Where to Feast on a Real Chinese New Year Banquet

Photo: Courtesy of UWISHUNU

It’s the Year of the Rabbit, kids, and celebrating the Chinese New Year is a pretty major deal here in San Francisco. Today the Chron offers up seven area restaurants offering Year of the Rabbit banquet menus, including Koi Palace in Daly City, South Sea Seafood Village in the Sunset, and R&G; Lounge in Chinatown. As writer Janny Hu explains, the banquets have a number of traditional components, including a cold appetizer, an assortment of barbecued meats or roast suckling pig, and fish is always a staple because it’s symbolic of surplus and wealth. Also, you are not supposed to flip your fish on your plate! “You’d be reversing your luck [if you flipped it] — so when you’re done eating one side, remove the central bones and dig into the other side.”

Also, you’re supposed to leave leftovers on your plate to “symbolize the surplus for the next year.”

There won’t be dumplings, though, as those are a New Year’s Eve tradition, usually eaten at home.

And you can expect to pay quite a bit for your banquet, and you should be sure to bring a group of friends: There’s usually a flat charge per table, and can range from $300 to $600.

Chinese New Year dining in the Bay Area

Where to Feast on a Real Chinese New Year Banquet