Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Make Time for Life with Loved Ones On Intimate Food Tours Over the Holiday Season

"Time is free, but it's priceless. 
You can't own it, but you can use it. 
You can't keep it, but you can spend it. 
Once you've lost it you can never get it back." ~ Harvey Mackay
 author of best-selling book, Swim With the Sharks

"They say time is money but that's not true. 
Time is life." ~Ann Voskamp 
author of best-selling book, One Thousand Gifts

Are you also finding that once Toronto's Santa Claus parade arrives in town, it's a cue for the city to flip on the "Holiday" switch?  It's time to enjoy (or dread) the onslaught of holiday parties,  time to play festive music in all the shopping malls, and time to savour the early sunsets giving way to twinkling cavalcades of lights on buildings and trees. December may have 31 days, yet it always seems to be shorter  as it ends up jam packed with early deadlines, staff parties, and shopping for the perfect gifts for loved ones.

2013 marks 20 years of designing and conducting intimate Food Tours, LitWalks and GhostWalks for A Taste of the World in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Over the years, I have felt honoured to be leading a food tour whenever a loyal patron/guest returns, and book themselves and a loved one to join one of our popular holiday food tours (i.e. Kensington Festive Food Roots or Chinese Lunar New Year tour/banquets). The gift of your precious time to others is a gift to yourself. Time well spent together on a food tour is one of the most rewarding and cherished in life. From time to time, over the 20 years,  I get patrons dropping a line  or two via a hand written 'Thank You' note, an email,  a Facebook update or even a Twitter 'shout out' - and often it's about their cherished memories of the fantastic foodie moments shared with their loved ones and yours truly.

In the month of December, I look forward to celebrating  all the Festivals of Lights along the Kensington Festive Food Roots tours (Sunday December 8th, 15th @ 10am-1:30pm; Saturday December 21st 9:30am-1:00pm). Toronto, lives up to its namesake, The Meeting Place, as we celebrate the festivities and foods behind Diwali, Chanukkah, Winter Solstice, Christmas and Kwanzaa.  Each tour will be kept to an intimate size comprising of 11 lucky guests, so book your spots now to avoid being disappointed! You can still book by phone at (416) 923-6813 or via email info@TorontoWalksBikes.com .  These food tours will be extra special as the lucky foodies will be treated to artisan chocolates, personally made by my alter ego @SChocolateMagic, as I complete the Chocolate Confections course while working my way through George Brown College's Professional Chocolatier Certificate programme. I hope you will be able to set aside some time to join me in lighting up and celebrating life as 2013 wraps up.

Happy Holidays!

Shirley Lum, Founder, Culinary Historian & Food Tour Guide
A Taste of the World 
Est. 1993

#Toronto #FoodTours #Time #Gift #KensingtonMarket #Holidays #Diwali #Christmas #Chanukkah #WinterSolstice #Kwanzaa

Monday, November 11, 2013

Lest We Forget... Remembrance Day on November 11, 2013

In honour of those who fought & those who fell. May peace be our future.

"A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King 

Mahatma Gandhi to come back - but they are gone. 
We are it. 
It is up to us. 
It is up to you." ~Marian W Edelman 

Lest  we forget on Remembrance Day the Canadians who fought and gave us peace in the past and those who continues in the present time. This grateful Canadian-Chinese is headed off to Hart House Circle for the service, and will wear this hat in Remembrance...

Friday, October 25, 2013

13th annual Halloween Week Spook-tacular Toronto Ghost Walks

Can you imagine the collection of eerie accounts and tales we've collected since launching theme Toronto neighbourhood ghost walks in 2000? Ever wondered if Toronto's finest police officers have a sighting or two while on their beats, who would OR can they tell? Ghostbusters???
Or hair stylist at one of Toronto's most swankiest Yorkville hair salon, who attends your Haunted Yorkville, U of T & Queen's Park Walk and ends up sharing his late night experience? Do we have a la Oprah style confessionals during/after a ghost walk? You betcha.  And we're expecting it to be a quite another Halloween Week in 2013 as the moon wanes and it get closer and closer to the Fall Equinox... and the veil between Dark and Light gets thinner... thought you caught something out of the corner of your eyes? Perhaps we can shed light on what's going on... join us if you dare... BY the way, each night, the ghost walk is limited to 13 lucky spots to ensure quality paranormal experiences for all participating!  Do bring along digital cameras, you might end up with your bonus ;-)

