Video Credit: Jeff Bravo Photography
On Saturday January 25, Journey To The Dumpling and Pho Bistro rang in the Year of the Rat with lion dances and firecrackers. These delightful displays were meant to celebrate the arrival of Lunar New Year. In some cultures, such as Chinese culture and Vietnamese culture, Lunar New Year or Tet (Vietnamese term for Lunar New Year) is an even bigger holiday than Christmas.
The festivities started at Pho Bistro at 3PM. The Chinese firecrackers were set off to loud popping sounds as all the spectators jumped back. Lion dances were performed by Dieu Quang Lion Dance of Sacramento. There were three lions in the colors of white, black, and black. Each lion is usually manned by two individuals who made up the front or rear end of the beast.The children and adults alike took in the scene as the lions danced around outside and pranced their way through the restaurant.
Pho Bistro is owned by Mimi and Dai Pham. They opened the restaurant in November 2018. Their specialty is the P1 Ribeye Pho served with freshly sliced ribeye and two beef bones with tender meat. My friends also like the Bun Bo Hue and Hu Tieu. The Cha Gio or egg rolls are also my favorite side and I can never have one of their bowls of pho or noodles without ordering eggrolls. Definitely, go check out Pho Bistro!
Mimi Pham, the owner of Pho Bistro was delighted with the turnout. “Happy Year of the Rat everyone! I wish you all lots of happiness, good fortune, and good food! Thank you Elk Grove for your support!”
Journey to the Dumpling
Over at Journey To The Dumpling, the show began at 4PM. Again, firecrackers were set off as children were warned to stay back. Dieu Quang Lion Dance of Sacramento also performed the lion dances at Journey To The Dumpling. This time there were five lions in the colors of white, black, yellow, and red. To the delight of spectators, the lions actually danced their way right through the entrance of Journey to the Dumpling and into the restaurant.
Journey to the Dumpling is owned by Chris Tan, Yvonne Nguyen, and Justin Yang and opened in October of 2016. Chris Tan is the restaurant manager. Yvonne runs the front of the house. Justin is Executive Chef. Originally from Guangzhou, Justin learned to craft xiao long bao from his mentor, a Master Chef from Shanghai. Their signature dishes include Xiao Long Bao (soup dumplings), Wontons in Chili Oil, Potstickers, Garlic Noodles, Chow Mein, Chow Fun, and Beef Roll. They also make their own egg noodles daily in their kitchen. You can’t really go wrong with any of their dumplings or any of their noodle dishes. I personally also like the Egg Tarts, which I like to get Macao style, slightly burnt on top. You can’t go to Elk Grove without checking out Journey To The Dumpling!
Yvonne Nguyen, graciously wanted to thank everyone who came and all her patrons. “We at Journey To The Dumpling would like to wish everyone a happy and prosperous Year of the Rat with a lot of good food and joy! Thank you for your continued support!
The lion dance is also a traditional Chinese dance and it is also performed most often during Lunar New Year and special occasions. Ostensibly, it is meant to bring good luck and good fortune. It is often mistaken for the dragon dance. The lion for each lion dance is usually operated by two people who make up the head and the tail of the beast. Important to know, the Chinese lion dance has two forms, the Northern Lion, and the Southern Lion.
Firecrackers were invented in China around the 9th century during the Tang Dynasty. Gunpowder was also invented by the Chinese. People found that if you inserted gunpowder into a hollow bamboo stick and threw it in the fire, it would create a loud blast. This is how the first firecrackers came to be. Originally, the purpose of lighting them was to scare away spirits. Today, lighting firecrackers along with fireworks are a major custom to celebrate the Lunar New Year, and also a way to enhance the festive atmosphere of any special occasion. They are also typically lit at the Mid Autumn Moon Festival.
Overall, Journey To The Dumpling and Pho Bistro rang in the Year of the Rat literally with a bang in the fireworks and lion dancers. It was all very entertaining to watch. Plus, I got to eat some great food. I highly recommend you go check out Journey To The Dumpling and Pho Bistro next Lunar New Year. In the meantime, visit Journey To The Dumpling anytime for yummy Chinese food and Pho Bistro for yummy Vietnamese food.
Happy Year of the Rat! We at Elk Grove Tribune wish everyone good luck, good fortune, good health, happiness, and prosperity!