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Suggestions for Chinese New Year Party for 12 near Palo Alto?

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For dinner on Saturday, 2/4/12, we will be a mildly adventurous group and eager to learn about Chinese culture.
Please make any suggestions and we will be grateful all year. Thank you -- Howard

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  1. You probably have things pretty planned by now, but here are a few suggestions:

    - Roast duck. You can get these at an asian deli inside an asian market. I believe there is one in Mountain View. You may have to order ahead, so call first. It's a neat experience. These are the red ducks you see hanging in the windows. They will cut it for you right there.

    - Sturgeon - Since it is the year of the dragon, I hear sturgeon is believed to be descended from dragons. Find a good sturgeon recipe and have a great story:) or, if you are pressed for time, you might get some from Ming's

    - Try a tea with brown rice in it. At asian market I believe it's called Genmai. You can also make your own by getting some loose green tea and mixing in some browned rice. That is cooked white rice (usually what's left over after you've made a pot) that you take and spread on a griddle or in a pan and on a very low heat you dry it out and then toast it lightly. No oil. Make sure to get all the moisture out and you can store it for quite a while.

    - 5 courses might be nice as 5 is a number that symbolizes good fortune. Also, the color red is good luck, so maybe red napkins, etc.

    - It is the year of the dragon, but in Chinese readings, there is also an element attached to each year, so specifically it is the year of the water dragon, so perhaps noodles or soup for one course.

    - Chinese bbq pork buns are also a nice pre-entree course.

    - Dessert, try a roll up cake. I don't know the chinese name, but it looks like a log and is made of white, chocolate, mocha or green tea cake layer with white filling and rolled into a log. You cut it and it kinda looks like the old fashioned pin wheel appetizers. They are very yummy and a light dessert for folk. Goes well with tea. Available at most asian bakery or grocery store.

    Hope this helps:) Have a marvelous dinner party.

    2 Replies
    1. re: sfbanative

      Very cool first post. Thanks and welcome to Chowhound.

      1. re: sfbanative

        Thank you for these great ideas. Due to time and work issues, we won't be hosting at home but going to a restaurant instead. We have chosen Hunan Home's in Los Altos. I will be happy to bring your suggestions and order their versions for our group. Again, thanks.

      2. If you want to eat out or get take out, and can eat spicy food, Da Sichuan is a good representative of Sichuan cuisine. Try "Boiled Fish Fillet," "Twice Cooked Pork," "Spicy Fiery Wrapped Lamb," Ma Po Tofu, Tan Tan Noodles, Dry Sauteed String Beans, Seafood Clay Pot etc.

        1 Reply
        1. re: goldangl95

          Thank you for your suggestion. We have enjoyed several meals at Da Sichuan and feel that some of our guests might be uncomfortable by the challenge of spicy food. Perhaps I am not giving them the chance to try new experiences ...

          Thank you, I am happy to see Da Sichuan recommended again.

        2. The original comment has been removed