*** Halloween Week Ghost Walks ***

Dates: Fri. Oct. 25*, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Meet: St. Lawrence Market, 93 Front St. E.- middle doors

Dates: Tues. Oct. 15 (SOLD OUT), 22, 29*, 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Meet: Royal Ontario Museum, steps between 2 marble lion statues, 100 Queen's Park

Date: Thurs. Oct. 31*, 2013
Time: 6:30 - 9:00PM
Meet: Red Pole with Black Cat @ 350 Spadina Ave. (1bl. N. of Dundas St. W.)

Dates: Fri. Oct. 18, Nov. 1st* 2013
Time: 6:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m.
Meet: Old City Hall, front steps (Queen/Bay Sts.)


- Include pre-ordered snacks at sites we drop into (that might be haunted ;-)
Adult: $25.00  SR(65+)/ST(ID) $20.00  CHILD (3-12) $15.00

Pre-Registration:   Call (416) 923-6813 or info@TorontoWalksBikes.com

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

4 Ways to Savour Haunted Toronto: Eerie May Equinox Ghost Walks

Is Toronto the meeting place for the living, or...the dead?  Each of my Toronto neighbourhood ghost walks starts off with that eerie kicker and we wrap up the night, asking each other the question again.

As Earth comes back to life this Spring, spirits of the dead will begin to stir in anticipation of May 1st, a halfway-point to Halloween celebration of old tradition. Several nights before and after May 1st are devoted to the supernatural, when the door to the Other Side has been known to creak open and reveal the shadowy realm of ghosts and spirits.
Comforting treats on Haunted Kensington,
Chinatown & The Grange Walk
Don't wait for a dark stormy night around Halloween to find out on one or all four of A Taste of the World's eerie neighbourhood ghost walks, whether Toronto lives up to its old Huron tribe's name. Since launching a trio of ghost walks in 2000 (fourth ghost walk was added around Halloween 2003 due to popular demand), we've discovered with our guests that there's another period of optimal sightings! Yes, we've had folks who'd try a ghost walk in late October, and be contacted when the veil between dark and light was the thinnest, making it "easier" to be contacted. These same folks would return six months later on the very same tour, and sure enough, they'd be contacted at the same site... Already feeling a chill go down your spine similar to childhood camp fire experiences with haunting legends? Remember clinching your hot chocolate, and noshing on comfort food as you took turns telling creepy, hair-raising ghost stories? Well, your guide will dole out accounts of actual sightings on past tours with snacks that will sooth your sweet tooth and soul (hint: this give us an excuse to go into haunted spots).

Just think... not one but four eerie ghost walk experiences under the full moon, whether you're a longtime Toronto resident, newcomer or seasoned traveler... By the way, we highly recommend bringing along your digital cameras  - as you might end up with a bonus or two aside re-discovering Toronto carved in stone!

Ghosts, Greasepaint & Gallows Walk

Sneak peek at the May Equinox Toronto Ghost Walks schedule:

 Ghosts, Greasepaint & Gallows Walk Fri. April 26th, 2013 6:30-9:00pm
  Highlights: Strong vibes from the lost public hanging square; site of Grand Opera; and Toronto's First Mayor's Home 
 Starts: St Lawrence Market
 Ends: Eaton's Centre

 Haunted Yorkville, U of T & Queen's Park Walk Tues. April 30th 6:30-9:00pm

  Highlights: old Christie Mansion; tracing last steps of tragic chase in famous lecture hall
 Starts/Ends: ROM's steps between 2 marble Lions

