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Saturday, February 21, 2015

Celebrating Lunar New Year 2015

Happy Lunar New Year from the Toddler Foodies!
We celebrate the new year twice every year - on January 1 and on Lunar New Year - because we're half-Vietnamese.  The best part about celebrating Lunar New Year is all the yummy food we get to eat, and we wanted nothing more than to share our food experiences in this post.  But... we really struggled with figuring out what to write about.  First of all, the best food we eat for Lunar (Vietnamese) New Year is usually cooked at Daddy's relatives' homes, not at restaurants.  Second, we have already visited most of the good Vietnamese restaurants in Atlanta.  And, finally, this Lunar New Year was coldBone-chillingly, teeth-chatteringly, can't-feel-your-toes-or-your-nose cold.  The last thing Mommy and Daddy wanted to do this evening was take us out to eat.

So, to ring in the Year of the Goat, we ventured outside of our normal celebratory routine.  We didn't eat Vietnamese food, and we didn't go out.  Instead, we ordered some takeout from Hong Kong Harbour Chinese restaurant on Cheshire Bridge Road and enjoyed it in the warmth of our home.  We got a tip from our local foodie hero, Chloe of Chowdown Atlanta, that Hong Kong Harbour is one of a handful og Chinese restaurants in Atlanta offering authentic Chinese food cooked by Chinese chefs.  Wanting to be as authentic as possible, we decided to give it a try...

Clockwise from top:  Duck noodle soup with Hong Kong wontons,
Seafood Bird's Nest, stuffed crab claw
The food was yummy, but we have to admit we couldn't distinguish the difference between it and the "non-authentic" Chinese restaurants in Atlanta.  The Seafood Bird's Nest was our favorite dish.  It was full of whole, perfectly cooked squid, scallops, and shrimp mingled with crunchy snow peas and carrots. 

"Can we keep him, Mommy?"
Overall, we would recommend trying out Hong Kong Harbour if you're inside the perimeter and want to try some Chinese delicacies to celebrate the new year.  We also recommend trying Golden House in Duluth and Royal China Restaurant in Chamblee, lauded as authentic Chinese cuisine by Chowdown Atlanta, as well as Ming's BBQ.

Atlanta also has lots of Lunar New Year events to check out this weekend, if you're willing to brave the cold:

~Chinese Lunar New Year Festival at the Culture Center of Taipei
We highly recommend this festival.  The food options are incredible.  Bring a stroller if you have small children - it gets really crowded and seating is limited.

~Vietnamese New Year festivals - Wild Bill's (Sunday), Grand Ballroom (Saturday & Sunday), & Hong Kong Supermarket (Saturday & Sunday)

~Lunar New Year event at Lenox Square Mall (Wednesday, 2/25)

Wishing all of you a happy and prosperous new year! 

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