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Beijing's Time-honored Restaurants provide Spring Festival Dinner-to-go 
   2014-01-23 17:25:34    CRIENGLISH.com      Web Editor: Chi Huiguang

 [photo: baidu.com]

Lunar New Year's Eve dinner is the most important meal of the Spring Festival. In recent years, more and more Chinese choose to go to a restaurant to have the family reunion dinner in order to avoid the trouble of cooking at home. However, having dinner outside weakens the reunion atmosphere. Beijing's restaurants have come up with a solution by selling semi-finished dinner-to-go. Chi Huiguang takes a closer look at the dinner choices.


Let's put the deep-fried shrimp first, fry it in the pan, then add some fried cashews, pour in the sauce--Kung Pao shrimp is done!

I am not teaching you how to cook. I am imagining the much easier way of preparing cooking the Lunar New Year's Eve dinner, one the most complicated meals cooked throughout the year in China. Kung pao shrimp, plus saut¨Ĥed ox tripe with coriander, dried fried croaker, oxtail braised in brown sauce and so on, altogether eight entrees, plus 10 sesame biscuits, form one of the semi-finished "dinner-to-go" set menu options from Wan Barbecue Restaurant, one of the most famous restaurants in Beijing.

Han Xiangchen, General Manager of the barbecue restaurant says:

(Soundbite 1: Han Xiangchen, Female)
"We will grill the beef to medium-well. And we'll provide the sauce for the dry fried croaker. All you have to do is stir-fry the ingredients together, then the meal is done."

Another established restaurant, Hongbinlou, is offering three semi-finished dinner set menus for the Lunar New Year's Eve as well, combining the most popular meals of the restaurant.

The General Manager Lin Suqin tells us:

(Soundbite 2: Lin Suqin, Female)
"We offer braised beef with soy sauce and water-boiled lamb. Both are the most popular dishes at the restaurant. We also provide saut¨Ĥed ox tripe with coriander, fried eggs with vinegar sauce, dry-braised Mandarin fish, sweet Chinese yams and date rolls."

It is said that more than a dozen time-honored restaurants in Beijing are working hard on designing the semi-finished New Year's Eve dinner options, selecting their top dishes to be included in the packages. Besides the previous sets for more than 10 people, they plan to offer dinner options that feed between three and five people. For instance, in the small family edition set menu from Emei, one of Beijing's best-known Sichuan restaurants, there are six dishes in the dinner set, including kung pao chicken and smoked duck.

There might be those who worry about how a "semi-finished" New Year's Eve dinner will turn out, versus one fully prepared by a restaurant.

Here's Lin Suqin, the General Manager again, to speak on the matter:

(Soundbite 3: Lin Suqin, Female)
"Let's take one of the most well-known dishes, saut¨Ĥed ox tripe with coriander, for example; our chef will half cook the ox tripe with the chicken soup and seasoning. The taste is already in the tripe. After cooking the dish with the ingredients we provide, it is done. Besides, we will make the semi-finished dished in advance according to your scheduled pick up time, ensuring their freshness. If you want them at noon, we will get things ready in the morning. If you want them at night, we will do the preparation in the afternoon."

If you want the roast duck for the family reunion dinner, there are Spring Festival dinner sets in Meizhou Dongpo Restaurant and Bianyifang Restaurant. Even if you love to have hot pot on the eve of the Lunar New Year, you will be satisfied with the takeaway set from Wangjiadu Hot Pot Restaurant. There will not only be the hot pot base and dishes, but also noodles and dessert.

So, why not enjoy the most delicious dinner from the most famous restaurants on the eve of the most important festival with your dearest family members at home?

For Studio+, this is Chi Huiguang.


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