 Haunted Kensington, Chinatown & The Grange Walk  Thurs. May 2nd 6:30-9:00pm

 Highlights: Vintage shop, old abandoned church
  Starts: Red Pole with Black Cat on Yellow Chair, 350 Spadina Ave/St Andrew St

  Ends: AGO

 Phantoms, Players & Pundits Walk   Fri. May 3rd 6:30-9:00pm

Highlights:  strong vibes at the forgotten public hanging square
  Starts/Ends: Old City Hall's front steps, 60 Queen St W

See details of Ghost Walks, and pre-register via Events at A Taste of the World's FaceBook page or send us an email info@TorontoWalksBikes.com or call us (416) 923-6813

Haunted Yorkville, U of T & Queen's Park Walk

Thursday, March 14, 2013

How Many Ways Can You Celebrate 3.14 or Pi or Pie Day?!

You say Pi! I say Pie!
He says Yum! She says Patty!
Goat Patty from Kensington Foodies Roots Tours
Today is March 14th and it is Pi Day! Happy Pi Day aka Pie Day!

Here are a few food-for-thought Q3.14 questions/jokes for you: Are you planning on baking a #pie squared in honour of #πday? If Marie Antoinette had said, "Let them eat Pi a.k.a Pie" instead of cake, would she have saved her pretty little neck? Hmmm... food for thought! While I'm on a roll with these pies... I mean Pi jokes, here are some old Pi related jokes to share at the office or during the remainder of March Break:

Mathematician: Pi r squared 

Baker: No! Pie are round, cake are square!

Q: What do you get if you divide the circumference of a jack-o-lantern by its diameter? 

A: Pumpkin Pi!

Q: What do you get when you take the moon and divide its circumference by its diameter?

A: Pi in the sky! 

Addicted to Pi Day and need a few more pie in-the-face jokes? 

Need something more substantive now that I got you salivating thinking about pies? What about empanadas? Jamaican Patties? Cornish Pasties? Chinese Bao or Vietnamese Bahn? Boreka? Spanikopita? So, what actually is a pie you might ask.... Here's a little secret I'm going to let you in on as we wrap-up March Break with two awesome food-for-thought food tours this weekend. Want to explore multi-ethnicity of pie? Then join me on our popular Kensington Foodies Roots tour, Saturday March 17th, 2013 as this food tour definitely will tickle the fancy of those who loves diversity.  Did I mention that we're going to discuss how many delicious ways our ancestors from all four corners of Earth had to solve the challenge of making a portable meal sans Tupperwares. Yes, when you have a food tour  designed  and conducted by a Culinary Historian, you're bound to savouring equal portions of food for thoughts and the palate (and other senses); though really,  the food tour truly gives us a grand  excuse to sample a variety of "pi" creations with multicultural twists ;-) 

I did mention our second way of extended celebrations of Pi Day - on Sunday March 18th on our other food tour, Toronto's Second Chinatown Foodies Tour we will explore the diverse shapes of  Chinese "Pi" a.k.a. "Pie". I say, it's a grand way to wrap-up the March Break or a relaxing weekend filled with reflective foodies thoughts! 

So what kind of pie will you have on March 14 to honour #PiDay /#πday or if you have to extend it to this weekend? Sweet or savoury pie? Well, we'd love to hear from you and salivate as we read what's your "pie in the sky" ! 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Revisiting a Timely Old Post: The Power of Superstitions - Chinese New Year's Traditions & Angsts

Vintage & Contemporary Lie See (Lucky Money)
& Lucky Candies 
It's hard to believe, but two years ago I noted that Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve was fast approaching on Wednesday February 2nd, 2011). It's happening again, and just as fast approaching (now Saturday February 9th, 2013). The time of uncertainty and opportunities associated with the Year of the Dragon should come to an end, and I should feel a state of calm and reflectiveness come over me as the Year of the Water Snake kicks-off on Sunday February 10th, 2013. Well, once again I'm anxiously tackling items on my "Prep for Chinese New Year 2013" checklist just as I did two years ago, all the while having the same angsts over traditions so steeped in superstitions passed on by my ancestors. The superstitions dictate the frenzy, I and likely many others within the Chinese community, are going through right now until New Year's Eve. My list has been amusing and bemusing anyone outside of the Chinese culture, as in the case of my hubby. He finds it hard to believe that this CBC (Canadian-born Chinese), raised in Toronto, could be tied to so many "silly" superstitions and/or rituals despite all that hi-tech!

