All Things Considered

Chef serves up special feast to welcome the Year of the Dragon

A woman stands in front of a restaurant's storefront
For the first time in years, Rainbow Chinese Restaurant in Minneapolis and chef Tammy Wong will welcome guests for the Lunar New Year after having to shut down its dining room during the pandemic.
Ben Hovland | MPR News

This Saturday is the beginning of a very special Lunar New Year: the Year of the Dragon. The dragon is a symbol of prosperity, so a dragon year means plenty of good luck and fortune.

Chef Tammy Wong is making sure the year gets off to a good start. She is serving up a dragon-worthy feast at her Rainbow Chinese Restaurant. It will be the first time in a long time that she’ll be able to treat guests to a special dine-in experience for the new year. She had to shut down the restaurant’s dining room during the pandemic. It reopened in July.

“Giving people a chance to come back — they’re so happy,” she said.

Her multicourse Lunar New Year feast includes shrimp dumpling soup, good fortune oysters, temple noodles, crispy tangerine chicken and cardamom ginger cookies for dessert.

A central ingredient across the menu: citrus.

“When you go to visit someone during the Chinese new year, it’s always welcome to bring citrus — orange, tangerine — mostly because it’s shaped like a nugget,” she explained.

Wong will offer her special dine-in only menu at Rainbow Chinese Restaurant Feb. 8-10 and again Feb. 14-17.

For the full interview with Wong, click play on the player above.