Friday, February 17, 2012

Chinese New Year parade and Pacific Seafood and BBQ House, South Yarra by Big Fil

Sometimes foods are associated with different times of the year. For example, Christmas to me means presents under the tree followed by turkey with gravy, roast potatoes and cherries. Easter is for Hot Cross buns on Friday and Easter Eggs on the Sunday. Chinese New Year, watching the parade down Little Bourke Street followed by lunch at an inner city restaurant.

For some of my Chinese friends it's a bit humdrum but I love watching the parade from the car park on the corner of Little Bourke and Russell. You need to get there at least 30 minutes early in order to get a good spot even on the top floor in the sun (bring a hat). It's a great spot to watch the lions dancing and the crackers being set off. Even high above the crowd though the noise level is very high and it isn't necessarily a great spot for kids.

For a closer look you can go down to street level. Watching the shops set up the long strings of crackers to be set off when the lions and drummers pay a visit is quite exiting. You know it's soon about to be loud, even louder than in the car park, smoky and hot but that's half of the fun.

In addition to the big dragon there are also a number of smaller ones. One which has been around for ages is the long skinny yellow one, chasing what to me always looks like a giant chubba chub but which I suspect is meant to represent either the sun or the moon.

By far the most impressive though is the giant Imperial Dragon (I think?). The head always seems to be level with the first floor of the shops as it passes and to require hundreds of helpers to assist on its walk around Chinatown. Kids love to run up to it and run underneath, with the adults mainly reaching out to touch it for luck (including me).

Lunch this year was at Pacific BBQ and Seafood on Toorak Road. Some of the cats have a very strong negative opinion of this restaurant, for reasons I quite understand. The major problem is when they are busy. While everyone agrees that quality wise they are one of the better Hong Kong style places around, particularly in its price range, they are very keen on turning the tables over quickly and can get very pushy the moment you've finished eating. If you plan to linger over your meal at all plan on visiting out of peak times.

Two things that I particularly like here are the deer with snow peas and the roast meats. The deer is tender and flavoursome, the meats about as good as it gets in Melbourne. Crispy skinned duck and the crispy skinned pork come with tender meat, moist but not too fatty.

Also very good were our beef brisket in claypot and stir fried vegetables. The beef brisket is wonderfully tender, the tendons lovely and gelatinous. In contrast the vegetables are still crisp, giving a nice crunch and breaking up all the other meaty dishes.

All in all one of my favourite days of the year. Just great fun with friends and something I imagine I'll be doing for years to come.

210 Toorak Rd
South Yarra 3141
Telephone: 03 9826 3838

Pacific Seafood BBQ House on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

ming said...

I've never had the privilege of trying deer before; is it gamy? And mmm I can never say no to roast duck :D

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