*** Top 9 Chinese New Year Superstitions in 2013 ***

* Sweep kitchen floor & Wash kitchen floor
I've noted in my daytimer to sweep and wash the kitchen floor by Friday February 8th. It would be bad luck if I did it on February 9th, Chinese Lunar New Year's Eve! I'd be sweeping out the good luck from home! Likewise for dumping the dirty water! 

* Garbage/Recycle Days Taboos
Two years ago, we lived in a house with alternating Garbage Collection and Recycle Day on Thursdays. That year,  Chinese New Year's Day fell on a Thursday Garbage Collection Day! Aye-Yah! You should have seen my hubby's look of sheer amazement (or horror?)  as I pointed out that by January 20th, 2011 we needed to pitch whatever needs to go into the garbage collection, and that on February 3rd, 2011 we must keep any garbage in the house! Well, we've since moved into a condo with fabulous daily recycling program. Guess what we're doing on Friday February 8th, 2013 when it's Recycle Day at our new place?  Hint: No garbage goes out Saturday as that's New Year's Eve in 2013 and tossing out your garbage is equivalent to tossing out your good luck! 

* Hair Cut Appointment before Chinese New Year's Eve 
This subject is always a huge bone of contention as one ponders over when is the ultimate last day you can slot your hair cut appointment into a packed agenda, as it's considered bad luck to have it done too close to Chinese New Year. You'll sever your good luck! Yes, there are chances of accidents, where you get snipped and not your hair! Keeping all this in mind, I set my hair appointment with my amazing stylist, Guy Krouse at Salon Vivace for this Thursday January 31st so I'd be ready for the Chinese New Year's prep tours and of course, the two banquets: Chinese New Year's Eve 11-course banquet on February 9th, 2013 and the inaugural Lantern Festival 9-course banquet on February 23rd, 2013.

* No Showering on Chinese New Year's Eve
 It's bad luck to wash your hair and have a shower! If you're active and go to the gym, this one can be a challenge as nobody wants to go to school or work stinking like a skunk! Apparently, in the good old days, most Chinese villages lacked plumbing, whereas in Toronto, we have great plumbing! Try telling your mom this one. Anyway, I and other Chinese friends just go to the gym and not inform mom about showering after that vigorous gym class! The other solution: not go to the gym just prior to New Year's Eve and be stressed out from skipping your workout! Hubby could barely contain his laughter when I informed him about this superstition and the angst behind it.

* Get Chef Knives Sharpened Before Chinese New Year's Eve 
Two years ago I called before dropping off my chef's knife at Nella Cucina. They promised that I'll get it back within a week, before it's Chinese New Year's Eve! Whew! Meanwhile, fast forward to 2013, it has been a busy year.  My bold plan: sharpening the chef knife on my own by Friday February 8th, Shhh! Don't tell my mom. Superstition: knives severs good luck, so you'd want to sharpen before it's the new year and retain good luck in the new year! Aye-Yah!

* Bad Luck to Start with Broken Crockery
I must pitch any broken dishes, cups, plates and any other crockery as it's considered to be "bad luck" to start a new year with broken stuff. After my Friday tour, I'll replace a few chipped cups while picking up Green Chopsticks for my banquets. Aye-Yah! So much to do, and so little time!

*  Replace Dead Houseplants with Fresh, Live Plants!
It's inauspicious having dead plants as you're carrying over the bad luck from one year to the next! So I better swing by one of those Chinatown shops on Sunday after my tour and replace one of the bamboo shoots in my planter to ensure a lucky Year of the Water Snake! Agghhh!

