It’s the Year of the Red Fire Monkey and it’s being celebrated at Journeys East restaurant at the Tulalip Resort Casino.
My husband and I visited the restaurant on Monday and were greeted by staff wearing “Happy New Year” tiaras.
It was a busy night at Journeys East, with lots of people ringing in the Chinese new year.
Having been born in a year of the monkey, I was very happy to be there.
Most of the conversation in the packed dining room was in Mandarin or Cantonese and most of the women were attired in elegant red dresses.
We ordered from the Lunar New Year Specials menu, and were glad we did. The specials are available through Sunday at the restaurant. On Valentine’s Day, the specials also include lamb chops and shrimp hargow.
We selected the traditional New Year fried fish, Shanghai stir-fry Udon and Hong You Chao Shou spicy wontons. The dishes came quickly in reverse order.
The pork and shrimp wontons ($8) were served in a black vinegar and chili oil sauce. Our server warned us that they were spicy, but actually the tasty vinegar tempered the chili heat.
Next up were the fresh, creamy Udon noodles ($13) stir-fried with chicken, cabbage, carrots and luscious mushrooms.
And just as we had nearly cleaned that plate, the fish ($28) was delivered.
The whole pompano fish, with head and tail intact, was served in bed of vegetables, ginger and oyster sauce. The sauce was delicious and we soaked it up with rice.
The fish skin was crisp (do not be afraid to eat it) and the white meat was tender.
The server told us that many people don’t know what to do with the fish, so she was pleased to see that we ripped it apart and devoured everything we could.
The other item on the new year specials menu is Jang Pong spicy beef and seafood noodle soup ($18) with fresh noodles, shrimp, beef and calamari.
I need to add that, off the regular menu, we started with goi cuon fresh salad spring rolls ($8) with a tasty peanut and chili sauce and finished with matcha green tea cream puffs ($7), which my husband said were just right and not too sweet.
Journeys East’s regular menu has something for everybody who likes Asian food, with offerings from Japan, Thailand, China, Korea and Vietnam.
Happy New Year from this monkey!
Gale Fiege: 425-339-3427; firstname.lastname@example.org.
10200 Quil Ceda Blvd., Tulalip; 360-716-1880; www.tulalipresortcasino.com/Dining/JourneysEast
Hours: 5 p.m. to midnight, Monday, Wednesday – Friday; noon to midnight, Saturday and Sunday.
Vegetarian options: Yes
Alcohol: Full bar