Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day/Chinese New Year!

My boyfriend Paul had to work on Valentine's night, so we decided to go out for a casual V-day lunch. Since today was the Chinese New Year, we "fed two birds with one seed" by dining at a Chinese restaurant. We chose A-Tan Restaurant, a veg-friendly Chinese joint, sushi bar, and hibachi grill. Of course, we opted for Chinese entrees instead of sushi. And we started our meal with a Flaming Volcano cocktail:

This drink is literally on fire. The moat around the volcano contains a tropical cocktail made with rum, brandy, pineapple juice, and orange juice. A shot of Bacardi 151 is poured into the volcano's crater and the bartender sets it on fire at your table. See for yourself:

After tearing through a veggie spring roll, I helped myself to a plate of Family Style Bean Curd with sticky white rice:

The tofu is cut into triangles and lightly fried to perfection, and the veggie mix contains all my faves — bamboo shoots, baby corn, mushrooms, water chesnuts, snow peas, and carrots.

While we were eating, we noticed a crew of young guys outside who appeared to be suiting up for some kind of performance. A few minutes later, we saw this happy Buddha guy walking toward our table:

And he was followed by this crazy tiger:

A yellow tiger was on the trail the of the red one, and they paraded through the restaurant performing dances and tricks while a drummer pounded a tribal beat. Here they are making their way through the hibachi area:

We had no idea the restaurant organized an annual Chinese New Year parade. It was quite a fun Valentine's Day surprise!

Speaking of A-Tan Restaurant, I've added a comprehensive Memphis vegan dining guide on the right sidebar of this page (underneath my profile info). A-Tan's contact info is included, as well as a number of other vegetarian and veg-friendly restaurants in Memphis. Hopefully, it'll be of use to local readers and any vegans planning a trip to Memphis.

23 comments:

Trinity (of haiku tofu) said...

i love the impromptu parade!!! and that flaming volcano is on my to-do list for when i visit Memphis. Happy V-day/Chinese New year!

VivaciousVegan said...

Dinner and a show! That is a great valentine's date!!

Theresa said...

How exciting!

Serena said...

That looks amazing and fun! I definitely will check that place out if I'm ever in Memphis. :) What a fun valentines day.

Belle said...

I love going there! Do you try to siphon the 151 out of the volcano (that's what my friends do)?
Sounds like a fun valentines lunch with the unexpected parade. :)

Thanks for the list of places/ recomendations in Memphis, I've never even heard of some of 'em.

Recipe man said...

hehe this looks great
happy v. day and happy Lunar year!

i love the photos

girl said...

happy cny! I loveeee CNY ( i live in singapore :D ) and celebrate it every year by visiting relatives etc.

that's not buddha, but a da tou wa wa (big head doll) that provides comic relief during lion dances :)

Magdelene

Gina said...

Awesome! We actually did something similar yesterday, except it was Vietnamese and there was no happy buddha walking around!

Mihl said...

What a fantastic evening!

Samantha Angela @ Bikini Birthday said...

"fed two birds with one seed"...
I LOVE that spin on the old saying. I'm using it from now on!

The Bad Vegan said...

your dining guide is great!

jessy said...

what a great idea on the dining guide, Bianca - i'm gonna follow your lead and do something similar. that's brilliant! so awesome on the parade! your tofus look wonderful and you and Paul are just too cute! i hope you had an awesome weekend, and that you're having a great start to your week too!

kirsten said...

O.K. that Flaming Volcano drink is AWESOME! Even the cup is rad.
Looks like you guys had a great day of love!

The Shenandoah Vegan said...

The flaming volcano looks so fun! Glad you had a good time.

miss v said...

happy valentine's day! glad you had such a fun lunch!

Cole said...

That looks like a great Chinese restaurant. If I'm ever in Memphis I'll definitely have to search for it.

Pure2raw twins said...

Wow that is one drink!! Looks like you guys a great time!

The Ordinary Vegetarian said...

You all are way too cute.

Also, now more than ever I want to come visit Memphis!

River - The Crafty Kook said...

Aww, you two are so cute! That is an AWESOME cocktail! It looks like a lot too... how many fingers am I holding up? :D

The food looks yummy, and the costumes are fabulous. All restaurants should have a dude in a crazy tiger outfit walking around. All year round!

Mike K said...

Looks like a fantastic time - the parade is super cool. Sounds like a fun place, and the food and drink look really good.

Anonymous said...
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Cassie - Vegan Fox said...

That sounds exciting! A drink on fire, always a good thing!

Shannon-Rabbit Food said...

What a great V-Day date and that ginormous cocktail looks like a party in a glass! I love Chinese New Year, and it's my year this year-the year of the tiger!
Hope you had a great Valentine's Day. You and your boo are too cute.