* Settling Debts in order to Start New Year with a Clean Slate
It's funny how Chinese New Year follows right after the holiday season of gift spending, as it make settling debts a tad challenging... Sigh, it got to be done, otherwise you hear your ancestors murmuring about the bad luck for the new year!

*  Exchange Old Bills for Crisp New Bills at the Bank 
Bank tellers in Toronto's Second Chinatown banks (Spadina Ave/Dundas St W) or other areas wouldn't blink an eye when an Asian patron request for crisp new $5, $10 and $20 bills. It's considered good luck having crisp new bills in the pair of Lie See (Lucky Money) you hand out to little kids and any unmarried adult siblings.  I must also buy more of those red/gold envelopes. Sigh!

Money Tree Decoration for Chinese New Year

Before it's "Curtains Up" for the Chinese Lunar New Year festival, here are a few more other items I'll try to tackle to ensure more even luck in the Year of the Rabbit ...

* Buy 3 Kumquats (fruits) with green twigs & tie with red string/ribbon for good luck!
* Buy a box of Lucky Pastries from Chinese bakery (re-fills of wallet-shaped pastries, fire cracker-shaped cookies; smiling face cookies)
* Buy more bags of Lucky Candies for the food tours, Chinese New Year's Eve banquet (Feb 9) and inaugural Lantern Festival banquet (Feb 23)
* Pick-up 3 Sesame Balls from Kim Moon Bakery
* Find golden platter to place fruits, candies & Lie See as decoration on table in lobby for guests!

                                    Happy New Year!

Gung Hey Fatt Choy in Cantonese or

Gong Xi Fa Cai in Mandarin or

Chuc Mung Nam Mui in Vietnamese! 

Need more luck? Try these 5 Chinese Lunar New Year's Experiences

2012 was a totally colourful, exciting and vibrant year as soon as it was January 23rd, 2012. That day marked the first day of the Chinese Lunar New Year, or more appropriately, Asian Lunar New Year (as the Taiwanese and Vietnamese communities also celebrate this festival to end all festivals).  On that day, we all welcomed the fast-paced Year of the Dragon, where the proverb to live by is: "Better to do it than miss it."  Dragon years are typically filled with opportunities knocking on your door! If you missed a few golden opportunities in 2012, I have good news for you: the Year of the Dragon ends on February 9th, 2013. You still have a wee bit of time to make the most of this auspicious year!  Now that you're on a lucky roll, here's the next good news: you have five ways or opportunities to get lucky! Yes, it's so simple too.  I kick-off celebrating A Taste of the World's 20th anniversary with my annual Chinese New Year celebrations five different ways, while bidding adieu to the intensely active Year of the Dragon and welcoming the reflective Year of the Water Snake, where the Chinese proverb to live by is: "If you have foresight, you are blessed, but if you have insight, you are a thousand times blessed."  Ready to find out what the Year of the Snake holds in store for you?

*** Try these Lucky Chinese New Year's Experiences  ***

Whether you're a Foodie, who love food tours that involve noshing while popping into various venues for the essential festive ingredients and symbolic decorative/gift items over the three exciting festive periods, or you're a food lover, who prefers a completely sit-down banquet experience to start/wrap the festivities, you'll submerge yourself with the rich symbolism, rituals, and superstitions as hostess/ Culinary Historian, Shirley Lum.  There will be equal portions of food for thought, palate and all the senses at all five occasions.

