The Year of the Rabbit begins next Thursday, and Hicksville restaurant The Orient is hopping with activity.
Traditionally, the Chinese New Year means taking a break from work to spend time with family, but manager Tommy Tan and the rest of the gang at the popular Chinese restaurant will be serving up decedent deliciousness straight through the two-week celebration.
In honor of the new year, The Orient will be dishing out a 10-course prix fixe meal. Each course is weighted with nearly as much symbolism as calories. Lobster, for example, represents a dragon, a lucky sign, and the dish is served with both the tail and the head to symbolize both a good beginning and a good ending, according to Tan, who says starting the year off right will ensure a prosperous 12 months.
Also expect to see spinach stuffed dumplings on the menu. “Green means healthy and wealthy,” explains Tan.
In the Chinese culture, money is associated with energy, or chi, says Kung Fu instructor Ken Lo, and the tradition of exchanging cash-colored veggies and cash-stuffed red envelopes is about circulating energy, which translates into good luck.
Lo, sifu (master) at the Manhattan-based Wu Mei Kung Fu Association, and his students will be visiting the Ward Melville Heritage Organization Educational and Cultural Center in Stony Brook next Sunday to perform their own Lion Dance as part of the center’s Chinese New Year celebration.