Yesterday evening, despite the freezing rain and ice, Aunt Kathy, Uncle Dave, mom, dad and me went to the Lotus Inn. The Lotus Inn is located within the Swedesford Plaza Shopping Center in Berwyn, Pennsylvania. On February 19, the Chinese New Year celebrated the Year of the Goat/Sheep/Ram. I thought the celebrations were only on February 19; I was glad they were celebrating the New Year. I've never experienced a Chinese New Year celebration and was excited for this.
When we arrived at close to 5 PM, we were the only ones in the restaurant. Within 20 minutes, that changed and other people started pouring in. I wanted to order the sake first, but I decided I would start off with 7Up. We all ordered the 12 course meal, with a seafood winter melon soup first. That soup was interesting - I liked the broth and I was surprised the winter melon wasn't sweet. Some of the pieces did have sweetness, but they mostly took on the flavor of the broth. We were served spring rolls, chicken on skewers and wontons next. They were AWESOME! I loved the wontons the most, though.
When our main meal was served - vegetables, a bunch of meat, and shrimp - that's when the Dancing Lions came out. We were given red envelopes to fill with money to tease the Lions. The drums exploded as the drummers and lions entered through the doors. Dum, dum, duummm, the lions kept on beat with the drums as they danced around the restaurant. Most of us teased the lions with the red envelopes. As we danced and teased, the lions followed our movements. The show lasted for a half an hour. The ending was amazing; it's like the lions were bowing down to the drummers at the end. The lead drummer gave the one lion a huge red envelope.
We finished our meal. Our waitress instructed us that there were photo opportunities near the bar. I wish I brought my real camera because my cell phone picture took lame pictures. After we finished eating, we went over to the lions and had a picture opportunity. After the pictures, I ordered warm sake. This was my first time having sake. I thought it tasted good - it reminded me a bit of strong white wine. Aunt Kathy wanted to try a bit, so I poured her one in the porcelain shot glass. She didn't like it; I ended up drinking all the warm sake. I had the sake with our ice cream dessert. I'm glad I had an eight course meal and dessert because I think I had close to 9 shots of sake. I slept well last night.
I can say this was an amazing experience and I really enjoyed my first Chinese New Year celebration. I can't wait to go to the restaurant again and I can't wait to participate in a Chinese New Year celebration next year!