Translating Chinese New Year Menus, Part 1: Lichee Garden

Oh, yes, it's that year.
​Last year, SFoodie drove around the Sunset and Richmond, picking up New Year's banquet menus to post online. This year, we canvassed San Francisco's Chinatown, and once again asked the intrepid Ed Chui (Adobo Hobo) and his parents to help us translate.

A series of technical glitches have kept us from starting up today, the first day of the Year of the Rabbit. So we'll lead with the Chinese New Year menu from Lichee Garden, which is already translated (we'll roll out five more menus tomorrow through Tuesday). Feel free to print them out and bring them to the restaurant. Collect all six! And for more on local restaurant celebrations, check out Janny Hu's piece in today's Chron.

Click to enlarge.

​Lichee Garden, located on the edge of Chinatown, offers five special menus, priced from $138 to $298. Here are two of the options:

$168 Menu
Jellyfish cold cut platter
Yellow chives with fish maw, shredded duck soup
Ginger lobster
Prawns with honey walnuts
House special pork chop
Fried crispy-skin chicken
Fillet of sand dab with spicy salt
Double mushroom with mustard greens

$268 Menu
Prawns with mixed fruit salad
Deep-fried quail
Whole winter melon soup with crab meat and dried scallop
Scallop with sliced ham
Ginger lobster with noodles
Peking duck
Steamed boneless chicken with ham and vegetables
Steamed fresh fish
Yang chow fried rice

Lichee Garden: 1416 Powell (at Vallejo), 397-2290,

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You've left out a crucial bit of information ... how many is each menu supposed to feed? I doubt the $168 Menu is $168 per person. If it is, you're overpaying!

An alternative is to call the Chinese restaurant and work out a menu with them directly. Start by saying you want a new year's menu (which means at least 8 dishes and some "required" ingredients because some things you must have at new year's), then tell them how many in your party and how much you want to pay per person.

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