January 30th, 2008

Celebrate Chinese New Year

Chinese lion dance

A reader emailed me yesterday asking for a roundup of the best places to celebrate Chinese New Year in Miami. I confess: I was at a bit of a loss, but after asking around and doing a little digging, I came up with a few ideas.

Chinese New Year, known in China as Spring Festival, starts on February 7 this year, year of the rat, and celebrations end 15 days later. It is the longest and most important Chinese celebration, rich with tradition and food symbolism — a whole fish for abundance, noodles (never cut) for longevity, a whole chicken for prosperity, dumplings for good luck and fortune, and there’s more. Many Chinese restaurants don’t seem to be offering anything special for the occasion, but here’s what I found.

Mr. Chu’s
Between Wednesday, February 6 and Sunday, February 10, you can enjoy lion dance, kung fu and Chinese dance performances while you eat dinner. Show starts at 8 p.m. on each of those nights and costs $18 per person. That’s just for the entertainment, of course. Dinner is a la carte. The festivities here were recommended by several people. 890 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-538-8424.

Kon Chau
At Kon Chau, the menu will remain the same, but on Sunday, February 10 at noon, you can watch a lion dance performance at the restaurant. 8376 SW 40th St., Miami; 305.553.7799.

Bamboo Garden
This North Miami Beach restaurant will offer lion dance and martial arts performances on Saturday, February 9 at 7 p.m. 1232 NE 163 St., North Miami Beach; 305.945.1722.

Mandarin Oriental
Now this is one expensive celebration. For $125 per person (excluding tax and gratuity), you can hang out at the Mandarin Oriental between 7 p.m. and 10 p.m. on Thursday, February 7, eat foods — including dumplings, Shanghai noodles, seafood fried rice and others — and watch artistic demonstrations and lion and dragon dance performances, all in the hotel’s beach area by the bay. Reservations are required. 500 Brickell Key Drive, Miami; 305.913.8358

Anyone have other suggestions for a fellow mango&lime reader?

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5 Responses to “Celebrate Chinese New Year”

  1. Thanks for doing some research. If anyone knows of additional celebrations, please post…

  2. Tony Chan’s Water Club used to have a special menu and a celebration. But I haven’t been in years, so I’m not sure if they still do.

    Celebration or not, they make a fantastic Peking duck.

  3. Hi Paula, I’m not a restaurant but I am celebrating with students in my Wok Star cooking class, they should check my website, got 2 more classes. Kung Hei Fat Choy!

  4. 21st Annual Chinese New Year Festival at the Miami Dade College – Kendall Campus, 11011 S.W. 104 Street, Miami, Florida on Sunday, February 8, 2009 between 11:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.

    This cultural festival celebrates the beginning of the Lunar New Year, the Year of the Ox. As part of the festivities, we will have 2 variety stage shows featuring the highest quality of Chinese entertainment including the Wing Lun Tai Chi Lion and Dragon dance, Magic Dragon Acrobats, Matzurzia Taiko Drummers, Jing Lu Cao, Jessica Yap, cultural costumes, music, and dance. The shows will being at 12:30 p.m. and 3:30 p.m.

    In addition, there will be a wide variety of Asian foods, arts and craft, and exhibits available.

    Adults: $10.00 Children (under 12): $5.00 and Children Under 5: Free Parking: Free

    The festival is presented by The Chinese Cultural Foundation, Inc., in cooperation with the Chinese Cultural Association, Inc., the Organization of Chinese Americans – South Florida, and the Chinese Association of Science, Engineering, and Culture, Inc.

  5. [...] years ago I wrote a post on restaurants holding Chinese New Year celebrations in Miami at the request of a reader. Today, I received an email asking if those places would likely hold [...]

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