1. Preparatory Period of Chinese New Year's Eve Food Tours 

    February 1st, 2nd, 3d, 8th (Sold Out), 9th, 2013  
    10:00 am - 1:30 pm

* Foodies, who love food tours you'll love the thrill of the Preparatory week prior to the curtains going up for Chinese Lunar NewYear's Eve. You're going behind-the-scene for the festive party food items/ingredients, decorations, items you might need to replenish/replace to receive and give the Good Luck of the New Year.
* Focus on preparatory timeline/countdown for cleaning home, & personal grooming
* Chinese Horoscope book for remainder of Year of the Dragon will be used at the hosted dim sum
* Space availability: 11 spots per day to ensure quality experience

Fees (incl food + non-alcoholic drinks; $CAD): Adult $45.00 SR/ST (ID)$40.00 Child (3-12yrs old) $30.00

2. Celebratory Period of Chinese New Year's Eve & Day Food Tours 
   February 10th, 15th, 16th, 17th, 2013  
    10:00 am - 1:30 pm 

Join in on the spirit of celebration, and find out what the Year of the Water Snake has in store for your Chinese animal sign over hosted New Year dim sum, a luncheon to please all the senses! Your guide will order a healthy dim sum with harmonious blending of the five elements – colour, aroma, flavour, shape and texture – a principle that applies to the making of each individual dish as much as to the dim sum meal as a whole. NOTES: Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour. Private tours/talks, available weekdays for schools and groups. Book now to avoid disappointment, space is limited.

* Only on February 10th tour: Symbolic New Year dim sum items will be the key attractions of the hosted dim sum experience as we crack open the Year of the Snake horoscope book to get the most of the year
* Lion Dances in the streets of Toronto's second Chinatown - high chances of encounter on February 15th, 16th & 17th - the rituals will be explained by your guide/host
* Visit to grocery store, BBQ & bakery to shed light symbolic items needed to be served over this period (plus tastings)
Fees (incl food + non-alcoholic drinks; $CAD): Adult $45.00 SR/ST (ID)$40.00 Child (3-12yrs old) $30.00

3. Grand Finale of Chinese New Year's Food Tours: Lantern Festival 
    February 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 2013 
    10:00 am - 1:30 pm 
The Lantern Festival or Big New Year, on the 15th day of the first moon, dates from the rule of the Emperor Ming (58-75 AD) of the Han Dynasty, and formally ends the New Year celebrations. This marks the return of the spring light and the lengthening of the day. Traditionally, lanterns were lit in homes and temples. Children were bedazzled by the spectacular processions of exquisite silk and paper lanterns in every shape and form in the dark streets. At the end of each procession a glorious dragon, usually carried by at least a dozen men, dances to the deafening rhythms of cymbals, drums and red firecrackers.  Traditionally, Tang Yuan - delicious little sweet or savoury glutinous rice dumplings are savoured. Your guide will order a healthy dim sum with harmonious blending of the five elements – colour, aroma, flavour, shape and texture – a principle that applies to the making of each individual dish as much as to the dim sum meal as a whole. NOTES: Do NOT eat breakfast prior to tour. Private tours/talks, available weekdays for schools and groups. Book now to avoid disappointment, space is limited.
* The wrap-up of this fantastic 15-days festival ends with the hunt for lanterns on the streets, in shops, and eateries (no surprise) and more food!
* The grocery tour will include the bi-lingual shopping lists, and we'll look for the dumplings you can buy and take home! 
* Hosted dim sum will include a variety of dishes varying in textures, colours and flavours. Chopsticks & tea pouring etiquettes will be reviewed; beginners to advanced chopstick users welcomed! 
Fees (incl food + non-alcoholic drinks; $CAD): Adult $45.00 SR/ST (ID)$40.00 Child (3-12yrs old) $30.00

4. A Taste of the World's 6th Annual Chinese New Year's Eve 11-course Banquet Dinner
     Saturday February 9th, 2013  
     6:00-8:00pm  hosted by Culinary Historian, Shirley Lum
     Location: Taste of China Seafood Restaurant

Foodies unite!  Savour the opportunity to experience an authentic communal Chinese New Year’s Eve banquet hosted by Culinary Historian, Shirley Lum.  Traditionally it’s restricted to immediate family members, hosted at home, and all 8-12 lavish dishes cooked by the Matriarch. Now, an increasing number of aging Chinese Matriarchs are relinquishing cooking the numerous courses to restaurant chefs. Join us as we embrace this emerging trend. It will be an evening of equal portions of food and facts, as Shirley shed light on old and new customs, plus superstitions throughout the evening. Novice banquet attendees will appreciate the tips on how to pace themselves to enjoy the banquet to the fullest, and all guests will love the stories behind the auspicious names of the decadent dishes. What will the Year of the Snake hold for your Chinese animal sign? Pre-Register now and find out!

