Chinese New Year at Peter Chang’s China Grill.
Happy Chinese New Year! Kung hei fat choi! The Hubby and I were delighted and honored to be invited to the Chinese New Year celebration FEAST at Peter Chang’s China Grill last Sunday. Approximately 50-60 fans hailing from Richmond as well as our humble ‘ville dined on heavy hor d’oeuvres, toasted The Year of the Dragon with champagne, then proceeded to devour a 6-course dinner whipped up by the great man himself.
Yep, Peter Chang was in the kitchen. I saw him with my own eyes. Even shook the man’s hand in gratitude afterward with the numbing effects of those tasty peppers still working their magic on my lips. He was all smiles, as were our hosts, Gen and Mary Lee. Telling everyone how grateful they felt for the warm welcome they’d received this past year. Trust me, the feeling is MUTUAL.
I called our generous host Mr. Lee that Monday, and emailed him twice to get a detailed menu of everything served. In vain. Which makes me sad because I was hoping to get the Chinese translation of each dish. According to my sources, they are quite poetic. So instead of “Beef with Broccoli” the dish might be called “Couple Embracing By The Waterfall in the Moonlight” – way cooler imho.
I’m supposing he and Chef Chang are neck-deep in preparations for the opening of their Short Pump restaurant, Peter Chang’s China Café, set to throw open its doors at the end of February. Or maybe he’s already in New York discussing plans for the movie about his life with actor/director Stanley Tucci. I offered to carry the Chef’s suitcases. Really. I did. ‘Cause I wanna touch Tucci’s tushy (say THAT three times fast).
What follows is my best recollection. Woefully inadequate in the description department. Scribbled down the minute we got home and collapsed into a heap of numbing pepper Chinese food burps and drowsiness that was our Sunday night. Not a bad way to start The Year of the Dragon if you ask me.
Thank you, thank you, thank you, to Mr. and Mrs. Lee and to Chef Chang for making us part of such a special occasion, and may they continue to prosper wherever they cook. Thank you as well to the fine folks who shared our table and made the meal a fun, communal experience! So often events like these can plod along with awkward small talk. Not this time. Which made this diner dance in her seat.
Thank you also to MrDiscipleofTruth who had the wherewithal to record the feast. Great job!
PETER CHANG’S CHINESE NEW YEAR CELEBRATION MENU
(as best as I can recollect)
Crispy pork belly
Duck fried spring rolls
Almond-crusted chicken bites
Fried lotus root (My personal favorite)
Steamed dumplings with dipping sauce
Spicy noodles (I could eat 10 pounds of these)
Half-chicken with a sticky rice, shrimp, & date stuffing served with tofu-rice balls & bok choy
Fried fish with broccoli (Unbelievable)
Dried beef with hot & numbing peppers (LOVELOVELOVE)
Sweet & sour shrimp with asparagus & snow pea pods
Red bean & rice porridge (Lovely & Sweet)
Dessert bars with fruit & coconut (Made by Mrs. Chang, a talented pastry chef. The story goes she first met Mr. Chang when they were both chefs on a cruise ship, and she was his boss! Hope they use that in the movie…)