Saturday, 28 January was Chinese New Year, and this year, we celebrate the year of the Rooster. To mark the occasion, Tim and I went to dinner at Harmony BBQ and Seafood Restaurant in Malvern.
When I rang to make the booking, I was told that they would be having "line dancing" at 7.30. I thought that was rather curious for a Chinese restaurant, but I said, "sure, that's fine".
When I mentioned the entertainment to Tim, he said, "yes, lion dancing is traditional for Chinese New Year". The penny dropped - it wasn't going to be people decked out in cowboy boots dancing to Billy Ray Cyrus, it was going to be traditional Chinese lion dancing. That seemed more like it.
I understood later why I was asked if I was OK with the dancing - lion dancers are accompanied by very loud drum music that is not conducive to conversation. We were treated to not one, but two separate performances, an hour apart (first an orange lion, then a yellow and a red lion together). After the dancing, fire crackers were set off in the street. I didn't mind the noise and really got into it. I was glad I was seated in a place where I couldn't get "eaten" by the lions though. Even the tiny children in the restaurant were not perturbed by all the raucous noise, which surprised me.
After the first lion left, we were able to start ordering dinner. We started with ginger prawn dumplings, my favourite, packed with gorgeous gingery prawns:
We also ordered the scallop dumplings, nice but not a patch on the ginger prawn dumplings:
For main, we ordered beef and vegetables:
and deliciously gooey and sweet mandarin pork ribs:
We also ordered steamed rice so that we did not miss out on any of the lovely sauces.
After some more lion dancing, we ordered dessert - banana fritters:
Neither of us had been out for Chinese New Year before, so we had a blast getting into the spirit of the lion dancing and cracker blowing and general joyousness of it all.
42/40 Glenferrie Rd
Malvern VIC 3144
Phone: (03) 9509 5365