As you can see from the number of InternChina blog posts on the topic, Chinese New Year is the most exciting time of year for us! Like Christmas to many westerners, Chinese New Year is a time when families get together and everybody enjoys a holiday. Now that I’m back in Manchester I wanted to see what the local Chinese community did to mark the occasion and I was pleasantly surprised!
On the night of Chinese New Year we took some friends to an authentic Chinese restaurant in town – Han Dynasty. This was quite simply the most authentic Chinese food I’ve ever had outside China. We love the northern-Chinese style ‘Jia Chang Cai – 家常菜’ such as Aubergine, Pepper and Potato (地三鲜), Chinese Schnitzel (锅包肉), Egg n Tomato (西红柿炒鸡蛋) and Garlic Shoots with shredded pork (蒜薹肉丝). These were all on the menu (so we ordered all of them!), as well as a huge range of dishes, full hot pot selection and on-the-table BBQ. Our friends were amazed and we have been talking about the food there for days afterwards! The restaurant also has a nice feeling of Authentic China, with Karaoke rooms downstairs and no other westerners (老外) in sight!
On the Sunday after Chinese New Year there is a festival to mark the New Year in Chinatown, with traditional performances, street food, some random fairground attractions and fish n chip stands (not very Chinese, but who cares!) and all culminating in a spectacular firework display. It was fun to celebrate with Chinese people in Manchester and made us miss China a lot! 新年快乐!
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