Puja & Diwali. Till the time I was in Calcutta we often visited Chinatown for family celebrations (food and drink comes at really pocket friendly price) . In fact after marriage when I started hanging out with Rajarshee’s friends and their wives , we find it convenient to meet at ‘tangra’ because of more than 1 reason. I also remember , one of our friend’s boyfriend asked her what’s your favorite food , the question was posed just to her , but all of us present around without a blink said ‘chinese’ and then we were all so embarrassed !

So since time immemorial to me ‘the thing’ for the Chinatown , Chinese food , Chinese New year, lunar year , their way of naming each year under an animal (by the way , this is the year of the pig), fascinated me.

Luckily this year being in New York , when a friend called up to catch up in our usual evening joint , I proposed can we go to Chinatown. On reaching there , I found my topmost preferred place closed perhaps for the new year . Initially I was little disappointed , but then I realized this was the opportunity to try another place.

So we visited another place , on the main Street. The kitchen was in the front and the dining tables in the backside.About 7-8 tables , out of which 2 or 3 were occupied. A TV played constantly , all of us, watched #chinesenewyear #celebration telecasted in some channel .

All those who were working still did not look hurried or grumpy . In fact this seemed to be a very happy place. In fact on asking what do you usually have at home on such days. They happily laid a table only to show – what all is served.

Coming to my dinner, I had taken along another friend who has lived in hongkong for few years , however , Tuesdays she ate vegetarian. I have had several occasions earlier when I went out with friends who are vegetarian and when food is good , I really don’t mind what I am eating. So we ordered :
Veg rice rolls (I wanted to try dry shrimp rice rolls , but I will go back another day).
Scallion pancake , and I felt I had one of the best scallion pancakes I ever had . They were absolutely non greasy – rightly crisp , just the way you know it has scallions inside but does not seem overcooked or undercooked.
Greens – lately I have learnt eating these and love it now. In most probability , these were mustard stem & leaves, as I got to see a few blossoms, which made me think so.
Lastly , we ordered mapo tofu along with a small portion of rice on the side (we asked for it extra) … It was a huge dish and we did not anticipate it to be this huge for $8.5. It was really warm and yummy, topped with peas and we ate like we haven’t eaten anything the entire day. Still we barely finished 1/3 of the plate and got the rest packed.
All this while , when we were eating our serveuse constantly kept replenishing our cup with warm tea and I really loved the hospitality.
At the end they placed our $25 bill (hand written in Chinese) including the $5 tips and we gladly paid it.

I

shall go back for the dried shrimp rice rolls and pork bun, another day.

#avrilsfoodjournee #chinesenewyear2019 #chinesenewyear #chinatown #explorenewyork

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