Six years ago, my family chose to give my mom the long deserved break from shopping, preparing and cooking (marathon dish/pots washing was relegated to us kids). My mom now plays a very important role in this fabulous feast: she gets to approve the menu and to transcribe it. Make her day after the feast, Tell her how much you loved the whole feast! Bon appetite! 

Chinese New Year's Eve 2013 MENU
* Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup
* Stir-Fried Lightly Battered Jumbo Shrimps
* Phoenix Nest w/ Seafood Medley & Vegetables
* Whole Crispy Chicken with flavoured Salt/pepper & Shrimp Chips 
* Pork Chops w/ House BBQ sauce
* Four Treasure Braised Vegetables
* Double Lobsters with Ginger, Garlic & Green Onion
* Whole Steamed Fish
* E-Mein (Noodles)
* Yeungchow Fried Rice
* Traditional Sweet Soup & Chinese Fortune Cookies

Fees: $58.00 per person OR $500.00 a table of 10

Note: Pre-registration and Payment to hold your spot(s): 
Call (416) 923-6813 or info@TorontoWalksBikes.com and we will confirm availability by email. 
Payment by cash or cheque payable to "A Taste of the World".

5. A Taste of the World's 1st Annual Lantern Festival 9-course Banquet Dinner
    Saturday February 23rd, 2013  
    6:00-8:00 pm  hosted by Culinary Historian, Shirley Lum 

NEW! In 2013,  I am launching the 1st Annual Lantern Festival Banquet after several requests by past guests of the popular Chinese New Year's Eve banquets. The Lantern Festival or Big New Year, on the 15th day of the first moon, dates from the rule of the Emperor Ming (58-75 AD) of the Han Dynasty, and formally ends the New Year celebrations. This marks the return of the spring light and the lengthening of the day. Traditionally, lanterns were lit in homes and temples. Children were bedazzled by the spectacular processions of exquisite silk and paper lanterns in every shape and form in the dark streets. At the end of each procession a glorious dragon, usually carried by at least a dozen men, dances to the deafening rhythms of cymbals, drums and red firecrackers.  Traditionally, Tang Yuan - delicious little sweet or savoury glutinous rice dumplings are savoured. 

Location: Taste of China Seafood Restaurant 

1st Annual Lantern Festival MENU 2013:
* Crab Meat & Fish Maw Soup
* Scallop with Meat
* Stir-fried Lightly Battered Big Tiger Shrimps
* Crispy Whole Chicken with Flavoured Salt/Pepper & 

Shrimp Chips
* Traditionally Braised dish of Tofu, Meat & Vegetables
* Double Lobsters with Ginger, Garlic & Green Onions
* Steamed Whole Fish

* Steamed Rice
* Traditional Sweet Dessert Soup & Fortune Cookies 

Fees: $50.00 per person OR $470.00 a table of 10

Note: Pre-registration and Payment to hold your spot(s): 
Call (416) 923-6813 or info@TorontoWalksBikes.com and we will confirm availability by email. 
Payment by cash or cheque payable to "A Taste of the World".

Feeling the good luck coming your way yet?  Don't wait until the last minute to purchase your E-Ticket(s), as space is limited at each event to ensure an intimate and quality experience.   To avoid being disappointed, book now by calling our office or dropping us an email, as we did sell out the Chinese New Year's Eve food tour scheduled for February 8th  even before 2012 ended!  I look forward to hearing from you, and having you at one of food tours and/or at one of the tables set for the banquets! 

Happy New Year!

Gung Hei Fatt Choi  in Cantonese 
Gong Xi Fa Cai in Mandarin
Chuc Mung Nam Mui in Vietnamese