Chinese New Year is all about the food. My mom made a traditional noodle dish for lunch, accompanied by krupuk or shrimp cracker (bottom right) fried by my dad. Dessert consisted of tapioca coconut cake (top left) and pulot etam (bottom left), which literally translates as "black rice," a sort of rice pudding made with coconut milk and sugar. And of course there were tidbits lying around, like wasabi peas and preserved plums (which is a VERY acquired taste and which my husband almost spat out after trying a few years ago).
The banquet this year was at Tung Shing House, on Queens Blvd. Dinner was around 12 courses. Some of the better dishes are pictured below, like nian gao (new year rice cake), which I'd never had before, which was sliced and sauteed in what tasted like parsley. There was a sweet and sour fried fish, peking duck, salt and pepper lobster (another deep fried dish) and dessert consisted of my favorite rice-flour ball with black sesame filling, served warm in a sort of sugar/tea water.
My husband was brave enough to try the sea cucumber dish, which I wouldn't touch. We decided there's really no reason to ever eat the poor creature, since it's completely bland and well...pretty gross in consistency. I also wish they'd stop serving shark fin soup. It's another one of those "delicacies" that we can do without.
Overall, an enjoyable day. I think I enjoyed the food more than everyone else, because next year everyone's requested to return to Phoenix Garden, in Manhattan, which is probably our #1 Chinese restaurant pick in NY.