PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Chef Joseph Poon is a high energy chef and promoter of the city’s Chinatown neighborhood. He caters, teaches cooking classes, and leads a walking tour through Chinatown among his other activities.
For the new year, Chef Poon has something special cooked up at his kitchen on 1010 Cherry Street. 2011 is the Year of the Rabbit in the Chinese zodiac and Chef Poon has a ten-course Chinese New Year Banquet Menu.
According to the Chinese Zodiac, the Rabbit symbolizes character traits like creativity, compassion, and sensitivity. The rabbit is a friendly animal. They are outgoing and enjoy the company of others. Those born under the sign of the rabbit are said to be classy, expressive, well-mannered and stylish.
Chef Poon also adds that it is the best year to get married. “When you marry this year, guaranteed you have a hundred babies because rabbits multiply so fast!! You get a lot of babies!” Chef Poon said.
The meal consists of ten-courses for $35 a person. You get one salad, three appetizers, five entrees, and one desert.
It all starts with the Lobster and Pork Dumpling Salad. “Ground Pork and mixed with the lobster and some scallions inside. Seasoning it, we cook it first and then we pan fry it and put the sauce. Then we sprinkle some of the Lobster Roe on the top too,” said Chef Poon.
Next, you get your three appetizers: Crispy Peking Duck Foie Gras in Red wine sauce with Red and Green Capers, Edible Paper Chicken with avocado and Chef Joe’s Chinese salsa, and maybe most interesting a Peking Duck Surf and Turf Burger. “Peking duck burger: Jicama scallion, hoisin and also merlot wine stir fry. We put the lobster inside and also cheese. This is an excellent, excellent, burger,” said Chef Poon.
After the appetizers, you get into five entrees starting with the Lobster Mango Samosa in Philo Dough and Chilean Sea Bass.
Then you get a mix of Baby Bok Choi, Chinese Broccoli and Chinese Mustard Greens in Oyster Sesame Dressing. And you get Chef Joe’s trademark General Joe’s Chicken, which is different than the trademark dish found in other Chinese restaurants. “General Joe’s has no flour. So that’s why I use dry corn starch and deep fry it and make it with less oil,” said Chef Poon.
The fourth entree is marinated Chef Filet Mignon Medallions with Japanese Purple eggplant, which Chef Joe says is very good for you. “Japanese eggplant, you can eat the skin. The skin is high in anti-oxidants; it’s so tender, so good. I like this one and we put corn and green beans on top,” said Chef Poon.
Finally, to end your entrees, you get Indonesian Spicy Pineapple Barbecue Pork Fried Rice with Golden Egg.
If you still have room, and Chef Poon hopes you do, you finish the meal with dessert; handmade Chocolate Mochi cake with carved Pineapple Rabbit, a cookie, and Chinese New Year Lucky Candy. “Guaranteed you cannot move. Cannot move. (So you won’t be able to move after you eat.) Everybody says, ‘I didn’t eat the whole day.’ Alright, come. But they still cannot finish it.”
For more information and to make reservations check out JosephPoon.com.
Reported by Tim Jimenez, KYW Newsradio